Malai kofta is a very famous curry in Indian cuisine, it is a rich curry because of the ingredients used in it. Koftas (balls) are made with paneer (home made fresh cheese) and curry is made with malai (cream), some people call it paneer kofta. In almost all Indian restaurants, this dish is sure to be found. Whenever I am anticipating a vegetarian guest at home, I make this dish.
Paneer is a fresh cheese, which is used from ages and is common in South Asian cuisine and used a lot in north India cuisine. Paneer dishes are many and paneer is used in different types of recipes. One form of paneer is called chhena, which is a slightly different version, when water is drained out and milk solid is used. In this version paneer is not pressed to make it harder to get cubed sized shape.
These days paneer is so popular, and so many new paneer preparations are just mushrooming in north Indian markets. In Delhi, I have seen Idly shaped Dhokla stuffed with paneer, paneer wraps and paneer toppings on pizza, just to name a few.
In my family a majority of people like paneer and all its preparations. My eldest grandson loves paneer dishes, once he sees that a paneer dish is made, he will first clap and do a dance at the dining table and then will sit down to enjoy the food.
Chhena is normally used for making sweet dishes, a lot is used in Bengali sweets, in this recipe I have used chhena. Normally the gravy of these curry is very rich in which full cream is used, but I have used half and half which is easily available in North America. Half and half is a light version of cream in which half is milk and half cream is used.
- 1 and ½ l milk
- 3 tablespoon vinegar
For kofta balls:-
-300 paneer or chenna (home made)
-100 grams semolina
-50 grams rice powder
-salt to taste
- chilli powder to taste
-Oil for frying
-200 gram onion ( one big)
-200 grams tomatoes ( one Big)
-2 cups half and half (We get in North America, which is half cream, half milk)
-3 tablespoon oil
-1 tsp cumin seeds
-1 tsp garam masala
-2 tsp coriander powder
-½ tsp red chilli powder
-salt to taste
-finally chopped fresh coriander for garnishing
For Chhena :-
- Boil the milk in thick bottomed sauce pan.
- When it starts boiling add vinegar and mix.
- The water will separate from the milk solids.
- Sieve the whole thing to remove water from it, Leave the milk solid in the sieve for 30 minutes.
- Chhena is ready.
For Kofta balls:-
1.In a bowl mix chenna with semolina and rice flour, add salt and pepper, make small kofta balls and keep it aside.
2.Heat the oil on a medium flame, when the oil is hot, fry these balls till light brown.
3.Leave it to cool for some time.
- heat oil in a wok, when hot, add cumin seeds and fry till they change the colour.
- Add finally chopped onion and fry till golden brown.
- Add finally chopped tomatoes and fry for few minutes, add all dry masals and leave it to cool.
- Once cold, transfer this mixture in a blander, add half cup of water and pulse for few minutes.
- Pour the mixture back into wok, add half and half and boil for few minutes.
- Add the koftas, boil for a minute and switch off the gas.
- Serve in a flat try, garnish with fresh coriander.
This can be served with nan, roti, parantha or plain rice, can be served to 4-5 people.