I tasted malai kofta for the first time in Rishikesh in 2006 and fell in love.
However, beyond the challenge of making the dish vegan, I would give up every time I checked a recipe for this amazing dish – the task seemed too complex.
But now, when the blog is a big boy (or a girl, I haven’t checked yet, lol), and I have gained more experience with recipes, it’s about time to pick up the glove and make these insanely delicious dumplings in the vegan version. It’s not a dish you prepare when you return hungry and tired from work! You have to make Malay Kofta with love and patience!
On the other hand, I discovered that it is not such a story! Besides, we will make them in Air Fryer.
So what exactly is a Malai Kofta?
Dumplings made of boiled potatoes and “paneer” cheese with cashews, deep fried, and served with a rich tomato curry sauce.
I decided to add my personal touch: I filled the dumplings with pistachios and cranberries and replaced the fresh tomatoes in the sauce with dried tomatoes, and last but not least, instead of deep frying the koftas – I baked them in an air fryer.
I got an insanely delicious dish, just as in the fried version. Even the non-vegans asked for seconds.
Accompany malai kofta with chapati, and you get a perfect satisfying Indian meal! Enjoy, and tell me how it turned out 😋🌸❣
RECIPEAir Fryer Vegan Malai Kofta
25 – 28 Koftas
- raisins, cranberries, or golden berries, as the amount of koftas
- roasted and salted pistachios as the amount of koftas
Tomato Curry Sauce
Tomato Onion Puree
- 2 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 3 minced garlic
- 100 gram sundried tomatoes
- 1½ cups boiling water to soak the dried tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoon almond butter
- Coriander leaves, chopped
- Peel the potatoes, slice them, put in a pot, cover with water, add salt, bring to a boil and cook until soft.
- Filter and leave in a colander over a bowl to drain completely.
- Drain the tofu from the liquid, and press it lightly to squeeze out more liquid; Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the potatoes well until there are no lumps. Add the crumbled tofu and mix well.
- Add almond butter and oil and mix well. Add chopped coriander leaves, ground chili, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and salt.
- Add amaranth flour and cornstarch and mix well to form a soft dough.
- Oil your hands and make dumplings in the shape of balls with a diameter of about 3 cm (1.2 inches). Make a dimple in each dumpling with your finger and press in one pistachio and raisin. Close the dumpling with your fingers and, gently roll it again into a ball with your palms, place it on a plate.
- Heat the air fryer to 180 degrees Celsius (356 F) for 20 minutes. To bake in the oven – see the note below.
- Add the kofta to the basket – 5-7 units at a time.
- Fry until the koftas are nicely golden – if necessary, add a few more minutes. Keep aside.
Tomato Onion Puree
- Put the dried tomatoes in a bowl and add a cup and a half of boiling water until the tomatoes are covered. Cover the bowl – leave for about ten minutes. Drain, but keep the water. We will use them later.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the onion until it becomes translucent.
- Add crushed garlic and ginger and fry while stirring until the onion turns golden.
- Add the dried and drained tomatoes and saute together for about a minute.
- Add almond butter and mix well; add 1/2-3/4 cup of the tomato soaking water and mix well; remove from the heat and let cool completely.
- Transfer to the blender and process to a smooth paste; Add water if necessary. Set aside.
- Place a wok or a wide pan on medium heat, pour the tomato and onion puree, and stir for a few seconds.
- Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk or oat milk and mix well.
- Gradually add 1/4 – 1/2 cup from the water you soaked the dried tomatoes while stirring until you get the desired thickness.
- Add salt, bay leaf, chili flakes, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and a quarter teaspoon of garam masala. Mix well and bring to a boil; Lower the heat and add the dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Pour the sauce on a serving plate and place the koftas on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or coriander leaves and serve.
- Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (374 F).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and spray or brush it with oil.
- Place the koftas 2-3 cm apart
- Brush or spray the top of the kofta with natural oil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.
- Turn over and bake for another twenty minutes until nicely golden.
- Remove from the oven and wait 3-5 minutes before removing the koftas from the pan.