Malai Kofta Vegetarian meatballs

Malai Kofta is one of the vegetarians' favorite Indian food recipes. They are meatballs made from mashed potatoes, fresh cheese (panner), dipped in a creamy sauce of vegetables and spices. The word kofta comes from Persian and means ground. This name designates various typical dishes of Arab and Oriental origin that are shaped like meatballs or hamburgers. Other words that are used are köfte, kefta or kufteh. For its part, the word Malai means thick cream. Most often it refers to creams made from dairy products with high-fat content. This type of cream is most often used in northern India to prepare desserts and meals. Malai is made with non-homogenized milk. In most cases, they use Buffalo milk because it has a higher fat content. The Malai in this recipe is a combination of vegetables like tomato, onion, ginger with lots of spices and yogurt. This gives the flavor and characteristic color to this preparation. Additionally, we add some spices that cannot be missed in the kitchen of India, such as coriander, cumin, and garam masala. In this post, we explain how to prepare Malai Kofta. If you know how to make meatballs in ragout sauce, making Malai Kofta will be a piece of cake for you. They have the same principle, you make a dough, which in this case will not be meat but potatoes, flours, and cheeses. You form spheres and then fry them. Finally, you prepare a vegetable-based sauce and put the meatballs already browned for a few minutes in this sauce and serve. Naturally, Indian cheese looks a bit like the fresh cheese you can get in the West, but it has differences in its preparation. For kofta preparation, Indian people use Paneer Cheese.

What is the Paneer and what are the possible Substitutes?

Paneer is a super fresh or low maturing cheese, widely used in Indian cuisine. To prepare the paneer is used lemon or vinegar. The paneer cheese doesn't have animal rennet. With which the flavor of the paneer is always slightly acidic. This type of cheese can be baked without melting because it has a very low-fat content. If you can't get paneer, you can make this recipe with cottage cheese or tofu if you're vegan.

What spices should I use to prepare Malai Kofta?

Korma is generally added to Malai. Korma is a mild-tasting curry sauce that is primarily made up of vegetables, spices, and nuts. Additionally, you can use hot peppers, cardamom, garam masala, seed cumin, and fresh turmeric is a must.

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta, the most delicious vegetarian meatloaf in India.


  • 3 unit large potatoes (450 g.        )
  • 2 tbsp of chopped coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp of buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp of wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  • 3 unit tomatoes (250 g.)
  • 2 unit onions (160 g.)
  • 3 unit garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp blond raisin
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 4 unit cardamom seeds (crushed and without bark)
  • 1 unit cinnamon stick
  • 1 unit bay leaf
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp red chili, optional
  • 1 centimetre grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 centimetres of freshly grated turmeric root
  • 4 tbsp of almond flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g. panner
  1. For the Koftas

    1. Wash the potatoes and peel them. Then cut them into thin slices of a maximum one centimetres in diameter and steam cook them. You will know they are ready when you try to prick them with a fork and it is impossible to hold them because they break.

    2. Place the potatoes in a suitable container and mash with a fork until obtaining a lump-free puree. Add the coriander, cumin, salt, and buckwheat flour.

    3. Form small balls with your hands, flour them and fry them in the pan with littleoil. Let them rest on an absorbent kitchen paper.

    For the Malai

    4. Peel the onion, and finely dice it. In a skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil,sauté until golden brown.

    5. Then add the tomatoes and the finely chopped garlic. Cook until the tomatoes are well-done. Add the tomato paste and stir a little.

    6.Incorporate the spices for the Malai sauce: the cardamom seeds, the cinnamon stick, the bay leaf, the garam masala, the red chili, the ginger, and the turmeric. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.

    7. Finally, add the ground nuts, the raisins, the crumbled panner, and a cup of water; cover and cook over high heat for about ten minutes.

    8. Turn off the stove, pour the mixture into the blender and liquefy until a thick and fine cream is obtained. Reserve.

    Put the meat balls in the sauce just at the moment of serving so that they do not soften.


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