Initially when I started cooking kofta always seemed intimidating to me. Although malai kofta was one of our favorite dishes we ordered when we ate out. Thanks to my friend who lived in Dubai at the time who shared her version of this recipe. I tried the recipe many years back with successful results. Over the years there have been slight modifications to the recipe but this one is a keeper. Rose water, cream, gold leaf are all the ingredients that make this dish shahi or royal. You can make the koftas ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 2 days or even frozen for up to 4 weeks. If you freeze thaw and use as required.
You can deep- fry the koftas if you prefer but I use the Guli appa or Aebleskiver pan to cook the koftas as it uses very less oil and is very healthy. You can always deep fry the koftas if you prefer. Guli appa is a fermented batter made of rice and dal and the batter is poured in the pan with indentations or cavities and cooked. Aebleskiver is the classic Danish dessert pan which is similar to the guli appa pan. Other uses for this pan are making dahi bhalla, batata vada etc.
About 45 minutes
For the koftas:
- 3-4 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed
- ½ paneer, grated
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp cilantro, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp cornstarch, I use the non-gmo kind
- 2 tbsp golden raisins
- 2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
For the sauce:
- 3-4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- ¼ onion, roughly chopped
- 4 tsp milk powder
- ½ cup water
- 1 cardamom, finely powdered
- 8-10 strands of saffron
- 12 cashew nuts, coarsely powdered plus 8 more to make a paste with onion and tomato
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp kasoori methi or dried methi
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp ghee or butter
- 1 tsp sugar, optional
- 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp cream, to garnish
- Gold leaf to garnish, optional
- ¼ tsp rose water, optional
Mix all the ingredients for the koftas adding cornstarch to make a firm dough. If you are deep-frying heat oil in a pan shape small balls out of the dough add few koftas at a time and fry until golden brown and drain on paper towel. Keep aside.
If you are using the guli appa pan, make the dough and shape small balls and add about 1 tsp oil in each cavity fry on one side. After 2-3 minutes turn over to fry the other side.
For the sauce:
Puree tomato, onion and 8 cashew nuts.
Take a pan add ghee or butter and heat on medium flame. Now add turmeric, red chili powder, kasoori methi and fry for a minute. Add the tomato onion puree and stir.
Mix milk powder and coarsely powdered cashew nut with water to make a paste. Add to the pan. Add saffron and cardamom powder.
Add salt, garam masala and sugar, if using.
Cook until the sauce is lightly boiling and adjust the consistency by adding more water if the sauce is thick. Turn off the flame and add a splash of rose water.
If you are serving in an hour or two add the koftas and mix lightly. Garnish with cream and cilantro.
Decorate koftas with gold leaves on top and serve hot with parathas or naan.
If you have used the guli appa pan to fry the koftas they tend to be soft as compared to the deep fried version. Add the koftas just before you plan to serve.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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