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Malai Kofta: My favorite Indian dish I never knew about


I’ve had this vegetarian dish, Malai Kofta, a handful of times across India, and just about every time I’ve enjoyed it. It’s one of those things I never saw (or maybe just didn’t notice) on an Indian restaurant menu in America, but here, it’s everywhere. Delicious and tasty, it’s one of my favorite Indian meals.

Last week I took a cookery course here in Palolem, Goa. While I didn’t end up doing much of the cooking, it was a fun way to get to play around in someone else’s kitchen. And the food, for the most part, turned out delicious. Below is the recipe for the Malai Kofta which we made.

Recipe for the kofta balls

malia kofta india

  • 1/2 kg boiled potatoes, smashed
  • 150g cottage cheese, grated (mozarella would also work)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • pinch of aniseed powder (anise)
  • pinch of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g flour
  • little bit of spring onion, chopped
  1. Mix all together with an egg
  2. Roll mixture into small handful and coat in semolina (paniermehl)
  3. Shallow fry the koftas on low heat

Recipe for the curry

Malai Kofta

The curry, in process...eventually it turns yellow

  • 250g cashew nuts, blended with salt & water
  • 2 chopped onions
  • garlic
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • fresh ginger
  • fenu greek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  1. Heat a little oil
  2. Add in 2 chopped onions & some garlic & fry up
  3. Add 1 star anise & 6 cardamom pods
  4. Add pinch of black pepper
  5. Add cinnamon sticks
  6. Add handful chopped fresh ginger
  7. Cook until onions are golden brown, then add in 2 chopped tomatoes & a pinch of salt
  8. Add fenu greek seeds
  9. Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  10. Add the blended cashew nut mix
  11. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Serve koftas with the curry, as you please: in gravy, or over the top of the kofta on a plate

Recipe is courtesy of Krishna at the Butterfly Bookshop, Main Road, Palolem.

  1. I am making this this weekend, okay, after Christmas though. I love Indian food and this looks delightful!

  2. Alouise says:

    I also equate food with traveling. I like to try and recreate the food that I’ve had while traveling at home. These look really yummy.

  3. Yenhsravkeviv says:

    mmmmmmm makes me wish I was back in India right now!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Awesome, I just ate that two days ago at an Indian restaurant in the states. After traveling through India it became one of my go-to choices too! :)

  5. Travelsofkiera says:

    I love that you sent this recipe – we will try it out! Would be great if you could send 1 recipe from each country so we could try to live even more vicariously through you :) miss you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    That looks great! I’ll definitely have to try out this recipe.

    • Adam says:

      Definitely do! And let me know if it works out – hopefully I haven’t missed some detail or anything :?

  7. Alex says:

    Looks delicious ! Thanks for the recipe, one more to try during the holidays :)

  8. Sarah Wu says:

    That looks really yummy Adam!

  9. Jack and Jill Travel The World says:

    Love malai kofta. Not as much as I love paneer-anything, but malai kofta is pretty up there on my fave Indian dishes.

  10. Manjari says:

    Indeed India is a gr8 destination and its food is typically good.Each platter in India is characterized by the extensive use of various spices, herbs and other vegetables, and sometimes fruits grown in India and also for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society. Each family of Indian cuisine includes a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques

  11. Lawrence says:

    These look so delicious, I can’t stop drooling over the picture at the top of the post, YUM! Think I’ll try cooking these tonight

  12. am going to try it out, i hope i do it right

  13. The Epic Adventurer says:

    Tell me you have eaten dal makhani — black lentils. The BEST comfort food in India! We just can’t make it the same way back home…

  14. Shazzad Hoshien says:

    Really so nice indian dish. It’s also my favorite. Thanks for sharing….. :)

  15. Susan says:

    That looks awesome.

  16. Navya says:

    Hi Adam!
    I’m a Foodie n I really loved this Recipe.I”ll try this for sure..
    Thank You for the mouth watering Recipe..

  17. Gayatri says:

    Dude, here are few delicious Indian dishes you should try out….
    Modak, Vadapao, Pav Bhaji(Maharashtra),
    Aalu Parantha, Aalu-Matar-Paneer(Punjab),
    Benne Dosa(Karnataka),
    Gajar ka Halva,
    Roshgullah(West Bengal),

  18. Megan says:

    Catching up on your India posts – we were there at roughly the same time! Crazy.

    This post made me laugh because I ordered malai kofta all.the.time and every time I did, it was terrible and I swore I’d never order it again…but I remember it being so awesome the first time I went to India in 2008!

    I never had it in the south, though, was too busy spending too much money on fresh fish in kerala :D

  19. […] that stand-out for their food: India and Vietnam. In India, I fell in love with Malia Kofta (get a recipe here). I always loved Indian food, but the food in India was that much better. In Vietnam, I tried a few […]

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