Malai Kofta Curry (vegetable balls in thick gravy)

I always used to order Malai Kofta Curry (vegetable balls in thick gravy) whenever we ate out as I used to think that this must be a very complicated dish to make.  But believe
me it’s not!! It’s a fantastic dish to make as it’s rich and spicy but also contains loads of vegetables. The dish requires quite a few ingredients and preparation.  Apart from that, it’s not too difficult.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

Ingredients for the koftas:

  • 2 cups of any mixed vegetables – (I used frozen carrots, cauliflower, green beans and peas)
  • 1 cup of diced potatoes ( I used small new potatoes)
  • small bunch of fenugreek or spinach (what ever is available)
  • 1-2 cups of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½  teaspoon chilly powder
  • ½  teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon blended green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon blended garlic
  • 1 teaspoon blended ginger
  • 1  teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 litre oil for frying (I used  sunflower oil)

Ingredients for the gravy

  • 2 cups of blended tomatoes ( I used Passata as it helps to make a thick gravy)
  • 2-3 small onions
  • 2-3 spoons of melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1-2 small sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½  teaspoon chilly powder
  • ½  teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon blended green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon blended garlic
  • 1 teaspoon blended ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon of mixture of ground cinnamon and cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons of jaggery (or sugar)
  • 1 cup of cream – (I used double cream)
  • ½ cup of cashew nuts
  • 2 teaspoons of corn flour (or you can use chick pea flour)


1.   Mix the frozen vegetables, fenugreek and potatoes and cook them until soft.  I washed and drained the vegetables and microwaved them for 5 minutes and again 5 more minutes.  The time would depend on the size of your microwave.

2.    When the vegetables have softened, blend them either by using a masher or a food processor.
3.    Add the spices – salt, chilly powder, turmeric, blended green chillies, ginger, garlic, garam masala, lemon juice and mix.
4.  Now add the bread crumbs slowly until the mixture feels firm enough to make into small balls. You should get 15-16 kofta balls.

5.   Deep fry the kofta balls.  To stop the kofta balls from being sticky -the best way is to either coat your hands with some oil when forming the balls or you can dip your hands in some breadcrumbs. I tried both ways and it worked fine and the koftas fried well without breaking. In the picture below, the koftas on the left were coated with breadcrumbs and the ones on the right with oil. 

6.  Now to make the gravy – Blend the tomatoes, onions and cashews in a blender.
7.  Heat the butter and add in the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon.
8.  When the cumin seeds get darker – add in the blended tomatoes.
9.   Add the spices, salt, chilly powder, turmeric, blended green chillies, garlic and ginger, garam masala, ground cinnamon and cloves, lemon juice and jaggery.
10. Add two cups of water to the gravy.
11.  When this gravy starts to boil, lower the heat and add in the corn flour.
12.  Allow the gravy to cook for 5-6 minutes and add in the double cream (saving a bit for the garnishing) and stir well.

13.  Transfer the Koftas to a serving dish and pour the gravy over the koftas

14. Garnish the kofta curry with some cream and cashew nuts.

15.  Allow the koftas to soak up all the gravy spices for half an hour and serve hot with rice. Be gentle when serving as you don’t want to break any of the koftas.

My recipe has been simplified to make cooking easy but fun for people who are busy but like to eat at home without having to follow complicated recipes.   Please experiment with different vegetables and your favourite spices to make your own version of kofta curry.

Have you tried the Waitrose vegetarian kofta curry?  Read what I thought of it here.

I also have a cheat kofta curry recipe you can try making when you are in a hurry.

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