Malai Kofta – Instant Pot

Malai Kofta – A classic north Indian dish, often served in restaurants; is made with deep-fried vegetable dumplings{koftas} that are tossed in a creamy tomato based sauce.

The traditional recipe is a 2-step process. First, the kofta/dumplings are made using assorted vegetables and cheese or ground meat, spices and then deep fried. The dumplings are then added to a creamy tomato based sauce. The result is a melt in the mouth, delectable dish that can be enjoyed with steamed rice or Indian bread. Do check out my recipe for the Chicken Kofta curry recipe.

The secret ingredient in this recipe that makes it super fast are the GRÖNSAKSBULLAR veggie meatballs from IKEA. They are made with chickpeas, green peas, kale, corn, onion, red peppers and pea protein.

malai kofta

A few weeks back a friend of mine made an incredibly delicious Punjabi Kadhi with vegetable balls in her Instant Pot. When I told her how much I loved it, she brought me a huge bag of frozen vegetable balls from IKEA! Yes, the Swedish furniture store! These veggie balls looked great and I could not wait to try them.

Last Friday, while I was debating between a take out and cooking something quick, I decided to put the vegetable balls to test in my InstaPot. I used the healthy and easy butter chicken sauce recipe, tossed the frozen veggie balls and cooked for a minute. The result was a big bowl of yumminess that my boys wiped out in no time.

If you do not have IKEA near you, I would suggest trying your local grocery store for other meatless meatball options, paneer or tofu as a substitute!

Malai Kofta - Instant Pot
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
Malai Kofta - A classic north Indian dish, often served in restaurants; is made with deep fried vegetable dumplings{koftas} that are tossed in a creamy tomato based sauce.
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (or any mild red chili powder)
  • 3 plum tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 can coconut milk (regular and not low fat)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala**
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 24 frozen vegetable balls
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  1. Set Instant Pot on Saute(More) mode, after the 'hot' sign displays, add ghee.
  2. Add onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent for 2 mins (with a glass lid on to speed this process)
  3. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and red chili powder. Mix well.
  4. Separate the coconut cream and water. Keep the coconut cream aside. Add only the watery portion of coconut milk and pureed tomatoes mixing with spices.
  5. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 4 mins followed by quick release.
  6. Open the Instant Pot, allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Using a hand blender, carefully blend the sauce until smooth. Stir in tomato paste, garam masala, fenugreek leaves and sugar.
  7. Add frozen veggie balls. Close Instant Pot lid with sealing and cook on Manual(Hi) for 1 minute, followed by quick release.
  8. Add the coconut cream and gently stir everything together.
  9. Garnish with cilantro.
  10. Enjoy with steamed rice or parathas.



24 thoughts on “Malai Kofta – Instant Pot

  1. Great recipe Archana. And what a great idea with the IKEA veggie balls. I am visiting my kids, of course with the instapot in the trunk of my car. I made this and it was a hit with my family. Archana do keep sharing these wonderful recipes.

    1. Hi Kalyani! Oh wow, you are traveling with your instapot! Very lucky family to have all yummy food cooked by you. I love those meatballs. They taste yummy in kadhi too. Thank you for your feedback as always😊

  2. I’ve been using Ikea vegan meatballs in Veg Kofta for almost all my potlucks in the past 6 months:) I’ve also made a yummy veg manchurian dish with it. I put them on my pizza oven for 5 – 6 mins before I put them in my dishes. They get a little bit of a crunch and taste fresh. I always stock two or three big bags in my freezer. They are so versatile.

    1. Good idea to bake them for a few minutes for a yummy and crunchy snack! I will have to try that soon. Thank you!

  3. Hello,

    Thanks for sharing! Can I double the recipe in my 6 Qt Instant Pot? Do you think it would compromise the dish in any way?

    1. Hi Mark! Doubling recipe works well. Saute the onions for a bit longer and then Follow same pressure cooking time.

  4. This was incredible. Malai Kafka is my favorite Indian dish and now I have a quick way to make it thanks to you!!!

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