I first had this heavenly treat as a kid at a restaurant in my neighborhood and it was probably the best vegetarian dish I have ever savored. I still remember biting into that cottage cheese dumpling, with the nuts and raisins and finally that smooth creamy gravy to finish that delicious bite. Layers of goodness, I say 🙂
Unfortunately whenever I ordered this at other restaurants, they came up with a brown malai kofta curry, much to my dismay. Not that it isn’t good, but when you expect something and receive something else, you sure do feel disappointed. I realized later that this dish has 2 variations, one nutty and cream based which gives it that awesome cream color, and the other one is tomato based.
In this variation , no spice powders are used to distort the color of the gravy , standing true to its name ‘ malai ‘ which means cream in Hindi . Even the kofta balls are fried ever so gently to prevent them from browning , so as to maintain the cream color. The spice comes from the chillies and the sweetness and nuttiness from the cashewnuts, cream , and cardamom . A little warning – if you are counting calories , forget it !! Please don’t ! This is definitely indulgent 🙂
I have been wanting to make this at home, but the ingredients that I found online didn’t strike a chord with the flavors I was looking for, until I came across this recipe by Chef Harpal. He very rightly describes this dish as ‘hot rasmalai’, which very much is a savory version to the popular bengali sweet rasmalai
I hope you aren’t terrified by the long list of ingredients, yes it’s a lengthy procedure and time consuming , but hey it’s worth the effort once in a while 🙂
Recipe courtesy : Chef Harpal Singh
For the kofta balls:-
500 grams paneer
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
salt to taste
oil as required for deep frying
For the Gravy :-
4 white onions
3 tablespoons oil
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 cup cashew nut paste
6-8 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/2 cup cream
salt to taste
Preparation of the koftas-
1.In a pan on medium low heat ,saute cashew nuts and almonds for a minute, add raisins , saute until they puff up. Remove from the pan and set aside. The stuffing is ready.
2.Grated the block of paneer, add khoya if using, mash nicely , now add corn starch, salt to taste and cardamom powder. Knead this mixture well to form a dough.
3. Make a lemon sized ball, make a well in the center and add the stuffing mixture, seal all over and roll until the surface is nice and smooth.
4. Roll the prepared kofta balls in some cornstarch ( this prevents them from browning easily )and deep fry them, stirring slowly and carefully. Drain on a paper napkins and set aside. Let’s prepare the gravy.
Preparation of the gravy –
1.In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot enough add bay leaves, cardamom , saute until fragrant.
2.Add boiled onion paste ( see notes), saute for 3 minutes on medium heat.
3. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes until oil starts oozing out.
4. Add cashew nut paste ( see notes) ,slit green chillies and saute for the next 6 to 8 minutes. Whnits cooked cashew nut paste will form a lump and ooze out oil. Keep stirring to prevent it from burning.
5.Add 3 cups of water, stir and bring to a boil.
6. Once the gravy has boiled, you may strain for a smoother gravy.( This is optional)
7. Add butter, sugar, salt and cardamom powder. Stir well.
8. Finally add 1/2 cup fresh cream, Give it a final stir.
1.To serve, put the prepared koftas in a serving platter and pour this luscious creamy gravy all over it. Serve immediately with some naan/paranthas.
- Onion paste- Quarter the onions, and boil in sufficient water until it softens. Remove the onions and grind it into a fine paste.
- Cashew nut paste – Take whole/ broken cashew nuts in a pan, add 3 to 4 cups of water , cook until the cashew nuts are done. They will float on top once they are done. Strain them , and grind to a smooth paste.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a beautiful week 🙂