Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta

Low Carb Keto Friendly Malai Kofta 

My very first time visiting India, we went to a friend's wedding. It was a lavish event that lasts a week with various ceremonies and of course lots and lots of food. One such ceremony was held the day before the wedding and it involved close friends and family of the couple and a lot of mouth-watering dishes. By that point, I had not had meat for almost 4 weeks and I was really craving it, so when they brought out the Kofta Curry, in my total innocence, I assumed it to be meat. They were shaped like meatballs. As I bit into one, I totally fell in love with the dish.

Malai Kofta curry (loosely translated as "meatballs" in cream sauce) is an amazing mixture of Mughlai and Indian influences on food. It's a rich and spicy sauce made with heavy cream and thickened with cashews with the airy koftas, made from paneer and vegetables with either a raisin or a nut inside as a surprise, swimming in it. To this day, this is my favorite vegetarian Indian entree. 

Traditional koftas are made with mashed potatoes and paneer, so going low carb on this involved some thinking. I used zucchini and kohlrabi for my vegetables together with paneer and coconut flour to bind it all together. I fried the koftas till golden brown in coconut oil and then made a gravy with a little onion, a few cashews, garam masala and lots of heavy cream. The secret ingredient to this dish are the dry fenugreek leaves.


  • 150 g paneer
  • 150 g zucchini (grated and well drained) 
  • 50 g kohlrabi (grated and well drained) 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
  • 70 g onion
  • 20 g tomato
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cashews
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 cup water


The Koftas

  • Grate the paneer
  • Grate all the vegetables and drain well by squeezing them through a kitchen towel
  • Mix the grated paneer with the vegetables, the salt, chili powder and garam masala
  • Add the coconut flour and mix well until combined
  • Shape patties or balls an d shallow fry them in coconut oil

The Sauce

  • Heat a bit of coconut oil in a pan and add the onions. Fry till golden, add the ginger and garlic and the tomatoes. Then put everything through a food processor and puree.
  • Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and puree it like that. Add the tomato puree and the spices. 
  • Add water and allow to cook till flavors are combined. Once some of the water has evaporated, add the heavy cream and allow to thicken. You can make this thinner or thicker.
  • At the end add the crushed dry fenugreek leaves and turn the stove off.
  • Add the koftas  in the sauce and serve with the stir fried cauliflower rice.


  • You can add more low carb grated vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli or other root vegetables.
  • Replace ing coconut oil with butter or ghee will enhance the flavors even further. 

Nutrition Information

  • Number of Servings 4
  • Calories Per Serving 318
  • Fat 27g 
  • Carbs 11g
  • Fiber 3g
  • Net Carbs 8g
  • Protein 10g
  • Fat 77%, Protein 13%, Net Carbs 10%

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