Malai Kofta

Gluten-free, Egg-free, Fish-free, Soya-free, Meat-free. If you are cooking this for kids you may wish to reduce the spices by half although it is not a hot curry.
Servings 4
Author Vicki Montague - The Free From Fairy


  • For the Kofta's:
  • 110 g mature cheddar cheese grated (I tried paneer being more Indian, but it didn't add any flavour!)
  • 100 g gram flour
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp homemade cashew nut cream* or bought cashew nut butter
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • A little water if required to bring the mixture together
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • Thumbnail sized piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 cardamon pods
  • 300 ml passata
  • 100 ml water
  • 3 tbsp single cream
  • 4 tbsp homemade cashew nut cream* or bought cashew nut butter
  • Fresh coriander to serve
  • Chopped cashew nuts to serve
  • Salt to taste
  • *For the cashew nut cream:
  • 1 cup roasted salted cashew nuts
  • 100 ml water


  1. To make the kofta's, place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and bring together with your hands until firm.
  2. Roll into 8 balls of equal size.
  3. Place on a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees (170 degrees fan oven) for 25 minutes, turning once.
  4. In the meantime make the sauce by placing the onion in a large pan with a little oil and water. Cook over a low heat with the lid on until translucent but not brown. Add more water if it becomes dry and starts to brown.
  5. Allow the water to evaporate, then add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for a further minute.
  6. In a separate pan, dry fry the cumin seeds, chilli powder, coriander and tumeric over a medium heat for a minute or so until you hear the cumin seeds pop.
  7. Add the passata, water, dry fried spices, cardamon pods, cashew nut cream or butter and salt to taste and simmer over a low heat for a further 10-15 minutes. Add more water if the sauce becomes too dry.
  8. At the end of the cooking time add the single cream and stir until heated through.
  9. To serve, place the sauce in a bowl and add the cooked koftas. Scatter over some chopped coriander and cashew nuts and serve with rice and papadums (checking that they are gluten-free!).