Paneer Kofta is deep-fried Paneer balls served in a delicious and rich tomato and cashew curry. Melt in mouth paneer kofta balls are almost similar to malai kofta. These kofta balls are served in a luscious and creamy restaurant style creamy gravy. You can serve this paneer gravy with any bread of your choice roti, paratha or naan.
Paneer kofta recipe is a delicious and rich kofta recipe that belongs to the family of royal Lucknow cuisine. These are also known as malai kofta because malai is a Hindi word that means cream and kofta are fried balls. So the term malai kofta literally means koftas/fried balls dunked in a creamy sauce.
What is Kofta?
Kofta is made minced meat or ground meat but in India, vegetarians make the Veg kofta like paneer kofta, potato or Aloo Kofta, banana or Kele ka kofta and my favourite Lauki Kofta. Word Kofta is derived from the Persian word Kufta which means “to grind” or “to beat.
About Paneer Kofta
Fried balls of potatoes and paneer are served in a rich, creamy gravy made with onions, tomatoes and cashew. Most of the times I make a double batch. You can enjoy them as a teatime snack like these crispy Paneer cheese balls or like kebabs.
So half of the paneer kofta balls are enjoyed as a teatime snack and I use half of them for making this Paneer Kofta curry.
How to Make Paneer Kofta Balls?
Making Paneer Kofta Balls
For making kofta, I mix grated paneer with boiled and mashed potatoes. It makes them soft and kofta binds better. For the kofta stuffing, I use a mix of dry fruits like cashew and raisins.
Finally, these paneer kofta balls are deep-fried until they are golden brown and crispy from the outside. I have deep fried the paneer kofta but you can bake them or air-fry if you do not want deep-fried stuff. You can bake them in the oven in an aebleskiver pan or appe pan so that they retain their round shape while baking.
Gravy For Paneer Kofta
Gravy for Kofta is made using onion and tomatoes. Cashew paste is added for giving a rich texture and creaminess to the kofta gravy. The recipe of paneer kofta balls is almost similar to malai kofta except I did not add malai in this kofta. Malai kofta is served in white gravy which is slightly sweet in taste.
You can also make this same kofta in white gravy, which is made with cashew and fresh cream. But white gravy is ultra-rich so I have left that for very special days.
Paneer Kofta Recipe Video
Recipe Notes & Tips
- This is a mild gravy so do not use chilli varieties with high heat. Kashmiri red chilli powder is perfect for this recipe.
- For Perfect bright orange restaurant style gravy use red ripe tomatoes. With kashmiri red chilli powder these tomatoes are great for bright orange colour.
- The initial gravy looks reddish in colour it is the addition of cashew nuts that turns the gravy into bright orange colour.
- When I am in a hurry I make them in this Makhani Gravy which is always there in my fridge.
- Use homemade soft paneer for the best results.
More Such Recipes
If one Veg kofta recipe that qualifies to be on the menu for every party, get together, and special occasions, this is the one. Whenever you want a little lighter everyday kofta curry you can try this Lauki Kofta recipe. If you are looking for a no onion no garlic fasting recipe you can try this kele ke kofte.
I often serve the Paneer kofta gravy with naan, roti or paratha. You can also serve paneer kofta balls as an appetiser or teatime snack with chutney.
Since Kofta balls turn soggy very easily so in case you want to store this dish store kofta balls and kofta gravies in two separate containers. You can store them in fridge for upto 2 days. When You are ready to serve reheat gravy and kofta separately.
To serve, in a bowl place kofta balls and pour gravy. Serve it immediately.
Similarly you can store paneer kofta as described above for upto 12 weeks. When you are ready to serve first thaw gravy and kofta balls on counter. Reheat them separately. To serve, in a bowl place kofta balls and pour gravy. Serve it immediately.
More Paneer Recipes
Paneer Tikka Masala
Aloo Matar Paneer
Methi Malai Paneer
Paneer Butter Masala
Paneer Kofta Recipe - Malai Kofta
- 200 g Paneer or cottage cheese
- 100 g boiled mashed potatoes
- 2 Tbsp Corn flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 Cashews
- 12 Raisins
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 100 g onion paste
- 1 Tsp Green chilies Ginger paste
- 150 g fresh tomato puree
- 75 g tomato puree readymade from packet
- 2 leaves Tbsp corianderchopped
- 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red chili powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 4 Tbsp Cashewnut paste
- ¼ Tsp Kasuri methi
- Grate the paneer/cottage cheese in a bowl and mash it well. Add mashed boiled potatoes, salt, coriander leaves and cornflour.
- Make a tight dough by mixing all above ingredients.
- Divide this mix into 12 equal portions so that you can make small balls out of each portion.
- Put some oil in your palms and take one such portion and flatten it , add one cashew and one raisin in middle and then again seal this into a ball shape.
- Repeat the process with rest of the portions.
- Heat some oil in a kadhai or deep utensil.
- Once the oil is hot turn the heat down to medium low and put one ball in hot oil if it is turning out well add rest of the paneer kofta and cook them till golden brown.
- Fry the koftas till they are light brown and keep it aside.
- For the gravy, heat a pan and then add oil.
- Add bay leaf and cinnamon stick, cook them for about 30 seconds and add cumin seeds.
- When cumin seeds start to crackle add onion paste and ginger and chili paste.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes while stirring in between so that onion paste is light brown in color.
- Now add fresh tomato puree and regular tomato puree together, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt to taste and cook till mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.
- Add water and bring the kofta gravy to a boil.
- Add cashew paste and allow it to simmer gently over low heat. Cook it for 5 minutes.
- Add kasuri methi and switch off the heat.
- Remove from heat and garnish.
- Now keep the paneer kofta and gravy separately till you are ready to serve. Otherwise, kofta can turn soggy.
- When you are ready to serve, serve gravy in a serving bowl and place kofta over the gravy and garnish with coriander leaves and cashew paste.
- Add all purpose flour or corn flour for more binding of koftas.
- You can make this in cashew based tomato curry to reduce the richness
- Add watermelon seeds paste to Shahi curry with cashew paste for richness.
- Fry the koftas in low to medium heat to cook them well and prevent burning
I love paneer kofta thanks for sharing it. Can I add some Malai, cream just a little bit?