Malai kofta translates to creamy dumplings in English which are served with creamy cashew gravy. It is a famous Indian vegetarian curry and served in Indian restaurants around the world.
Malai kofta balls are traditionally deep-fried but they can be air-fried for a healthier option. The gravy is quick and easy to make in the instant pot with no monitoring required.
- What is malai kofta made of?
- How to make malai kofta balls?
- How to make malai kofta in air fryer?
- How to deep fry malai kofta?
- How to make malai kofta curry?
- How to serve malai kofta?
- What can be eaten with malai kofta?
- How long can you keep malai kofta in the fridge?
- Can you freeze malai kofta?
- 📖 Recipe
What is malai kofta made of?
Don't get daunted by looking at the ingredient list of malai kofta. Most of the ingredients and spices are easily available in the pantry.
A little cornstarch helps in binding the koftas well so that they do not break, especially while deep frying.
The gravy is cashew-based and made with tomatoes, onions, and spices. Adding some heavy cream is optional.
How to make malai kofta balls?
Malai kofta balls or dumplings are made by mixing spices with grated homemade paneer and boiled potatoes. Mash the boiled potatoes well and then add grated paneer to them.
Divide the dough into small parts of equal size and make it into a smooth ball. First, press the dough piece in your fist a few times to make it more smooth. Then roll it in between your palms to make a smooth round ball.
Kofta balls are now ready now and can be either deep-fried, air fried, or frozen for later.
How to make malai kofta in air fryer?
Malai kofta balls are easy to fry in the air fryer if you are looking for a healthier option. However, it can take a little longer than deep frying.
I have made balls of about 30 grams each. If the size of the balls is different then the overall cooking time may change slightly.
The kofta balls are done once they are golden brown from all sides. Remove them carefully with the help of kitchen tongs.
How to deep fry malai kofta?
Traditionally malai kofta has always been deep-fried and it is a lot quicker than air frying. Also, it is a dish that is prepared once in a while so you might want to indulge in deep-fried koftas.
Heat some oil or ghee on medium-high flame in a frying pan, you will need at least an inch in height. Once the oil is hot, drop the kofta balls and deep fry them until golden brown in color.
To avoid koftas from breaking while frying, ensure that you add cornstarch while binding and making the kofta balls.
How to make malai kofta curry?
Malai kofta curry can be made on the stovetop or in the pressure cooker like an instant pot. I like to make it in the instant pot as there is not much monitoring involved.
To make kofta gravy in the instant pot, select the 'Saute' mode on the 'Normal' setting. Once the pot is hot, add oil.
Deglaze the pot by using some water and close the lid. Cancel 'saute' mode and select the high-pressure mode with the pressure release valve in the sealing position.
Add and mix the garam masala, and crushed kasuri methi. Malai koft gravy is now ready. You can add some heavy cream, but it is optional.
How to serve malai kofta?
Malai kofta is usually served for lunch or dinner. While serving, place the koftas in a serving dish and then pour the gravy over it to cover the koftas well.
Generally, one or two koftas are a good serving size depending on other dishes served in the meal.
Since koftas can end up becoming soggy if kept with the gravy, so it is best to put the gravy only when you are ready to serve.
What can be eaten with malai kofta?
To make a complete meal, other side dishes like raita (yogurt condiment), pickles, lentil crackers (papad) can be served.
How long can you keep malai kofta in the fridge?
Malai kofta can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days. Again, it is best to store the curry and koftas separately so that they do not become soggy.
When you are ready to serve, heat up the curry and the kofta balls and then serve them together. Kofta balls can be reheated in the air fryer or in the microwave.
Can you freeze malai kofta?
Yes! You can freeze deep-fried kofta balls in the freezer for 2-3 months. When you are ready to eat, you can defrost them in the microwave and heat them in the air fryer.
Another option is to freeze the kofta balls without cooking. They also stay well up to 2-3 months. When you are ready to use them, you can deep fry them or air fry them after defrosting them in the microwave.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like
- Instant pot Indian vegetarian recipes
- Matar paneer
- Palak paneer
- Dal makhani
- Grilled paneer tikka
- Paneer wraps
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Malai Kofta | Instant Pot | Air Fryer
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro (chopped)
- 2 tablespoon Heavy cream
Making malai kofta curry in the instant pot
- Turn the instant pot on "saute" mode on the normal setting.
- Once the instant pot is hot, add oil.
- Once oil is hot, add onions and saute until translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and continue to saute for a few seconds
- Add water and deglaze the bottom of the pot with a spatula.
- Cancel saute mode, close the lid and turn the pressure cook mode or manual mode on high setting for 5 minutes with 'release valve' in sealing position.
- Once done, perform a quick release by moving the valve in venting position until the silver pin drops.
- Add salt, sugar, and garam masala and mix it well.
Making kofta balls
- Add all the kofta ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Mix everything well into a soft ball.
- Divide into 8 parts (about 30 grams each) and make smooth round balls.
Air fry malai kofta balls in the air fryer (option 1)
- Preheat the air fryer to 360 °F
- Cook for 8 minutes at 360 °F.
- Flip and cook for additional 8 minutes at 360 °F.
Deep frying kofta balls (option 2)
- Heat oil in a frying pan on medium-high flame.
- Once the oil is hot drop the kofta balls gently and deep fry from all sides until golden brown.
- Take the kofta balls out from the oil and place them on a kitchen towel.
How to serve malai kofta
- In a serving plate, place all the koftas.
- Cover it evenly with the curry.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and optionally some heavy cream.