Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Malai Kofta (Indian Veggie Balls in Sauce)

Ok, so this recipe is kind of involved. I apologize posting this under the guise of being "stay at home dad  friendly", but I cooked it, of course, so it's possible, but I'd reserve this for a special occasion, or a weekend meal, as a little help would make everything go faster.

That being said, this recipe rocked. 

These are basically cheesy/veggie/potato balls, deep fried then floated in a sweet and savory sauce. Delicious. 

I looked at many recipes for this and kind of ended up doing a hybrid of a few. I suppose this one is the closest to what I made. 

Malai Kofta

For the Koftas:
1 cup potato, cooked 
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
8 oz of paneer
1 Tbs cilantro, minced
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cashews, minced
1/4 cup raisins
cornstarch for rolling (about 1/4 cup)

For the sauce:
1 large onion
2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz cans)
2 Tbs ginger-garlic paste (or equal parts minced ginger and garlic)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2-1 cup milk or water (amount will vary)
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/4 cup crushed cashews (for garnish)

Whew, I know it looks like a lot, but it's manageable. The only tough part is that it's kind of like two recipes in one as you have to make the balls and the sauce. 

It's totally worth it though.

Let's get started!


Start by peeling and cutting up your potato.

Pop the potato into boiling water for about 15 minutes. 

Keep the water on the boil and fish out the potato chunks. 

Throw in the frozen veggies.

Let them cook for about 7 minutes or until the carrots are pretty tender.

Mash the potatoes in a medium sized bowl.

Throw the veggies into the food processor and buzz until crumbly.

Appetizing, I know.
You want to make sure all the excess liquid is out of the veggies at this point. Push through a strainer or wrap in a tea towel and squeeze it out. 

It matters because with extra moisture, the balls will fall apart in the oil, or so I'm told.

Get the paneer into the processor next.

Buzz it until it's crumbly too.

Combine everything in the bowl.

 Mash everything well.

Add the spices and cilantro and mash.

I didn't have any cashews, but I had almonds, macadamia nuts and pistachios. I ground them all together. Way too much work, but I do recommend getting some minced cashews instead.

Toss 1/4 cup of the nuts and 1/4 cup of raisins into a little oil. Sauté until the raisins plump up. 

Add to the mix and combine. 

Roll little ping pong sized balls. (For the scale nerds, mine were 40g each for a total of 15)

Roll each one in cornstarch.

Continue for the rest of the mix.

Deep fry 5 at a time (or so) in 350F oil. 

Lay them out on a paper towel. 

Be VERY gentle and they are fragile and you don't want to break them now.


Let's start the sauce. 

Get an onion into the food processor.

Process until smooth.

Throw the onions into a pan with about 3 tablespoons of oil.

You're going to cook it until most of the liquid is gone.

Add a healthy pinch of salt. 

Empty 2 cans of tomatoes into the processor. 

This is only one can. 
Process until smooth.

When the onions have given up most of their liquid, add the spices. Only use 1 teaspoon of the listed 2 teaspoons of garam masala. We'll use the rest at the end.

Fry the spices for about 2 minutes and add the ginger-garlic paste (I ended up using another tablespoon).

Combine and add the tomatoes.

Cook this until most of the liquid is gone.

Ok, so this part is a little tough because I eyeballed most of it.

You are going to want to add the evaporated milk and heavy cream now, then add milk or water to get a soupy consistency.

You probably want to get it even thinner than I have it as it thickens up when the koftas are added. It was still good thick though. Your call.

Let it come up to a simmer and finish with the other teaspoon of garam masala. 

Sprinkle on the cilantro.

Drop the koftas into the sauce. 

Be very careful.

Cover them in the sauce. Again, be super careful as they almost come apart as they absorb the sauce. 

I garnished with cilantro and some of the nuts. No need for rice for this meal. Just some parathas.

Delicious and worth the work.


1 comment:

  1. you know i have seen the pictures of your post, its really awesome, now i know how to make malai kofta, it very delicious i have tried them in the restaurants before now i will make it with the help of my lumix food processor, really thankful to you.


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