Creamy Malai Kofta Curry (No onion, no garlic)

 


Creamy Malai kofta Curry (no onion, no garlic) is an amazingly rich, spicy and finger-licking north Indian curry made with fried potato-paneer (Indian cottage cheese) dumplings (koftas) smothered in a rich gravy made with tomatoes and cashew infused with exotic Indian aromatic spices without using any onions and garlic. It pairs well with any Indian flat bread like roti, naan, parathas etc. and most times is the best curry to enjoy with a bowl of hot steaming Basmati rice or even any pulao or biryani!

With lots of festivals just around the corner in India, most households normally avoid using onion and garlic in their meals during those days for religious or spiritual reasons. Most kids and adults alike love north Indian curries any time and when festivals are around; you hear many complaints about how they are unable to eat their favorite restaurant like curry!

I know I loved to indulge my kids by making nutritious and lip-smacking curries without using any onions and garlic and they were a happy lot! Even without adding any onions or garlic, this malai kofta curry is loaded with flavors and textures. It is so simple and easy to make and takes about 30 minutes!

It involves two steps: making the malai koftas – fried dumplings or koftas made with mashed potatoes, mashed or grated paneer (Indian cottage cheese; easily available in any Indian grocery store or you can make your own by boiling milk, adding some lemon juice or vinegar to it until it splits and then draining the whey to get fresh homemade paneer) and some flavorful Indian spices. I have encased some black raisins in each kofta for that extra richness and sweetness, giving it a royal touch!

The second step is making the gravy: puree tomatoes with lots of cashew nuts (I have avoided fresh cream in the curry as cashew paste lends enough creaminess to the gravy) and spices to make a satiny smooth puree which is then sautéed with additional aromatics to impart a spicy, flavorful aroma and taste to the gravy. 

The final step is to dunk the koftas in the delicious gravy just before serving. Mixing them ahead will result in a soggy kofta which is totally unappetizing! Garnish with finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves or crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and grated paneer and serve hot with rotis, parathas, naan or even bread! We enjoyed it with methi paratha.

Do try this simple way to make restaurant like malai kofta curry without using any onions or garlic and serve them at home to your family or present it as a side dish at any party or special occasion.

Creamy Malai Kofta Curry (No onion, no garlic)
Serves 4
Restaurant like spicy and delicious potato-paneer koftas in creamy tomato-cashew based gravy; perfect with rotis, parathas, naan or even a bowl of hot steamed rice.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
277 calories
18 g
13 g
20 g
9 g
5 g
226 g
80 g
6 g
0 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
226g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 277
Calories from Fat 174
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g
31%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 13mg
4%
Sodium 80mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 18g
6%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
36%
Vitamin C
44%
Calcium
8%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the koftas
  1. 200 gm paneer (Indian cottage cheese, store bought or homemade), grated (1 cup); keep some aside for garnishing the malai kofta curry at the end
  2. 2 medium sized potatoes boiled, peeled and mashed well (about 1 cup)
  3. 1 tsp garam masala powder
  4. ½ tsp crushed dried fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi
  5. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  7. 2 to 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  8. Few black or golden brown raisins (optional)
  9. Oil for deep frying
For the gravy
  1. 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped roughly
  2. ¼ cup cashew nuts
  3. 2 green chillies/jalapenos
  4. 1 inch piece ginger, chopped
  5. 3 cloves
  6. 1 inch piece cinnamon
  7. 2 tablespoon oil plus 1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
  8. ½ teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  9. ¼ teaspoon hing/asafetida
  10. 1 green cardamom
  11. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  12. 2 tsp coriander powder
  13. 1 tsp cumin powder
  14. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  15. 1 bay leaf
  16. 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  17. 1 tsp garam masala powder
  18. ½ tsp crushed kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves
  19. Salt to taste
Topping and garnishing
  1. 1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
  2. Finely chopped coriander leaves/cilantro
  3. Or crushed kasuri methi
To make the malai koftas
  1. In a large bowl, add the kofta ingredients, except the raisins.
  2. Mix well to form soft dough which holds together. You can add additional cornflour if you feel the need.
  3. Make small golf ball sized round balls, flatten a little bit, place a raisin or two in the middle and form round small balls.
  4. Continue with the rest of the dough.
  5. Heat oil in a deep pan for frying and once the oil is hot, gently slide the kofta balls into the hot oil and fry on medium high heat, until crisp and golden brown. Try not to over crowd the pan or the koftas could break. Transfer koftas to paper lined plate to blot the excess oil.
  6. Keep the ready malai koftas aside.
To prepare the gravy
  1. Boil tomatoes, cashew nuts, ginger, green chillies, cinnamon and cloves in a deep saucepan in just enough water for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once cool, blend to a fine puree and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a deep saucepan/kadhai and once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, cardamom, hing and bay leaf. Saute until aromatic; a few seconds.
  4. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and turmeric and fry again for a few more seconds.
  5. Once the spices are slightly sautéed and aromatic, pour in the blended tomato-cashew puree along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of canned tomato puree (for color and thickness) and mix well.
  6. Add salt to taste along with a pinch of sugar (to balance the acidity of the tomatoes) and mix again.
  7. Stir in water (rinse the jar in which the tomatoes were blended for additional water) and adjust the consistency to your liking.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  9. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings and water accordingly.
  10. Once the gravy is ready, top with 1 tsp of ghee (optional, but gives a nice gloss and taste to the gravy), garam masala powder and chopped cilantro or crushed kasuri methi; give it a good stir and remove from heat.
To assemble the malai kofta curry
  1. Just before serving, transfer required amount of gravy to a serving dish.
  2. Place the koftas (only the required amount you will need) in the gravy, and serve hot with additional garnish of grated paneer and cilantro.
  3. Add malai koftas only before serving; kept in the gravy for too long, they will become soggy and mushy.
Notes
  1. You can stir in a tablespoon or more of fresh cream to make the gravy creamier.
  2. Substitute almonds instead of cashew for a different flavor and texture or a mixture of both.
  3. Vary spices in the gravy for different flavors in the curry.
  4. If you like onions and garlic in your curry, feel free to add them in the puree.
beta
calories
277
fat
20g
protein
9g
carbs
18g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Malai Kofta Curry with step-by-step method:

To make the malai koftas:

  • In a large bowl, add the kofta ingredients, except the raisins.

  • Mix well to form soft dough which holds together. You can add additional cornflour if you feel the need.

  • Make small golf ball sized round balls, flatten a little bit, place a raisin or two in the middle and form round small balls.

  • Continue with the rest of the dough.

  • Heat oil in a deep pan for frying and once the oil is hot, gently slide the kofta balls into the hot oil and fry on medium high heat, until crisp and golden brown. Try not to over crowd the pan or the koftas could break.

  • Transfer koftas to paper lined plate to blot the excess oil.

  • Keep the fried malai koftas aside.

To prepare the gravy:

  • Boil tomatoes, cashew nuts, ginger, green chillies, cinnamon and cloves in a deep saucepan in just enough water for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • Once cool, blend to a fine puree and keep aside.

  • Heat oil and ghee in a deep saucepan/kadhai and once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, cardamom, hing and bay leaf. Saute until aromatic; a few seconds.

  • Add coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and turmeric and fry again for a few more seconds.

  • Once the spices are slightly sautéed and aromatic, pour in the blended tomato-cashew puree along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of canned tomato puree (for added color and thickness) and mix well.

  • Add salt to taste along with a pinch of sugar (to balance the acidity of the tomatoes) and mix again.
  • Stir in water (rinse the jar in which the tomatoes were blended for additional water) and adjust the consistency to your liking.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Do a taste test and adjust seasonings and water accordingly.
  • Once the gravy is ready, top with 1 tsp of ghee (optional, but gives a nice gloss and taste to the gravy), garam masala powder and chopped cilantro or crushed kasuri methi; give it a good stir and remove from heat.

 

To assemble the malai kofta curry:

  • Just before serving, transfer required amount of gravy to a serving dish.
  • Place the koftas (only the required amount you will need) in the gravy, and serve hot with additional garnish of grated paneer and cilantro.

  • Add malai koftas only before serving; kept in the gravy for too long, they will become soggy and mushy.
  • Enjoy!!

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For more similar curries, try:

Lauki Kofta Curry

Mushroom Tikka Masala

Shahi Lobia Masala Curry

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