Updated : This post has been re-edited and updated with new photographs.
We have recently made this paneer malai kofta for my guest and everyone loved it so much, hence thought of sharing some new photographs with you all.
This is the one dish which never fails me, each and every time it spell success with its wonderful aroma that wafts throughout the kitchen and its creamy and rich taste keeps me mesmerized for a long time. I have learnt it from my mom who used to prepare this fabulous dish on festive occasion or for any family gatherings, and it’s definitely a secret or magic in her fingers that each time it taste exactly the same, simply beautiful and amazing , year after year.
Though I haven’t achieved that level of skill in cooking yet, but with malai kofta its a different story. Paneer is one of the most favoured food at our homes, I guess, probably in most of the homes too, and each time I try to do different with it. Moms secret ingredient for this recipe is the paneer itself, she never used the commercial variety, always she used to prepare it fresh from full fat milk, her koftas were always soft, she uses milk to thicken the gravy, but I use cream for the same purpose and my secret ingredient for this recipe is the ground spices.
When it comes to Mughlai cuisine, the most significant ingredients are perhaps the aromatic spices and dry fruits which gives a royal touch to the dish, hence shahi paneer and off course the boiled onion paste which gives a creamy texture to the dish. The term “Kofta” has been borrowed from the middle eastern cuisine where it means balls of minced meat, remember nargisi kofta…the species is really in endangered form !!!
And above all, this is not going to be an ordinary malai kofta, yes..it will be a stuffed kofta and beside paneer, sweet green peas are going to be part of this royal dish too.
- Paneer : 200 gm (this will make 8 koftas of medium size)
- Sweet green peas : 1 cup
- the ground spice mix contains : ( roast 1 nutmeg, 4 mace, 1 big black cardamom, 1″cinnamon stick, 1 tsp white pepper powder, ½ tsp shah jeera (caraway seeds) and 2-3 kashmiri red chili in a griddle or tawa and ground to a fine powder in a mortar / pestle).
- Almond flakes (chopped them if requires) : 1 tbsp
- Grated cheddar cheese : 1 tsp
- Oil for deep-frying the koftas
- Seasoning the koftas :
- Roasted cumin powder : 1 tsp
- Coriander powder : 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder : 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Ghee (softened) / Oil : 2 tbsp
- Bay leaves : 2
- Ground spice mix (refer above)
- Boiled onion paste of 1 medium size onion ( peel the onion, boil it in water and then grind to a smooth paste in a mixer).
- White poppy seed paste (should have a creamy texture) : ½ cup
- Cashew nut paste (unsalted and not roasted) : ½ cup
- Melon seed paste (optional) : 1 tbsp
- Plain yogurt / curd (whipped /beaten) : ½ cup
- Ginger paste (freshly prepared) : 1bsp
- Roasted cumin powder : 1 tsp
- Roasted coriander powder : 1½ tsp
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Warm water : 2 cup
- Light / heavy cream or milk : ¾ cup
- here you have two options, you can either prepare it fresh from milk or can use the commercial variety. If you are using the commercial variety, then after thawing the paneer, soak it in warm milk for 10 minutes.
- Now crumble the paneer, season it with salt, cinnamon powder, coriander powder and roasted cumin powder.
- Blanch the sweet green peas and mashed them, add it to paneer and pulse it together in a mixer for 5-8 sec till it forms a dough like structure.
- This is little tricky, and if you think that it does not form a proper dough then add 2 tablespoon all purpose flour. Knead the dough for couple of minutes and divide it in equal portions and make round balls from it.
- Stuffed each ball with almond flakes and grated cheddar cheese. Roll them properly and deep fry them in hot oil till golden brown.
- Heat some oil in a deep skillet, and temper it with bay leaves, and ground spice mix.
- Next add the boiled onion paste, mix it properly with the spices and saute it for few minutes on low flame till it turns slightly translucent.
- Add the ginger paste and fry it for couple of minutes.
- Add the whipped curd and mix well.
- Season with salt and sugar.
- Next add the poppy seed paste, saute for couple of minutes.
- Add the roasted cumin powder, and coriander powder.
- Next add the cashew nut paste with 2 cups of warm water, mix them properly and let it simmer for few minutes.
- Drop the koftas in the gravy carefully, simmer for 2-3 minutes, and take it off the stove.
- Stir in the cream and serve with naan, kulcha, shahjani pulao or biryani.