Malai kofta is a hugely popular dish on Indian restaurant menus all over the world. It is a special occasion food probably because making it is a labor of love and takes time and effort

Malai (meaning creamy in Hindi) kofta is the perfect vegetarian alternative to meatballs. It goes very well with naan (tandoor-baked flatbread) or Jeera rice.


  • For the Koftas
  • 2 cups potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, sweet corn; boiled)
  • 1 cup paneer cubes
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashew nuts)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins (finely chopped)
  • 3 cups vegetable (or canola or sunflower cooking oil for frying, or more as needed)
  • For the Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
  • 2 large onions (quartered)
  • 2 tomatoes (quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (lightly roasted and ground into a powder)
  • 3 tablespoons nuts (cashews and almonds, ground into a thick paste)
  • 1 cup water (warm)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this kofta dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Kofta

  1. Gather the ingredients.Ingredients for kofta
  2. Wash, peel, and dice the potatoes.Wash and peel potatoes
  3. Boil them in a pot of water until fork tender.Boil potatoes
  4. Drain and set aside.Drain
  5. Next, boil the veggies until crisp-tender.Boil veggies
  6. Drain and set aside.Drain
  7. In a large bowl, mash the boiled potatoes, mixed vegetables, paneer, and cream together.Mash ingredients
  8. Add the kofta spices – cumin, coriander, and red chili powder – to this mash and mix well. The resulting dough should be firm. If not add some more boiled potato. Season with salt.Add spices
  9. In a small bowl, combine the chopped nuts and raisins.Add chopped nuts
  10. Make this dough into balls and put a 1/2 teaspoon of the nut and raisin mix in the center of each ball.Add filling
  11. Roll into perfect rounds.Roll into balls
  12. In a large pot, heat the oil kept aside to fry the koftas, on a medium flame.Heat oil
  13. Deep fry these rounds till pale golden in color.Deep fry
  14. Drain on paper towels and keep aside.Lay out of paper towels

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.Ingredients for sauce
  2. Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan and fry the onions till light brown.Onions in pan
  3. In a small food processor, place the fried onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red chili powder, and grind into a paste.Process
  4. Put this paste back into the pan and fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala.Paste in pan
  5. Add the poppy seeds powder and nut paste and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.Add poppy seed powder
  6. Add 1 cup of warm water (the sauce for this dish is meant to be thick so do not add too much water) to this masala to form a gravy. Mix well. Season with salt.Add water
  7. Bring the gravy to a boil and then reduce the fire to a simmer.Stir
  8. Gently add the koftas to this gravy and cook uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes.Add koftas
  9. Turn off the fire and sprinkle the garam masala all over the top of the dish.Add spices
  10. Cover immediately and allow to sit for 5 minutes.Cover
  11. Serve with hot naans (tandoor-baked leavened Indian flatbread) or jeera rice.Serve
  12. Enjoy!Malai kofta

Nargisi Kofta (Indian Lamb and Egg Curry)

Indian Scotch Egg Kofta Curry (Nargisi Kofta) | Shemins Indian Curry Recipes

This dish may sound complicated, but it is actually fairly simple to make. Koftas are basically meatballs—served as is or on skewers—but this recipe takes it to the next level. Hard-boiled eggs are encased in a meatball-type mixture of lamb and seasonings, dusted in flour, and deep-fried until crispy. Then they are served in a delicious gravy of tomatoes, spices, and yogurt for creaminess. Add nargisi kofta to a dinner party menu and friends will think you cooked all day to prepare it for them.


  • For the Koftas:
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 pound lamb (finely ground)
  • 1 medium-sized onion (chopped very fine)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped very fine)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 6 to 8 cups vegetable cooking oil (or canola or sunflower oil, for deep frying)
  • For the Gravy:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil (or canola or sunflower oil)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped fine)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 3 medium tomatoes (ground to a smooth paste in a food processor; do not add water while grinding)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 8 tablespoons fresh yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Garnish: fresh coriander leaves (chopped)

Steps to Make It

Make the Koftas

  1. Cook 6 eggs until hardboiled, about 10 minutes. Immerse immediately in cold water and then peel. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, put the ground lamb, onion, garlic, turmeric, red chili, garam masala, 1 egg, and salt to taste. Mix well to form a smooth paste. Divide into 6 equal portions.
  3. Take one hardboiled egg and a portion of the lamb mix and wrap the lamb mix around the egg, smoothing with your hands to form an even “casing” around the egg until it is fully covered. Repeat with all the remaining hardboiled eggs, placing all on a plate.
  4. Sprinkle all of the coated eggs with a fine dusting of rice flour. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep pan.
  5. Whisk the last remaining egg in a bowl and dip each egg, gently shaking off excess. Place in hot oil and deep-fry until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Prepare the Gravy

  1. Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan and add the chopped onions. Fry until light golden in color and then add the ginger and garlic pastes.
  2. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes and add the tomato paste and all the spices including the garam masala and salt to taste. Mix well. Fry until the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  3. Add the yogurt and 1/2 cup water to the masala. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the prepared koftas to the gravy and fold in very, very gently to coat on all sides.
  5. Cook for 1 more minute and turn off the heat. Slice the eggs in half horizontally.
  6. Garnish the dish with chopped fresh coriander and serve hot with chapatis.

Serving Nargisi Kofta

This hearty and crispy dish can be served either as an appetizer or entree. For a first course, place one kofta with a bit of gravy on individual plates and accompany with Indian round flatbread known as roti or chapati. Alternatively, you can serve the entire dish—either out of the pan or on a serving platter—alongside basmati rice for sopping up the sauce. A bit of roti is also welcome.

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