Today we will focus on two most enterprising Indian vegetarian dishes that are equally popular across Singapore. In fact, both are so delicious that it is very difficult to make a choice when you go to a restaurant or order home delivery. There is not much historical information available for both the dishes. But we simply cannot ignore them taking into account the unabashed popularity of these two dishes even among the non-Indians.
This is a vegetarian version of meatballs that is highly popular across the Indian vegetarian population in India, Singapore and elsewhere in the world. Instead of meat, these balls are made from gourd or unripe bananas. The dish can be cooked mild or spicy as per the demands of the person having it. The Malai Kofta is cooked in a gravy of tomato, cream and myriad spices and the balls soak in the flavours gradually. This dish can be had with Naan or just steamed rice. This dish originated in Punjab in India but its popularity has appealed to many restaurateurs across the globe and multiple variations of this are now available.
A history of its origin
Now this will disappoint many food lovers across the world. Unfortunately, we do not have wealth of information about the exact origin of this wonderful Indian vegetarian dish but we do know that it all started from the Indian subcontinent. In the early days, this dish formed an integral part of the South Caucasian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian cuisines. It is widely believed that Malai Kofta became popular during the Mughal rule in India.
The Malai Kofta is typically made with Malai (heavy cream) and the koftas are basically deep-fried balls made from cottage cheese (Paneer) or a mixture of mashed vegetables, chopped cashews, and sweet potato. For the cream, restaurants all over the world generally, use refrigerated coconut milk.
How popular is this dish?
Malai Kofta is not one of those Indian dishes that you can have every weekend although there is no sin in having it every day even. We have found out that in India Malai Kofta is regarded as a special dish and is generally prepared during occasions. What makes this popular even among hardcore non-vegetarians is that the outside is very crunchy in nature and the inside of the koftas are very soft. This creates a unique taste in the mouth and even we loved it although we prefer to have chicken tandoori on any day. Although we love the version of Malai Kofta which had cottage cheese inside it, there are other variants available widely such as those made from mixed vegetables and gourd.
Picture Credit: https://www.thecuriouschickpea.com/vegan-malai-kofta-indian-dumplings-in-curry-tomato-cream-sauce/