Malai kofta with spicy gravy

This North Indian dish is often served at Diwali and makes the perfect dinner party dish.

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 774
  • fat 45g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 78g
  • sugars 12g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 19g
  • salt 1.18g


  • 800g potatoes, peeled
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g fine breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying
  • 2 heaped tbsp grated paneer cheese
  • 5 cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp each ground coriander, cumin and chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • large piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds, crushed to a powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut or cashew nuts
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp each garam masala, ground coriander, cumin and sugar
  • flaked almond and single cream, to serve


  1. Boil the potatoes until tender, then drain, return to the pan and put over a low heat to steam dry for a few mins. Mash with some seasoning and cool.

  2. Mix all the filling ingredients together. Make 12 balls of potato. Take one, press your finger into it to make a little hole, then place a little of the filling mixture into the centre. Pinch the potato back over to seal and shape into a round. Repeat with remaining potato balls and filling. Roll each kofta in flour, dip in the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Fill a deep saucepan halfway with oil, and heat until a small piece of bread browns in 20 secs. Fry the koftas in batches for a few mins until golden, then set aside on kitchen paper.

  3. For the gravy, blend together the onions, garlic, ginger, poppy seeds and nuts in a food processor to a purée. Heat the oil, then fry the onion purée until just turning brown. Add the puréed tomatoes, spices and sugar. The gravy should be quite thick, but if you want to thin it down a bit, add a little water.

  4. When the gravy comes to a boil, add the koftas. Heat through and serve with a drizzle of single cream and some flaked almonds scattered on top.

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