Cashew-Cream Malai Kofta

Updated: Jan 2

This vegan twist on the classic Punjabi dish maintains the creamy texture and complex flavors without requiring heavy cream or paneer! Though made with very simple ingredients, this crunchy, creamy, and spicy dish is sure to save you a trip or a carry-out order from your favorite dinner spot.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

For koftas

  • 2 medium carrots

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • 2 medium potatoes

  • 2 tbsp gram flour

  • 10 sultana raisins

  • 2 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tbsp chaat masala

  • 1/2 medium green chili

  • 2-inch ginger

  • 3 tbsp cashew pieces

  • salt and pepper to taste

For curry

  • 5 medium tomatoes

  • 1 onion

  • 10 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 medium green chili

  • 2-inch ginger

  • 1/2 cup cashews

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cloves

  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp red chili powder

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tbsp channa masala or chaat masala

  • salt to taste


Directions

For koftas

  1. Boil potatoes and peas. Peel the potatoes and mash both.

  2. Grate carrots and ginger. Finely mince the green chili. Add these to the pea potato mixture.

  3. Add garam masala, chaat masala, gram flour, cashew pieces, sultana raisins, and salt to taste. Mix well. Make sure the consistency is similar to that of kneaded dough. If required, add gram flour to adjust the consistency.

  4. In a frying pan, heat oil. When is it ready, form 2-inch balls of the batter. Gently place them in the pan, and fry on medium heat until golden brown. Repeat for the entire batter, and set the kofta aside.

For curry

  1. In a pan, heat up the oil. Add cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and peppercorn. Let sizzle!

  2. Grate ginger and garlic. Mince chili. Finely chop onions and tomatoes. Soak cashews in the cup of hot water. Set aside for 10 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, add ginger and garlic to the pan. Sautee for a minute. Add onions. Sautee until they become pink.

  4. Add chili and tomatoes. Then add salt, chili powder, turmeric. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

  5. Blend the cashews into a paste. Add to the pan. Add another cup of water.

  6. Bring the curry to boil, then let simmer for 5 minutes. Add garam masala, stir, and remove from heat.

  7. Use a hand blender to blend the curry until the texture is smooth.

To serve

  1. Heat the curry and add chaat (or substitute channa) masala.

  2. In a serving bowl, place the koftas. Pour the gravy over. Garnish with cilantro, cashews, and ginger strips.

  3. Enjoy with naan, rice, or roti!

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