The Best Indian Paneer Malai Kofta Recipe
Sharing with you all today, one of my most favourite and my signature dish Paneer Malai Kofta. And it is way different from the rest of its clan of malai koftas. How different it is? Read below.
This is the one dish which has never failed me. Each and every time it has spelled success with its wonderful aroma that wafts throughout the kitchen. And it’s creamy and rich taste keeps me mesmerized for a long time.
I have learnt this recipe of malai kofta 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 may be magic in her fingers that each time it taste exactly the same, simply beautiful and amazing , year after year.
This paneer malai kofta recipe is our in house special and tried and tested for years.
What Is Malai Kofta / Paneer Malai Kofta?
Malai kofta or paneer malai kofta is a very famous and popular Indian vegetarian dish where kofta balls are prepared with mashed paneer and are deep fried. These paneer koftas are then simmered in a nutty gravy with a generous amount of cream added to it.
Unlike others, we do not add potato in our malai kofta. And that is what it makes all the difference.
What Is The Secret Of Melt-In Mouth Paneer Kofta?
Paneer is one of the most favored food at our homes, I guess, probably in most of the other homes too. And when it comes to paneer, there are no dearth of recipes and flavours to try with this versatile food.
My mom’s secret ingredient for making paneer kofta is the paneer itself. She never used the commercial variety. She always used to prepare it at home, fresh from full fat milk. No wonder her koftas were always soft and melt in mouth kind.
If you are still apprehensive about making paneer at home from scratch, then do not worry. We have got you covered. Here is a guide to make Homemade Paneer At Home.
Homemade paneer is easy to make, cost effective and will always gives you the best result in terms of quality and texture. Homemade paneer will remain soft even if you fry it or keep it in the fridge. No chewy or rubbery texture you will get.
Why This Paneer Malai Kofta Is Best?
1.First, this recipe of paneer malai kofta does not have potatoes in it. Nothing against the humble potatoes but I think we can definitely spare the potatoes in this rich and regale paneer kofta curry.
2.Second, this paneer malai kofta has been prepared as per Mughlai cuisine which undoubtedly brings a range of aromatic flavours at play and the unparalleled richness it offers to any curry. Mughlai curries are a class apart.
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 the name “shahi paneer” .
The term “Kofta” has been borrowed from the middle eastern cuisine where it means balls of minced meat. And paneer beautifully adapts that kofta texture, making it possible for vegetarians to enjoy the kofta curries.
3.Third, these are not ordinary malai kofta. These are stuffed malai koftas . Stuffed with mawa and dry fruits.
How To Make Shahi Paneer Malai Kofta?
The soft homemade paneer is first mashed and kneaded properly. Then little flour is used for proper binding along with spices. Else shaping the koftas will be difficult and it will not hold its shape.
Next, these paneer koftas are stuffed with mawa / khova, chopped almonds, cashews and raisins. Rolled and then deep fried in hot oil.
You can use appe pan also to make koftas and will significantly reduce the amount of oil used for consumption.
The curry follows the Mughlai style. Boiled onion paste is sauteed along with nut and seed paste and then hung curd or thick yogurt is added for extra creaminess. You can use milk or cream further for making it extra rich. A drizzle of ghee at the end finishes the royal /shahi Paneer Malai Kofta.
Indian shahi paneer malai kofta in my signature style
- 250 gm Paneer , homemade this will make 8 koftas of medium size
- 2-3 tbsp Flour / Cornflour for binding
- Oil for deep frying the koftas
For stuffing the koftas:
- 1 tbsp Almonds chopped
- 2 tbsp Raisins, chopped
- 20 gm Khova / Mawa
Seasoning the Koftas
- 1 tsp Roasted cumin powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Ghee and oil ( I mix them both)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1-2 Dry Red Chilli
- 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
- Shahi garam masala for malai kofta See Note
- 1 medium Boiled onion paste peel the onion, boil it in water and then grind to a smooth paste in a mixer.
- 2 tbsp poppy seed paste
- 4 tbsp Cashew nut paste
- 1 tsp Melon seed paste
- ¼ cup Plain yogurt / curd whipped
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 2 tbsp Khova / Mawa
- Few Raisins And Cashews
- Salt to taste
- 2 cup Warm water
- ¾ cup Milk
- 2 tbsp Fresh Cream
Preparing the paneer:
- Homemade paneer is best for this recipe which will ensure soft melt in mouth kind paneer koftas.
Preparing the koftas:
- Now crumble and mash the paneer well till it becomes a soft dough. Add flour or corn flour for binding.Season it with salt, cinnamon powder and roasted cumin powder.
- Knead the dough for couple of minutes and divide it in equal portions and make 8 round koftas from it.
- Stuffed each kofta with chopped almonds, raisins and pinch of khova. Roll them properly and deep fry them in hot oil till golden brown.
Preparing the gravy:
- Soak the cashew (a handful) and melon seeds in hot water for 15 minutes. Add curd and blend them together into a smooth paste.
- Heat some oil and ghee in a deep skillet, and temper it with bay leaves, dry red chilli and kasuri methi.
- Next add the boiled onion paste, ginger paste and saute it for few minutes on low flame till it turns slightly translucent.
- Next add the poppy seed paste, saute for couple of minutes. Followed by cashew - melon - yogurt paste.
- Add the roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt.
- Mix them properly and cook on low heat till the masala looks good and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add khova, mix it proprely. Add hot water and bring it to boil. You can add 1 green chilli too, if you want.Check for the seasonings and add if anything requires.
- Drop the koftas in the gravy carefully. Stir in the milk and special shahi garam masala spice blend (see note).Add the fried raisins and cashews in the gravy. Simmer on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Switch off the heat.
- Stir in the cream and serve with naan, kulcha, shahjani pulao or biryani.
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