I was taking look at all my previous posts and I realized that except for Mandazi, there were no African recipes on this blog. That's surprising because, East Africa, has been my home for the past seven years. Although, I have not tasted many African dishes, there are a few that I really like. Among the very few that I had tried, Makai Paaka was one of them.
Makai Paaka is a Tanzanian dish. But it can also be found in the coastal parts of Kenya as well. This dish, I feel, sort of reflects the Tanzanian landscape.
I was introduced to Makai Paaka through a friend. I remember her mentioning this dish during a casual conversation. When I questioned her about this, she went on to say that makai paaka was nothing Corn cobs cooked in coconut milk. I was intrigued. This dish certainly sounded unique. I had asked her for the recipe and I had resolved to make this curry soon. The next day, I was busy with the usual chores when I heard the door bell ring. I opened the door to find my friend's driver holding out a box to me. I opened the box to find sliced corn cobs in a pale yellow sauce. Yes, it was actually makai Paaka. My friend not only gave out the recipe but also made the curry for me and sent it. How sweet was that?? Somehow, the thought and the gesture made the curry even more delicious.
Makai Paaka is one of those dishes that makes you ask for more. There are these sweet and tender corn chunks that are enveloped in a velvety and creamy coconut sauce. Who can get enough of that? I suggest serving this dish with piping hot steamed rice. It makes the curry taste even better. Although I have presented the dish with a spoon and fork, it's much better to eat this curry with hands as biting the tender corn kernels and gnawing on the juicy corn cobs makes the whole experience of eating makai paaka pleasurable.
Makai Paaka recipe:
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 15mins
Rice flour- 2tsps
Green chili- 1
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsps
Onion- 1 med, chopped fine
Coriander powder- 1/2tsp
Salt- to taste
Corn cobs- 2 large, husk and silk removed and sliced into 1" thick pieces
Coconut milk- 1, 14 Oz can
water- 1 cup
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Coriander leaves to garnish
- Mix the rice flour with one table spoon of water and keep aside.
- Make a paste of the ginger and green chili and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they turn brown add the ginger green chili paste and fry for a min.
- Add the chopped onion and fry till they turn transcluscent. Stir in the turmeric, coriander powder and salt and fry for a minute more.
- Add the corn slices and mix well. Add water and the coconut milk and cook covered till the corn cobs are tender and cooked through.
- Add the rice flour mixture and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 more mins.
- Garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.
- The rice flour can be replaced with either corn starch or gram flour.
- This curry can be made with corn kernels instead of corn on cobs. But the cooking time will be reduced to just ten minutes.