Healthy Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a well recognized Indian curry dish which is traditionally very rich. Try this recipe for a healthier version that you can enjoy at home without all the guilt. The koftas (dumplings) are baked, not fried. It is still very flavorful and very delicious!


Potato – 1 large (boiled and peeled)
Paneer – 8 oz
Frozen Green Peas – 1/3 cup
Carrot – 1 (shredded)
Cilantro – 5 sprigs (finely chopped)
Cashews/Golden Raisins – 1/4 cup (roughly chopped)
Cooking Spray
Oil – 2 Tbsp
Onions – 3 medium (food processed or chopped finely)
Pureed Tomatoes – 2 cups
Ginger/Garlic – 1 Tbsp (minced)
Salt – to taste
Sugar – to taste
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp (divided)
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp (divided)
Chaat Masala – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Evaporated Milk – 5 oz can
Milk – as needed


For the Gravy:

1. Heat Oil in a medium pan.
2. Add Onions and salt — saute until moisture is evaporated.
3. Add Ginger and Garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add Pureed Tomatoes and cook until Oil separates from the mixture.
5. Add in Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Red Chili Powder and Garam Masala — mix well.
6. Add Evaporated Milk and stir.
7. Add Milk to make the gravy to desired consistency.
8. Add sugar to taste and check salt.
9. Bring Gravy to a boil and switch off the stove.
10.Serves 6-8.

For the Koftas:

1. In a microwave safe bowl, cook Peas and Carrot with 2-3 tablespoons of water for 3-4 minutes.
2. Squeeze out all excess water from the above mixture.
3. In a food processor with a chopper blade, process paneer.
4. Add Boiled Potato and again process until a dough is formed.
5. Remove dough from food processor and place into a bowl.
6. Add Peas & Carrots, Cilantro, Cashews/Golden Raisins (reserve a little for garnishing), Salt, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder and Chaat Masala — knead well.
7. Line a baking tray with foil and spray with Cooking Oil.
8. Roll Koftas into small Golf Ball size balls and place on baking tray.
9. Lightly spray Cooking Oil on all of the koftas.
10. Place tray in the oven and Broil on High until koftas turn a golden brown.
11. Flip koftas to the other side and broil once again until golden brown.
12. Remove koftas from oven and allow them to cool slightly.
13. Arrange koftas in a casserole dish and cover them with the gravy.
14. Garnish with remaining cashews and raisins.
15. Cover the dish and bake in the oven at 350 degrees (F) for 15-20 minutes.
16. Serve hot with Naan or Rice.

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How to make malai kofta without deep frying, healthy recipe for malai kofta, North Indian vegetarian recipes, party food.

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0 thoughts on “Healthy Malai Kofta

  1. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I cooked this recipe yesterday and I followed all the steps same as above, baked the koftas and they did not break but when I added the evaporated milk to the masala the milk got curdled and because of this the gravy was watery and had slight bitter taste. I used the olive oil and followed all the steps same. Please do advise.


    1. Hi Revathi,

      So sorry to hear that… We have never had an issue with evaporated milk separating so not sure what it could be. It should work just like heavy cream when mixed into masala. Sorry to be of no help 🙁

  2. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Thanks a lot for all the recipes. I really enjoy all your recipes and follow many of them. I want to try the malai kofta but would like to know if I can make the kofta in advance. I saw someone already posted similar question and you responded to make it same day. But is there anyway I can make the kofta in advance like atleast 2 days in advance. That will really help me in making the party little less stressful. Any tip would be highly appreciated.


    1. Hi Sumitra,

      The only way to make koftas in advance is to deep fry them. You can mix them in the gravy the day of the party. That way, they will not fall apart.

  3. Hello Ladies !!

    Thanks tons gals!! I am a frequent visitor of your website and keep promoting too, as I feel good work should always be recognized and much appreciated.. 🙂

    I love all your recipes. Honestly, I like the way u guys try and make all your recipes a healthy way. I must say its definitely a need of the hr 😉

    I just have one query. Once the gravy is done, can the koftas be added to the gravy just before serving or is it okay to add in a couple of hrs before? Does it really become very soft and soggy? Your suggestion is much appreciated.

    I am planning to give it a try as soon as I get your reply on this 🙂


    1. Hi Sandhya,

      Thanks so much for promoting us…we really appreciate it! Regarding the koftas, as these are not fried, they will get soft and mushy if you add the gravy too far in advance. When they are fried, they get a nice tough coating over them and are more sturdy.

      1. Thank you so much for the reply Hetal !

        Its time for me try this great recipe 🙂

        Also, one small thing, is their a way to get the email notification once the queries are answered? That way its a lil easier to look for your replies only when they are answered. Guess, I may have to enable(?) something for this to work.

        I really appreciate your help on this..


        1. Hi Sandhya,

          Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to do email notifications for comments. We’ll look into it. Thanks.

  4. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    This is really interesting receipe. I would like to know can we skip onion / garlic and what can be added instead.

    Awaiting for ur response.


  5. hi!
    I am wondering if i can make koftas ahead of time and if so,how long before can i make? can I freeze koftas?

    1. Hi Shruti,

      Since these are not fried, we would not suggest making them ahead of time and they don’t freeze well. You can make them a few hours earlier.

  6. I am not able to play this video, checked some of the others and they are playing fine. Is it just me? I want to try this recipe for an upcoming party and watching the video will be really useful!


  7. Hi Hetal and Anuja!
    I have been following your website since last year and all good till now want to ask you a question i have made malia koftas but my kofta ball’s are bit soft and little mashy so i have coted them with suji and want to deep fry them.. now is that ok to add suji to repair my mashy kofta ball?? .. plz advice me..
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Reshma,

      Sorry for the late reply… If the kofta are too mushy, you can add in a boiled and mashed potato or a slice or two of white bread or bread crumbs.

  8. You guys rock!!! This turned out so so yummy. I added some green chillies and garlic salt to the koftas. They came out beautifully…I loved the fact that they were not fried:) thank you Hetal & Anuja. God Bless!!

  9. I use Paniyaram pan to make Kadi pakoda, bade for dahi bade(Bhale) and Manchurian balls etc too..that pan is the best for health conscious people:).

  10. What are good dish compliments to Malai Koft?

    I know lassi, raita, chutney (but what kind – I have an excellent raisin, ginger, cayenne pepper, etc chutney),

    1. Hi Karen,

      Malai Kofta is usually served with naan (any flat bread) or rice. You can serve plain white basmati rice or something like Jeera (Cumin) Rice. As an accompaniment, try Spinach Raita or Cucumber Raita. Chutneys are usually not served with a dish like Malai Kofta but you can always deviate from the norm :).

  11. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    Is it possible to fry these koftas? I know that normally they are fried, but wasn’t sure if the consistency would hold up to frying. I guess I’m a glutton for fatty foods..LOL.

  12. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I have two days before my x’mas party. Can we do this recipe ahead of time? Any recommendations?

    Thank you,

  13. Another wonderful recipe, ladies! DH and I thought it was, by far, the best malai kofta we’ve ever eaten, hands down. I did deep fry the koftas as I made them for Diwali :), but they would have been just as delicious baked, I’m sure. I bought a 12 oz can of evaporated milk instead of the smaller size and I actually ended up using the whole thing instead of adding additional regular milk – we both enjoy extra gravy.

    Anyway, thanks for another keeper!

  14. i luv uor each n every dish without tasting them i can tell that they taste gr8 uor way to elaborate the method of preparing dishez adds double star in it keep it all up u r my favourite chef luv u both

    1. Hi Sejal,

      Evaporated milk is available in the same aisle as condensed milk and other baking goods. You can use any brand. Carnation is a national brand but local store brands also work well.

  15. I made this today and it came out great!
    1 thing I changed, I used sweet potato for the Kofta instead of a reg. white one and it tasted great!

    Thanks ladies!

    1. Hi Lakshmi,
      In this video we have used canned diced tomatoes and pureed them ourselves. 😉
      Also, pl. read the comment to Kurt (2 comments above) and be careful not to over-process the paneer…actually read all the pointers given above 🙂

  16. Hello Ladies,

    Nice recipe. But I have some questions. In the last post Anuja mentioned tht we are not supposed to flip the Kofta’s but in the typed receipe/method Step 11 says tht we have to flip the kofta’s. Also no where in the ingredient list does it mention tht we need to add eggs. Can you please clarify if eggs are to be added and if we don’t flip them how will the cook on the other side? Thank you

    1. Hi Dee,
      Please read the above response…i had made a mistake and have re-addressed the issue.
      I apologize for the mistake and the confusion 🙂
      Any further questions, I will be more than happy to answer (correctly)!
      Cheers 😉

  17. When I try flipping the Koftas, they seem to break apart into pieces. Is there anything I can add to the koftas to prevent them breaking apart?

    1. Hi Kurt,
      We did mention not to flip the koftas 🙁 They have egg in them and that is the binding factor. The eggs need to heat up to be able to bind the koftas so if you move them around when they have not had a chance to bind yet, they will break. Next time allow them to cook a little longer or add a little more egg (but allow them to cook a little longer)!
      Hope that helps 🙂

        1. Hi Kurt,
          My apologies…somehow I thought your question was regarding “Chicken Kofta Curry”! Sorry about that, hence the response was wrong 🙁 .
          Let me address you concern once again and this time for the right recipe 😉
          Sometimes the vegetable release a lot of water and when we make the koftas and put them in the oven, they flatten and are too soft to hold shape. Here are a couple of options:
          1. Add a couple of teaspoons of All-Purpose Flour to the kofta dough (it’ll absorb the excess moisture) and it’ll help keep the shape of the koftas.
          2. In the food-processor, pulse the ingredients instead of processing it, and then form the koftas.
          Both the above methods work well 🙂

          P.S: Apologies again 🙂

    1. Hi there,
      “Broil” is a mode that the ovens have and usually the highest (500 degrees). The heat is generated only from one side (usually top) and basically cooks and colors from one side. If you do not have a “broil” button on your oven, we suggest you heat you oven to the highest it can possibly go and then put your tray of malai koftas. Allow them to get a golden color (turning them if needed)

  18. Hey,

    I really love your website… U ladies doing a great job! Just a quick question. I have to make this dish for 10 people so could you tell me the excat quantity for the perfect gravy.


    1. Hi There,
      It depends on how many other dishes you are making for the party, if this is the only dish, we suggest you double the recipe. If you have 2-3 more dishes, we suggest you make the same quantity or one and half times more than shown in the recipe.
      One tip: do not over process the food-processor part. Just pulse till everything is well crumbled. Press into balls and make koftas. The texture comes out a lot better. We will be updating the recipe soon.
      Enjoy 🙂

    1. Hi SD,

      Sometimes, the milk powder has a very “milk powder” taste. It may be better to use heavy cream. We use evaporated milk as a fat/calorie saver.

  19. Hey ladies,
    I have a quick question, Can I use fat free milk along with the evaporated milk or I should use Whole milk?


    1. Hi Jyotsana,

      The gravy for malai kofta is usually very rich. We tried to cut down on the fat content by using evaporated milk instead of heavy whipping cream. Fat free milk might be too thin in this recipe.

  20. Hey you two! thanks so much for a delicious recipe. Is there any chance you could start adding the nutrition info to the recipe pages? That way we can compare your healthy versions to other recipes.

    Take care

  21. Hi,

    I have a question?
    After the completion of the entire dish what is the need to again bake them?

    What can be added to koftas so that they dont become flat?

  22. hi
    i tried this receipe again yeasterday.
    my husband loved it, and he asked me to make it again for his friends.
    i am very happy.
    but my koftas didnt come out well.
    in taste it was good but when i put it in the oven it went flate.
    i mean it was in patties form not in balls.
    any idea why?
    last time this didnt happen.
    otherwise it was fantastic healthy receipe.


  23. Hi Anuja & Hetal,

    Just wanted to let you know that the malai kofta was absolutely delicious!! It was a big hit for my thanksgiving party. The only ingredient I used different was whipping cream (1/2 pint) instead of evaporated milk. Thank you so much for this great recipe!!


  24. hi Anuja & Hetal,

    i tried this receipe and it came out really really nice.
    so tasty and i like your idea of not frying the koftas….
    such a helathy option and so much easier too.

    thank you so very much for helping girls like me who hardly know about cooking….
    keep updating more recipes……….

    now i am gonna try your pedas……
    looking forward to it…

    thanks once again


  25. Hi hetal & anuja,

    I tried a lot many of ur recipies they turned out great, and always before trying the recipe for the first time i use to see n read the queries of other viewers that helps a lot too.
    n here is one problem, i tried malai kofta, deep fry them but after i put them in gravy, all the koftas broke in and i read the queries that its the same problem with the other method too. can u tell any other solution????

    1. Hi Lakshmi,

      Yes, you can use half and half or heavy whipping cream. We use Evaporated Milk to save on some fat and calories.

  26. hi hetal and anuja,

    i had a quick question…is there a method to make evaporated milk (khoya) at home as its not easily accessible to me!
    pls help!

  27. Hi Beena,

    Thanks for the feedback — we’ll surely add traditional tips when we can.

    To make this recipe “traditional”, you can deep fry the koftas instead of baking them. Also, use heavy whipping cream in the gravy instead of evaporated milk or regular milk.

  28. Dear Hetal and Anuja,
    Excellent work!
    Also, when you make a healthier version of the recipe please tell us what goes in a traditional recipe because when we cook for parties I think a little indulgence is okay:-).
    Beena from NJ

  29. The one thing about paneer that makes it different from other cheeses is that it does not melt when heated. If you use another cheese, it will make a gooey mess.

  30. Thanks for this very healthy receipe.
    I just followed instructions and my malai kofta tasted very good.
    I did broil my koftas – my koftas were so soft that i was not able to get each one of them from my baking tray without breaking there something that i should have done ?

    1. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
      Thank you for the recipe.
      I just made this for Holi and I experienced the issue as gayathri with the koftas breaking apart. Everything else was on point.

  31. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    I really like your site. I have a question on the kofta. I have no idea if my oven has a broiling option. How does broiling work? Else, is there a workaround to broiling? Any tips on other possible oven settings with temperature and time would be great!

    Please keep up the good work! 🙂

  32. hi hetal and anuja,

    nice website. i have tried most of the dishes from ur website. the website is really good and nice instructions are given each time for the recepies. please continue to give good recepies. will try malai kofta for sure and let u know the result. please post new recepies as mush as possible.


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