Vegan Malai Kofta (Indian curry with dumplings)

Do you love Indian food?

Is that a stupid question?

I’m sure some people aren’t big fans, but even the pickiest eaters I know go nuts for Indian – it’s kinda like sushi that way.

I have always loved Indian food, and my absolute favourite dish to order is Malai Kofta. It’s a thick, creamy tomato sauce with cheese dumplings. I then order fresh baked naan, saffron rice and maybe – as an appetizer – some deep-fried vegetable pakora…

Yeah, Indian food can also be heavy! And trust me, regular Malai Kofta is not vegan.

Now, I’m not vegan myself, but when I see a chance to lighten up a recipe and make it suitable for my lovely vegan friends and blog readers, I’ll do it!

Copyright to The Guiltless Life

It should be noted: my knowledge of Indian cooking is next to nothing. I have a lovely Indian lady who is one of our next-door neighbours who has given me some pointers, but beyond what I’ve picked up from her and other chefs I have met, I am still as clueless as ever.

I tried my hand with this delicious Riso alla Orientale and this Tofu Curry, and both are great, but I still wasn’t confident to just launch out on my own. So I turned to a great blog for ideas before trying this recipe out myself – this is adapted from Spices ‘n’ Aroma‘s wonderful blog.

So give it a try and see what you think; I may still have failed you if you are going to compare this to your favourite Indian restaurant’s takeout. But for an at-home, vegan version with a fraction of the calories, I hope you like it!

Copyright to The Guiltless Life

Vegan Malai Kofta (adapted from here)

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 heaped tsp minced ginger
1 heaped tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
4 ripe tomatoes
5 tbsp almond meal + about 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup silken tofu + 1-2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Fresh cilantro (around 1/2 cup chopped, or to taste)
8 falafel balls (I used Veggie Patch falafels I buy ready-made at the store. Otherwise you can use my recipe here)
1 cup basmati rice
2.5 cups water
2 pinches saffron


1. Heat oil in large pan. Add garlic and ginger, stirfry 2 mins. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir 30 seconds.

2. Puree tomatoes in blender. Add to frying pan. Turn heat down and let it simmer for 30 minutes, until thick like a paste. In the meantime, add rice, water and saffron to a separate saucepan and let boil and cook.

3. Mix almond meal and water till it forms a paste. Add to tomato mixture, simmer 3-4 mins. Gradually add water until it forms the consistency of sauce you want (you might not need the full half cup). Then puree the tofu with water to form a paste and fold that in. Sprinkle in garam masala. Add in falafel balls.

4. Let simmer 5-6 minutes. Serve kofta over rice and sprinkle over cilantro.

Copyright to The Guiltless Life

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving, if serves 4):

347 cals
10.6g fat
– 1.2g saturated fat
217mg sodium
55.5g carbs
– 5.8g fibre
10.8g protein

UPDATED TO ADD: I’ve linked this post up on Katie’s site as part of her new Marvellous in my Monday link party! Check it out…


  1. I am absolutely making this. I adore Indian food. Perfect timing as I am doing my meal,planning right now.

  2. Sam @ Fit for my Fork says:

    I had never had Indian food until I moved to England, but I am obsessed with it now. We’re going out for a curry tonight and both of us have been looking forward to it all week! lol This looks amazing Anna. Sometimes dishes at the curry house aren’t particularly nice to look at (even though they taste good) but yours looks great!

    • Ooh Indian food is great in England, isn’t it? Because we have a fairly high immigrant population from India in Vancouver we often get great Indian food here too, if you go to the right places. Authentic Indian food is amazing. I think I read somewhere that the most popular “British” dish is curry, lol.

  3. I do love Indian food but have never tried to make it myself! Something to do though, especially because this looks mighty tasty!

  4. You have NO IDEA how excited I am to try this! 😀 Thanks girl!

  5. this looks great! i’ve never had this dish out at a restaurant, but i know i love indian food! you started a craving i think!

  6. This looks awesome Anna! Funny my last two posts were all Indian…and included Malai Kofta (a version of!) … this looks super!

  7. I love indian food and it has been TOO long!

    I just love the roti too 😉

    Happy Monday! ❤

  8. I used to work at an Indian restaurant here in NYC- Tabla. We got to try all the foods and it was pretty amazing. I was addicted to these Cheese Kulcha (I called it a glorified grilled cheese) Such wonderful spices


  9. I dont think I’ve ever had anything like this. It does look really good though, I’ll have to give it a try sometime! 🙂

  10. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I love indian food! We have a restaurant here that serves an Indian buffet and it is to.die.for!

  11. Emily Butler says:

    I’ve never had Indian food, oy. I might just have to cook it myself, starting with this recipe!

  12. ittybitsofbalance says:

    Can you believe that I’ve NEVER had Indian? Will and I always say that we want to go, but just never seem to end up there and reach for Thai instead!

  13. I love love love Indian food! It’s so rich and delicious. It does fill you up really fast though!

  14. So I have never tried or made indian food but I want to! Your pictures make it look so good and all of the flavors together I’m sure make it delicious!

  15. Reblogged this on 60spunk.

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