No.113 Fried Potato and Paneer Korma “Malai Kofta”

Malai Kofta is traditionally made with mashed potato and paneer dumplings fried and coated in a korma gravy. I love this dish but the soft heavy dumplings and rich thick gravy make it stodgy so I’ve made a rich but light korma gravy with crispier lighter dumplings. The water softened almonds give a creamy note to the korma and overall the flavour is more like a northern Indian or Afghan korma. The kofta have become more like pakora or Jewish potato latkes. Compared to the original dumplings they are crunchy and surprisingly lighter than the traditional “heavy weight” koftas.

This can be vegan and dairy free if you omit the paneer and use vegetable stock. You could use a vegan cheese but ideally go for a mozzarella style to get similar to the flavour of paneer.

Side note: you can make the kofta before and freeze them. This means you’ll need to cook them longer after you’ve taken them out the freezer.


1 Onion

20g of Ginger

3 cloves of Garlic

45g Blanched Almonds

250 ml of Water

500ml of Chicken/Vegetable Stock

45g Raisins

1 and a half tablespoons of Tumeric

1 teaspoon Garam Marsala

1/2 tablespoon of Black Pepper (Ground)

1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 tablespoon of Tomato Purée

1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar


800g of Floury Potatoes e.g. Maris Piper

120-150g of Paneer

1 Onion

3 tablespoons of Nigella Seeds

2 tablespoons of Cornflour or potato starch

Vegetable Oil

1/2 tablespoon Salt

Day before

1. Place the almonds in the water overnight to give them time to soften.

On the day

1. Begin by preparing the gravy. Finely dice the onion, garlic and ginger. Add to a large pan on medium low heat with some oil. Sweat until softened.

2. Meanwhile in a blender pulse together the almonds and the water to make a smooth almond milk.

3. Once the onions have softened add the garam marsala, black pepper and turmeric. Mix together and cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.

4. Now add the stock followed by almond milk and sugar. Mix well.

5. Simmer for 10 mins. Stir frequently.

6. With a hand blender blend the gravy until smooth. Then add the raisins and simmer on low.

7. Make the kofta. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Now either grate the paneer or cut in 16 thin squares. If you grated the paneer mix with the grated potato.

8. Place the potato mixture in a kitchen cloth and squeeze out excess water. Return to a bowl and mix with cornflour or potato starch and nigella seeds. Add extra cornflour or potato starch if needed to bind together.

9. Form 16 flat discs into balls of the potato mixture. If you have made squares of your paneer place in the middle of the discs and ensure the paneer is covered with the potato.

10. In a large pot add the oil to half a thumbs length and bring to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).

11. Fry the potato koftas in batches of 4-5 for around 3 minutes each side until well browned. Remove and place on wire rack in the oven to keep warm.

12. Sprinkle the Koftas with salt to serve and serve the gravy in a separate bowl.

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