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Vegan Malai Kofta Curry in a black bowl with cilantro sprinkled on top and golden kofta balls on the side against a green napkin
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5 from 22 votes

Vegan Malai Kofta, Indian Style Dumplings in a Creamy Tomato Onion Curry

A creamy, restaurant-style recipe for vegan Malai Kofta, a pretty Indian dish with creamy round dumplings in a golden-orange sauce. Also a gluten-free recipe.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Curry
Cuisine: gluten-free, Indian, Vegan
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 258kcal


For the vegan malai kofta:

  • 16 oz super firm tofu (also called high protein tofu. Grate the tofu and then pulse five to six times in a food processor)
  • ½ cup raw cashews (make a very fine powder in a blender or food processor without adding any water)
  • 1 medium potato (boiled, peeled and grated)
  • 1 green chili pepper (like serrano or jalapeno. Deseed for less heat and mince really fine. Add more or less based on your personal preference)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated fine)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
  • Salt to taste
  • 32 golden raisins (optional, for stuffing the kofta dumplings. You can also use finely chopped nuts like pistachios or cashews)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying You need enough oil to immerse the balls, which are about 1.25 inches in diameter.

For the tomato-onion creamy curry:


Make the kofta:

  • Place the tofu, cashews, potatoes, cornstarch, minced chili peppers, ginger and salt in a bowl and knead until the dough holds together. The dough will be soft but it will hold together. Form 16 smooth balls with the dough. If you're stuffing raisins into the kofta dumplings, flatten the dough first in your palm a little, place two raisins in the middle, then shape into a ball.
  • Heat oil in a small wok or saucepan, until a small piece of the kofta dough added to the oil sizzles immediately and rises to the top. Deep fry the kofta balls in batches on a medium flame until they are deep golden on the outside.
  • Place the kofta balls in a large serving bowl.

Make the curry sauce:

  • Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon
  • Add the onions and saute until the onions are soft and just beginning to turn color.
  • Add the ginger and garlic, saute for no more than 30 seconds, then add in the turmeric, cayenne and coriander powders. Stir to mix.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are pulpy and broken down, then add in the cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds and kasoori methi and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  • Remove the entire mixture to the blender, add two cups of cold water and process to a really smooth paste.
  • This step is optional, but you can strain the sauce at this point for a really smooth texture.
  • Add the sauce back to the pan and bring it back to a boil over low heat. If it's too thick to your liking, dilute with more water. Mix in the garam masala and add salt. Stir in the sugar if using, and turn off the heat.
  • Pour the hot sauce over the kofta balls, and serve immediately.


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 443IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 12mg