Very delicate, rich and creamy—that’s what a Malai Kofta is. It is the ultimate seductress; gently tempting your taste buds to give in to the wonderful bursts of flavors. It is a Mughlai dish, served to kings and queens during special occasions hundreds of years ago. And it’s the dish that Masood and I would often order at Indian or Pakistani restaurants. Oh, and it’s also the dish that I thought was too complicated for me to cook at home. How wrong I’d been!
And since I love you all, I will share with you our lunch today.
It all started with these gorgeous balls of flavors…
Cottage cheese, potatoes, green beans, carrots, peas, and coriander leaves are gently folded, and shaped with love into small balls. I left them out like that for a few minutes to bask in the sunshine and enjoy fresh air. You need to show these things how much you care for them.
But just as you notice that they’re having way too much fun, drop them—gently—one by one in a pan with hot oil, and deep-fry until golden. They’ll thank you for that lovely tan.
Then you immerse them tenderly in rich gravy that contains all the wonderful flavors of blended tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cashew nuts, and fresh cream. The koftas are so soft that you need to handle them with utmost care as you sprinkle chopped coriander leaves just before serving them hot with nan or home-made chapatti.
Then prepare yourself to receive compliments for a job well done.
There are several Malai Kofta recipes available online. Some only add cottage cheese, potatoes, cashew nuts, and raisins. I don’t like my curries to be sweet, so I purposely avoided the raisins. Some bake the koftas instead of deep frying them. Some do not use tomatoes in the gravy. After going through several recipes, I liked the one that added vegetables in the kofta and used tomatoes in the gravy. I followed the exact recipe shown in this video.
Preparation of the ingredients takes forever. You need to start early if you’re cooking alone, but better get someone to assist you. By the time I was finished cooking, the kitchen sink was filled with utensils and plates to be washed, and I was left with no energy to cook chapati, so we ordered nan from a nearby restaurant. Lunch was served at 5pm! (which is why I didn’t have time for a creative photo shoot)