Homemade Naan with Malai Kofta

Another year is gone and we are all set with a new beginning, new dreams and new resolutions! The last few days of every year are a little bittersweet for me. The days are full of celebrations and color and smiles but in the back of your mind you always think that this is going to end very soon and life will be again back to the grind. This time was no different! All the celebrations are over, we are all back to business although still a little hung over!


But for us, although the party is over, it is not at all boring around here! A lot is going on, a lot of plans in the making and a lot of changes waiting to happen of which I’ll tell you soon. But there’s one thing that never changes here whatever be the situation and that is cooking and eating a lot of yummy food! I realized that it has been a while since I posted some good traditional Indian food here so I thought of starting the year’s first recipe with it!Asked A what he would like to eat if I plan on making something nice and Indian and without wasting a second his answer was Naan and Malai Kofta. So Naan and Malai Kofta it is!


If you know Indian food then you know what Naan is. So I don’t even want to try and tell you how incredibly delicious, light and easy to make this Indian bread is! I’ll go there though but first let me quickly tell you what Malai Kofta is, if you are already not familiar with the dish. You can just call Malai Kofta an Indian vegetarian form of meatballs where potato dumplings (kofta) are fried and later cooked with a rich and creamy tomato sauce. You can definitely make it low fat without compromising on taste and that’s what I have tried to do here with this recipe. So let’s begin with how to make fresh restaurant style Naan bread (without yeast) at home and then get to the recipe for Malai Kofta.


How to make Naan bread at home: 

Serves 4
2 cups all purpose flour or wheat flour
1/2 cup of warm milk
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp oil
These are the ingredients for dough and then you can flavor your naan with all kinds of herbs. I made cumin naan, garlic naan, butter naan and some topped with cilantro greens. So this is up to you.



Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well of flour.
Now mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.
I don’t think there’s an exact amount of liquid that should be added to the exact amount of flour to make a perfect dough. So what I do is add liquid slowly and combine it all together slowly until a soft dough is made. The dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If dough sticks to hand too much then use little bit of oil on hand and then punch into the dough.
Cover with damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.


After a few hours, dust your working board, take out the dough and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into smaller balls (in this case you should get about 8 balls to make naans).
Dust the board again and flatten the balls to make bread which is a little thick and elongated.
Now sprinkle one side of the bread with whichever flavor you want. I made cumin, minced garlic, chopped cilantro and some simple butter naans.
Brush the other side with water.
Heat a thick bottom skillet or a wok or any heavy bottom pan with a lid. Once its nicely hot place the naan wet side down which would stick and cover it with a lid.
Let it cook for about 30 secs or until you see bubbles on it.Now cook the other side of the naan over direct flame of the burner with the help of tongs. When you see some charred brown spots then you know that the naan is done.
Smother some good amount of butter on your naans and when you taste them you’ll know what a peaceful life means!

Recipe for Malai Kofta: 
As I said before, the traditional Malai Kofta is rich, creamy and nicely loaded with fat. But I tried to make a “not so fatty” version of it. I used grated squash dumplings instead of potato dumplings but you can use all kind of vegetables. By the way, the ingredients I’m going to be listing below might scare you but trust me – this dish is NOT complicated or difficult at all. And if you have to drive the car to go out and buy some ingredients, do it! Its so worth the effort!


Serves 6
For Koftas:
1 medium size bottle gourd or squash (grated and water drained)
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Corn flour to bind everything together to be turned into smaller balls later
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

For Gravy:

1 big bay leaf
2 black cardamom
3-4 cloves
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3-4 count peppercorn
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Or instead of the 6 ingredients above, you can use a tablespoon of garam masala.
1 cup onion paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 green chili
1 cup tomato puree
2 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
6-8 cashews
3 tbsp milk
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Method: For Kofta (vegetable dumplings)


The two ingredients that you see above are the hidden jewels of your dumplings! Coarsely crush fennel seeds and coriander seeds and mix them with the rest of the ingredients. Add corn flour enough for everything to bind together well.
Make lime sized balls and deep fry them in oil at a temperature of somewhere around 350 deg. F.
Fry them until the dumplings turn nice and brown. Pull them out and drain all the extra oil on a paper towel.
These vegetable dumplings are a great way to give your little ones some vegetables. Works like a charm for me every time!

For the gravy:

Grind the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, cumin and cinnamon in a coffee grinder to make a powder.
Soak cashews in milk for about an hour and 45 minutes and then make a paste out of them.
Heat oil in a pan and thrown in the onion, ginger and garlic paste.
Cook it well on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the paste turns brown in color.
Now add salt and turmeric. The sign that your onion is well is that as soon as you add salt, oil will start separating.
Add coriander powder and tomato puree. Cook it for another 10 minutes or until all the water from the tomato is gone.
Now you can add your cottage cheese. This step might seem a little unusual to those who are used to adding heavy cream to their malai kofta or mughlai gravy but trust me on this one! And I’m talking about the boxed low fat cottage cheese which has a little liquid in it with cheese crumbles and not the paneer you get in Indian stores.
Keep stirring until all the crumbles of cheese dissolve and then add cashew paste.
Mix well and at last you have to add your spices (garam masala) powder. Mix again.
Add about 2 1/2 cups of water and let it simmer for a few minutes. I like my gravy a little thick, if you want it thinner add more water.
Throw in the kofta balls and give it a quick boil. (In case of potato koftas I cook the gravy seperately and then pour it over the koftas before serving or else they tend to get soggy if left in gravy for a while.)
Enjoy your koftas with homemade naans or rice!


  1. […] accessible, walking us through the ins and outs of the various spices and techniques. Check out her Homemade Naan post to see what I mean. Not only does she write about tantalizing recipes, such as this Lamb Kofta […]

  2. […] However I need not fear because Prerna breaks her recipe down step by step and it’s actually super simple the biggest hurdle I had to get through was the one in my mind.  Isn’t that the way it always is when trying something new?  My pictures are not nearly as beautiful as hers but I am also not posting the recipe since it is not my recipe and I am so thankful she posted such an easy to understand blog post about how to make naan and I know with practice I will get better.  My post is really just more of a documentation of how I did with my first attempt at making this delicious bread and if you think you can’t make it just give it a try!  So go to Prerna’s site Indian Simmer if you want the recipe for her amazing naan. […]

  3. […] to Madhur Jaffrey.  Before I can flip past the foreword, I remember a recipe I had bookmarked on Indian Simmer.  After deciding that the Malai Kofta would have to wait for another day, I head on over to […]

  4. My mouth started watering as soon as i read your blog is about malai kofta and naan..i have always loved malai kofta since besides paneer that is the only other tasty option when you go to restaurants in India.

  5. Do you think it’s possible to leave the uncooked dough in the fridge overnight? So cook half one night and cook the rest the following day? I don’t have a freezer. I thought this might make the naan fresher (rather than cooking then chilling) – what do you think?

    • Yes totally! Freezing fermented(ing) dough pauses the fermentation process. So next day when you pull the dough out of the refrigerator it’ll be as good as last day.

  6. I am going to try the naan as soon as I can. We love naan in our house – all breads actually. The method you used looks so similar to what my grandmother did to make Challah – the traditional Jewish egg bread for Shabbat. I do, however, have a fear of dough (you can read about it on my blog) so trying this out will be part of my recovery process from my phobia. Thanks for sharing the recipes. They both look yummy, as you said, which is always the only requirement for me
    نقل العفش بالرياض

  7. “Remember that Bengali households still are known for their amazing food culture and this fact is known world-wide 🙂

    tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo :)

    and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.
we are the fifth largest speakers!

    we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage
you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have :)
its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

    its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

    did you know that the FAMOUS SEARS TOWER is architectured by another bengali?”

    MBA (IMT Ghaziabad)
    Bengaluru, Karnataka

  8. holy crap this was awesome! I do all the cooking in the house for my family ( I’m a guy) not looking for an applause because I don’t do laundry. Anyway this naan recipe, as I followed to a “T” was amazing and my wife ate atleast two of them. I just added some minced garlic to the dough and the rest as you said. If you have any suggestions on another indian dish that isn’t tandoori chicken that maybe kid friendly, I’d appreciate it.
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  9. Do you need to put any oil in the pan in which you will fry the naan? Is the oil listed in the ingredient list only for putting on your hands if the dough is too sticky to handle? I love naan and Indian food. I am definitely going to give this, and some of your other recipes a try. Sadly there are no Indian restaurants near where I live.

  10. Hello,
    We love your recipes, especially when its on Malai Kofta.
    These are so delicious.
    I have always looked at your blog for the various pictures and the way you write.Just Love it!
    You have shared some nice information about Malai Kofta in this post.
    The points you mentioned are genuine and perfect.
    The content completely describes about the topic you wanted to portray with us.
    Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

    VentairIndia Team

    • I’ve never tried doing that but I’m guessing if you make naans a little thicker/puffy (not cripsy) and freeze. Wrap in damp paper towel and then microwave right before serving. I do that with my rotis and they taste as fresh.

  11. yum. I don’t know anything about indian food but I’m looking up stuff because I want to learn recipes! I don’t think I’ve ever had an indian dish I didn’t like. I’m definitely going to have to try this since I already have all the ingredients in my pantry. Thanks!

  12. Yes, definitely! In fact that’s what I normally do. Just amke sure you do not wrap the dough together because yeast will make the dough rise and it will tear out of the wrapping and no one likes a refrigerator full of yeasty dough 🙂
    Good Luck!

  13. Hey,
    Awesome pics and recipe. Planning to try this for dinner tonight. One ques though. Can the dough be made in advance? Like in the morning of the day I want to serve it for dinner?

    • Yes the bacteria in curd will propagate. So make sure you put it in the refrigerator once the dough has risen and even then do not tightly wrap it. Give it some room to rise.

  14. The bottle gourd should be about 1 1/2 lbs in weight and should yield approximately 1 1/2 cups of grated squash (after being cleaned, skinned and drained excess water).

  15. Could you give me a weight or dimensions of a “medium sized” bottle gourd? This will be my first time attempting to make this dish, and as they say “Size Matters”!


  16. Thanks so much for posting this perfect recipe! Making Naan was easy and fun – I’m making another batch tonight to pair with your chicken tikka masala… I’ll make my husband a fan of Indian cuisine yet 🙂

  17. This was delicious! My family loved it. I can now quit buying that Naan at our local grocery store. I do have a question, I found your recipe at The Tasty Kitchen, the amount of sugar is 1/2 tsp. on that site but your recipe here says 1/2 Tbsp. I went ahead and used the 1/2 tsp.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. Glad I found your blog.


  18. The naan is a winner, I just made it for supper today with rajma masala and green salad. This recipe is a keeper. I never thought you could make naan without oven!!!!! Keep the recipes flowing….. Love every bit of this site!!

    • The thing with cottage cheese is that it melts when cooked with hot curry paste. I don’t think this will happen with ricotta and it will leave back unpleasant granules. Try using heavy cream, two tablespoons of cream cheese or even hung thick Greek yogurt.

  19. All you ladies who have not tried this, should try this… I comes out really well.. Yes..!! Naans can be made at home now!!..

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I’ve tried a few naan recipes in the past and this one worked out the best by far. My husband is Indian, so I’m always looking for great recipes to cook for us. If you could share a channa masala recipe I would love it! (It’s my favorite dish his family cooks!)

  21. Prerna,

    Naan & Malai Kofta look yummilicious! Gorgeously inviting pictures as always…
    I have never made Naan once at home and I guess now it’s about time….
    The best part of your recipe for me is it is eggless!

  22. At first I thought these were meatballs, but now that I read they are vegetable balls I am even more intrigued! Looks & sounds amazing. And yes, homemade naan can’t be beat. 🙂

  23. holy crap this was awesome! I do all the cooking in the house for my family ( I’m a guy) not looking for an applause because I don’t do laundry. Anyway this naan recipe, as I followed to a “T” was amazing and my wife ate atleast two of them. I just added some minced garlic to the dough and the rest as you said. If you have any suggestions on another indian dish that isn’t tandoori chicken that maybe kid friendly, I’d appreciate it.

  24. Wow – I’m so exited to try this! I have about 99% of the ingredients already in my pantry. Not a fan of cottage cheese so I’ll to go hunt that down. 🙂 Excited to try a few others as well!

  25. As always, stunning photography! And as always, I’m leaving your site super hungry! The naan sounds fantastic, I have never made it and it’s one of favorites-so I can’t wait to try this recipe

  26. hello – just curious – is it really 2.5 TBSP of coriander powder that go into the gravy? I just made it and it tastes a bit bitter. worried that it was supposed to be tsp, not tbsp. Thanks!

  27. Oh Prerna!!! That recipe has me drooling. I LOVE fresh, hot naan bread & really should try your recipe to make my own. I know my husband would thank you forever 😉 As for the kofte… just reading through the ingredients made my mouth water – such a lovely, complex flavour. Stunning pics!

  28. Wow wow wow, these look fantastic! I LOVE making naan at home, but your recipe differs from mine quite a bit. I’m thinking I might need to try this one very soon!

  29. Have you been reading my mind, Prerna? Because I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to make kofta from scratch because I love them so much and buy them frozen all the time. Thanks so much for posting this!! And naan. Perfection. Your pictures are so stunning.

  30. Beautiful! I love bread recipes that ask you to “make a well”…there is something about that specific process that is so comforting to me, is that odd? Very glad to have found your beautiful blog, I’ll be cooking from it often.

  31. Beautiful, Prerna. I especially like the photo showing the flour with the liquid ingredients in the middle. I’m a huge fan of naan and have been meaning to try it for years. Will definitely turn to this recipe when I do!

  32. Love naan, and oh how I wish I’d made this meal instead of ordering the take out we had a few days ago. The flavors are amazing and your photography exquisite.

  33. Lol…Happy New Year! You said Malai Kofta and in my head I read Kulfi (go figure : ) ….and I started looking for it….how to make Kulfi.

    Anyway…I am happy to read how to make malai kofta as well. Love the photos…you do such an amazing job. I get hungry everytime I read : )


  34. Thanks for your overwhelming response everyone!
    @Karen- please let me know how ur recipe came out n I can update my post accordingly.
    @megan- Love u girl!! Can’t wait to see u too 🙂
    @fresh365- awesome! let me know how it came out!
    @viviane- That’s so true! They sure chase away my blues!
    @Deeba- Yes I have tried making them with store bought whole wheat flour and they came out as good. I just added a little extra baking powder.
    @Shelly- doing both sides on the skillet won’t char the naan from one side. If u have an electric burner at home, place a cooling rack on top of it to avoid ur naan to stick on the coil and then cook it. Works as a charm for me 🙂 Good Luck!

  35. These look SO good…I have tried to make naan one time, and was not pleased with the results – it had no flavor at all. I’ve been wanting to find a good recipe to give it another go, and yours looks SO yummy!

    Can you just do both sides in the skillet, instead of holding the 2nd side over direct flame with the tongs? (I don’t have flame! lol)

    I can’t wait to make these! 🙂

  36. I’m so ready for naan after reading your tempting post Prerna… I am HUNGRY! have you tried doing these with 100% whole wheat flour {aata}. Curious to know if that works, as would love to try that. Will try it in any case. The malai koftas sounds GOOD too… have a wonderful 2011!! xo

  37. Oh wow, I am bookmarking this right now for an upcoming weekend! I love the idea of making my own naan and while I havent heard of kofta, the ingredient list looks like a winner!

  38. naan is a favourite your’s look fabulous
    delicious combination it is always yummy with creamy gravy like this

    Prerna thank you hope you try the butter chicken it is a quicker version and tasty

  39. Thanks guys! You are just wonderful and I’m SO glad you liked the recipe.
    @HappyCook- I think yes you can use your iron wok just would need a lid to cover it.

  40. When ever i make naan it never works out , and i have gien up trying , i am going to try your method, I have a iron wok can i use that one than non stick? Love the kofta curry too.
    No one needs to go for a take out if they have this at home.

  41. Love love love Malai Kofta but never knew how to make it at home. Plus it is rarely on menus it seems. Totally giving me a reason to break out my spices and make some naan.

    And can I have your table/counter/whatever dark wood thing it is you were photographing on? I really like the dark, slatted wood.

  42. This naan looks just like the kind at our favorite Indian restaurant! I could eat that stuff all day long. I can’t wait to try making it at home.

  43. Thanks guys! I’ll say it again.. TRY IT 😀
    @Foodie Ann- WElcome to my blog!
    @Lick my spoon- I’m not sure about electric cooker but you definitely can make it a coil burner. Try placing the naan upside down over a cooling rack and place it over the burner.
    @Kulsum- Can’t wait to see your lauki recipe!
    @Srivalli- Thanks dear! A very happy new year to you and yours as well1
    @square kitchen- LOVE ur photography!
    @Sonia- you sure can make it on your traditional tava the only thing is taht you need a lid to cover the naan to cook well before broiling it.
    @Jodie- Don’t be jealous! My kitchen light sucks 🙁 Took these photos in my living room!
    @omgyummy- I dread dough as well, but my kitchen is making me confident slowly!

  44. I am going to try the naan as soon as I can. We love naan in our house – all breads actually. The method you used looks so similar to what my grandmother did to make Challah – the traditional Jewish egg bread for Shabbat. I do, however, have a fear of dough (you can read about it on my blog) so trying this out will be part of my recovery process from my phobia. Thanks for sharing the recipes. They both look yummy, as you said, which is always the only requirement for me 🙂

  45. wow, prerna! i’ve never seen indian food look so good!! we are HUGE fans of indian food in our house and i’ve tried homemade naan only once, and definitely not as gorgeous as yours! so happy to have met!

  46. I would like to tell you that I am totally jealous of your kitchen which obviously has some gorgeous light! Such wonderful pictures! I love Naan and will be making this very soon! Thanks!!

  47. Naans are looking awesome. I am going to try it tomorrow.

    Can we make it on traditional indian tawa too. Else, please show me what kind of skillet was used. Thanks !

  48. I’m trying to think if I know even one person who doesn’t absolutely love naan? I’d love to make them but always thought they were more complicated! I’ll definitely try your recipe! And the Kofta look fabulously delicious! Perfect meal! xoxo

  49. Oh I love that this is a healthier version! We usually only indulge when we are eating out. I’ve made it once before at home but it definitely was not this healthy. I will be keeping this in mind to try soon! Thanks Prerna!

  50. Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how excited I am that you posted this! I have always wanted to try making naan at home! That picture of the flour well with the milk bottle is so amazingly gorgeous as are all your other pictures. Such a fantastic post, so well detailed and vegetarian too, I love it!

  51. @Shayma- Thanks hon! You sweet 🙂
    @Pavithra- You are welcome anytime 🙂
    @Sally- You need top sprinkle minced garlic on one side of the flattened dough before placing it on the pan and then cover with a lid.
    @Prathima- Have some now!! What r u waiting for? 🙂

  52. Happy New Year. I can’t believe that I have never made naan so it’s now on my ‘to do’ list with your great instructions bookmarked. My daughter loves garlic naan – when do you think it would be the best stage to add the garlic?
    We’re going to try to eat more vegetarian food as a family so this kofta recipe is perfect.

  53. Absolutely tempting combination .. Love both Naan and malai Kofta.. Prerna I am going to invite myself to ur place. No words abt ur pictures awesome.

  54. oh prerna- kamaal kar di! this is so beautiful. i have just had a quick skim as i am hitting the sack, but all the photos are so lovely- what a beautiful post, my friend. x shayma

  55. Thanks girls! I’m glad you found the post good 🙂
    @Soma- yes a lauki kofta. A good way to add some veggies in your diet!
    @Siri-Wish you a very Happy New year as well!
    @Rebecca- TRY it! Please 😀
    I’m sure you’ll like it!

  56. Lovely pics and delicious recipe Prerna. Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Change is good and I hope everything turns out well for you. 🙂


  57. Mmmm.. have been waiting for this post ever since I saw the photo in Flickr. I always make my naan with yeast and on the tawa. will have to try this version next time.

    Is this the lauki kofta? Looks so good.

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