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Much like any other Indian festival, Holi is all about friends, fun and togetherness. And of course, lots of colour, water and that other something which flows in abundance this time of the year!

So naturally, come lunch time, stomachs will be rumbling for some wholesome comfort food. And there’s nothing more heart-warming than the two dishes that Chef Danish Ashraf, Executive Sous Chef at the Renaissance Convention Centre Hotel has offered to show us – Malai Kofta and Meen Moilee (Kerala Fish Curry). And I’ve gotta say Chef Danish was warm and incredibly patient with us all through the shoot, despite the mounting pressures of a kitchen that was about to open to guests!

In case you want to skip the cooking and try out the dishes (they were unbelievably delicious), you can do so at the Lake View Cafe on March 27. These dishes will feature in the Holi spread during lunch, from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm.

Two lucky couples stand to get 50% off on this scrumptious lunch by entering the contest (contest closed on March 26, 2013)

Please find the recipes below and we do hope you try them out! Real Reviews extends a hearty thanks to Chef Danish, Carol Braganza and everyone else at the Renaissance Powai who helped put out these videos!

Malai Kofta (serves 4)


For gravy

Onions – 1.5 kg

Curd – 90 gm

Oil – for frying

Vanaspati ghee – 30 gm

Whole garam masalas (bay leaf, black cardamom, green cardamom) – 10 gm

Charmagaz (melon seeds) paste – 30 gm (20 gm of charmagaz make 30 gm of paste)

Cashew paste – 100 gm (80 gm of cashews make 100 gm of paste)

Chironji paste – 30 gm (20 gm of chironji make 30 gm of paste)

Cream – 30 ml

Red chilli powder – 3 tsp

Slit green chilly – 1

Cumin powder – 1 Tbsp

Turmeric – 5 gm

Coriander powder – 3 Tbsp

Salt – 1 Tbsp

Coriander powder – to taste

Salt – to taste

For koftas

Cottage cheese (paneer) – 500 gm

Boiled potatoes – 100 gm

Ginger – 40 gm

Green chillies – 10 gm

Coriander leaves – 30 gm

Garam masala – 1 Tbsp

Salt – 1 Tbsp
For the filling

Cottage cheese – 50 gm

Khoya/mawa – 100 gm

Black cumin seeds (shahi jeera) – 2 Tbsp

Raisins – 60 gm

Saffron – 2 gm (a pinch)

Nuts – 60 gm

Real Reviews: Ingredients for Malai Kofta


For gravy

1. Pour Vanaspati ghee into a pan. To this, add all the whole garam masalas and cook for a few minutes till the mixture is light brown in colour. This way the oil is infused with the flavours of these masalas. Remove the whole garam masalas with a slotted spoon.

2. In the same oil, add cumin seeds and let them crackle. To this, add finely chopped onions and cook till the mixture is brown in colour. When done, the oil will separate and the onions will come together.

3. Blend these onions with curd and make a smooth paste.

4. Now add some more ghee to the pan and add the paste. Let it cook for 2-3 min. To this, add turmeric, slit green chillies, cumin powder and coriander powder. Next add the cashew, chironji and charmagaz pastes.

5. Let the gravy simmer for a few minutes until the curd tastes cooked. Keep stirring to keep the gravy from sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burnt. If the gravy becomes too thick, add some water and continue to cook till it is done. It will take about 3-4 gentle simmers (cook for approximately 15 minutes).

For koftas

1. Prepare the filling by mixing all the filling ingredients together. Mash and mix well.

2. Take a little of this mixture in your hand and form a round ball. Make a well in the centre of the ball with your thumb and put the filling in it. Pinch the kofta ball together, gently rounding it again between your palms till the filling inside is completely covered.

3. Put the kofta balls aside and let them rest for about 30 min. Dust the balls in corn flour and fry in hot oil at a low flame to ensure that both the inside and outside of the koftas are well-cooked.

4. Before adding the koftas to the gravy, if required, thin down the gravy with water or cream. Add the koftas to this gravy and cook again for about 5 min.

To garnish

Mix some saffron strands into a little hot milk and pour over the top of the koftas. Serve hot with rice or naan.

Real Reviews: Malai Kofta by Chef Danish Ashraf of Renaissance Convention Centre Hotel, Powai

Chef’s Tips:

a) Using Vanaspati ghee since it helps the gravy congeal when stored in the deep freezer

b) For best results, the kofta mixture should be rested for some time before making the koftas

c) During the preparation of the gravy, keep the cashew and charmagaz paste separate. If mixed together and kept aside, the paste will turn greyish


Meen Moili (serves 4)

Fish – 1.2 kg

Coconut milk – 150 ml (from 425 gm of freshly grated coconut)

Onions, finely chopped – 25 gm

Onion roundels – 25 gm

Juliennes of garlic – 35 gm

Juliennes of ginger – 75 gm


Green chillies


Whole red chillies – 20 gm

Whole coriander seeds – 20 gm

Curry leaves – 5 gm

Bay leaves – 2 gm

Cumin seeds – 6 gm

Fenugreek seeds – 4 gm

Mustard seeds – 5 gm

Turmeric – 3 gm

Salt to taste

Coconut oil – 50 ml


1. For this preparation, Pomfret, Kari Meen and Basa can be used.

2. Extract the milk from freshly grated coconut and keep aside. Extract additional milk from the same coconut for a second time and keep separately. The first extract will naturally be thicker then the second extract. You can also use packaged coconut milk or mix water into powdered coconut to get the desired consistency. In these two cases, the gravy will be thinned using water.

3. Cut fish darnes of approximately 1 inch.

4. Marinade the fish with lemon juice, turmeric and ginger , cover with cling film and keep it in the fridge for half an hour. The salt will be added just before putting the fish in the gravy.

5. Heat the coconut oil. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, whole red chillies and coriander seeds. Let them crackle and add chopped onions and roundels of onions. Sauté for a few minutes. Then add juliennes of garlic, ginger and green chillies.

6. Add the second extract of coconut milk and then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

7. Add the fish darnes, followed by the first extract of coconut milk. Let it come to a simmer.

8. Check for seasoning and cook till the fish is done for 6-7 minutes.

2 Responses

  1. Tazeen Faridi

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.I tried it,it was excellent.
    Tazeen khala

  2. Manisha Sharma

    I am glad u tried the recipe and it turned out excellent….