Malai Kofta - Paneer Dumplings in Rich Gravy

It is after ages I am participating in the South-vs-North (SNC) Challenge. It is not that I have not been wanting to, I really wanted to participate. But of late, most of the challenge recipes were sweets. Even though I bake quite a lot of cakes and cookies, Indian sweets really scare me from trying. The amount of ghee, sugar syrup and all the calories that go into making it gives me a mini heart attack while reading the recipe itself!!! This time, the challenge for the Southern team was a gravy, a dish I have been wanting to make for long, so how could I ignore it?

When Nupur of UK Rasoi posted the Malai Kofta as the challenge, I was really excited. I prepared it the same day for dinner and relished it like anything. Even the men in the house, really loved it. Despite it being vegetarian, the curry is so rich that you may have to consider fasting the next day to waive off the calories!!! Anyway, indulgence once in a while is permitted, right? ;) Thank you so much Nupur, for tempting me to make this...

Malai Kofta - Paneer Dumplings in Rich Gravy
Serves 4
Recipe adapted from here


For kofta/ dumplings:
100 gm paneer, crumbled
2 meduim potatoes, boiled and mashed
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp milk powder
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For gravy:
1 tbsp oil
Whole spices (1 bay leaf, 1 small pc cinnamon, 1 cardamom, 3 cloves, 3 peppercorns, 1 star anise)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 meduim onions, sliced
1 sachet (80 gms) tomato paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 cup water
100 gm fresh cream, at room temperature
1 tsp kasuri methi
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing


Combine all the ingredients for the koftas apart from the oil in a bowl and mix well. Shape them into dumplings. I got 12 with the above measurements. Heat oil in a kadai (deep fry or shallow fry, totally upto you). Meanwhile keep 2 tbsp corn flour in a small plate. When the oil is heated, roll one dumpling in the corn flour, touch off the excess and put into oil. Fry all the sides till done. Repeat till all the dumplings are completed. Drain on kitchen towel and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat oil. Fry all the whole masalas for a minute. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is gone. Now add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook till it becomes almost browned. Switch off the flame and allow to cool completely. Grind the onion with a little water to a smooth paste.

Put back the onion paste into the saucepan along with the tomato paste and start to cook on low flame. Add in the masalas and cook for around 7 minutes on low flame with closed lid and on high flame for around 3 minutes till the mixture gets cooked well. Keep stirring in between to ensure it doesn't get stuck to the pan. Add the water and continue to cook till the desired thickness is reached.

Lower the flame, slowly add the fresh cream while continuously stirring to ensure that the gravy doesn't curdle. Cook for a further five minutes. Sprinkle in the kasuri methi and adjust the salt. Switch off.

While serving, warm the curry slightly. Arrange the koftas on a platter and pour the curry on top. Sprinkle the coriander leaves on top and serve with roti, naan or rice! Delish!!!


1. I've used tomato paste instead of tomato puree in my curry. If using tomato puree, then use around 2 cups and cook till it thickens and is cooked.
2. You may add 1/4 cup cashew paste while adding water for extra richness. The cream was already scaring me, so I didn't want an additional scare by adding cashew paste! Nevertheless, the gravy was really rich.

Linking it to Nupur's space...

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