Vegan Malai Kofta

If you’ve never heard of vegan malai kofta, it’s basically crispy potato-tofu dumplings in a rich, creamy sauce, laced with spices, nuts and dried fruit – that’s the way Rasika (@masalainmykitchen on Instagram) makes them! She also advises to make this dish for someone you love, and take your time with it. Enjoy!


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Vegan Malai Kofta

Vegan Malai Kofta



For the Garam Masala (recipe credit: @sarchakra):

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • One 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 strands mace
  • ½ nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp dry ginger

For the koftas:

  • One block (~14oz) of firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 46 small/ medium Yukon Gold potatoes: boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp Garam masala powder (use 1 tsp if using store bought)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½1 tsp red chili powder, salt to taste
  • ½ cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • About 1.5 cups vegetable oil, for frying

For the cream sauce:

  • 23 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Garam masala powder (use 1 tsp if using store bought)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½1 tsp red chili powder, salt to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream + more for garnish
  • 3 tsp dried fenugreek (‘kasuri methi’) for garnish (optional)


Garam Masala:

  1. Dry roast all the whole spices above for a few minutes on a low flame, until fragrant. Let it cool completely, then grind into a fine powder in a spice grinder or high-speed blender. Store in an airtight container.


  1. Crumble the tofu with your hands until smooth and there are no large lumps.
  2. Add all the above ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with your hands until the mixture comes together (it will be a slightly sticky dough) and binds well.
  3. Make round lime-sized balls/ dumplings with your hands; this recipe will make about 24-30 dumplings. (PS: These will keep well in the fridge overnight!)
  4. Next, in a deep kadhai, heat the oil on a medium flame. To know when the oil is hot enough, drop a small bit of the dough into the oil; it will bubble and ‘dance’! Working in batches, fry the dumplings carefully until golden-brown on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Cream Sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the diced onion and sauté for a few minutes until soft and slightly browning. Add the ginger+garlic and sauté 1-2 min until fragrant. Add the tomatoes + tomato paste and heat until soft. Now add all the spices and fry for a minute or two. Remove from heat. Let it cool slightly, add the 1 cup water, transfer to a high-speed blender, and blend into a smooth sauce.
  2. Return the sauce back the heat. Now add the coconut cream and adjust spices to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from heat.


  1. To serve, add the kofta dumplings to the sauce. Drizzle with more coconut cream. Crush the kasuri methi with your fingers and sprinkle on top. SERVE HOT, with naan, parathas or rice.


Find more of Rasika’s recipes at @masalainmykitchen.

Vegan Malai Kofta Vegan Malai Kofta

If you loved this vegan malai kofta, you might also like…

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Culture Tuesday: An Exploration of Indian Cuisine



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