Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry
Recipe: Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry
Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry is an easy to prepare, tasty and creamy Kenyan style curry in which corn is cooked using coconut milk. Usually, makai paka is enjoyed with mahamri, chappati or rice. Makai is the Kiswahili word for corn. Here, as such the coconut curry is not smeared on the corn as the name indicates but it is cooked in it. With influence from the Arabic, Indian and African cuisines, this curry comes together within 15 minutes if you’re using canned corn and coconut milk.
I think, that this version of makai paka was created by fast food restaurants to cater for the vegetarians.
Visit the coastal area of East Africa and you will not miss enjoying either Kuku Paka or Samaki Wa Kupaka. Kuku is chicken, samaki is fish. While paka in Kiswahili also means cat, don’t worry no cat cooking is involved here! Kupaka means to smear. So basically the chicken or fish is grilled and then ‘smeared’ with a coconut sauce or curry. Nowadays, it is common to find that the grilled chicken or fish is added to the coconut curry base.
The coconut curry base is not too hot as Indian curries are. Here, the flavors of the spices and fresh ingredients used should have a subtle taste, thereby not overpowering the flavour of coconut.
My Family Loves Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry with Mahamri
Whenever I make Mahamri at home, my family either prefers makai paka/ corn coconut curry or Mbaazi with it. As I mentioned above, makai paka/ corn coconut curry can be prepared in a jiffy while for the mbaazi a bit of planning is required as I have to soak the pigeon peas.
When I got married and came to Mombasa, it opened up a whole new world of cuisine for me – The Swahili Cuisine. My mother in law use to make mahamri and corn coconut curry at home. I also learnt from her, but hers was definitely a much ” Indianized ” version with extra spices. Over time I learnt how to make the Swahili version from my maid Salma. From where she comes, they do not add tomato at all. But she said that some add. I prefer this curry without tomatoes.
Dishes With Coconut
- Kue Serabi – Indonesian Pancakes with coconut
- Haupia – Hawaiian Coconut Dessert
- I love making Coconut laddoos or Coconut Fudge Balls for festivals as its an easy recipe.
- Carrot Coconut Kheer – colorful and flavorful
- Almond Coconut and Cacao Nib Bites is a healthy snack.
- Pineapple Coconut Muffins – my favorite
- Jamaican Toto Coconut Cake – perfect tea time treat
- Watermelon Coconut and Rose Popsicles makes a delightful summer treat
- Mango Coconut Jelly – a Thai dessert using agar agar
- Coconut Buns – famous in HongKong, they are so delicious
- Vitumbua – rice and coconut pancakes made in an appe like pan from the Kiswahili Cuisine
- Traditional way of making Coconut Barfi
- Medley of flavors – Lemongrass and Ginger Infused Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream
- Mango Coconut Paleta – summertime indulgence
- Eggless Coconut and Passion Fruit Muffins
- Choco Coconut Bites reminds me so much of Bounty Chocolate
- Coconut Chocolate – Make these to give out as Diwali Gift
- Corn Coconut Curry – the way it is made by Kenyan Asians
- Renu’s Coconut Coriander Chutney is so delicious, you’ve got to try it.
THE GROUP FOODIES _ REDOING OLD POSTS
The Group Foodies_Redoing Old Posts, started by Renu helps the members to make an effort to update old posts. This group has helped me so far to focus on posts that need redoing. Recently, I’ve been posting on a Facebook Group called Foodies+ …. your online Bistro, all about Kenyan Cuisine.It is a wonderful group where we learn about each others cuisines, share new recipes, try out recipes from etc others blogs and basically support each other. So, that has been an incentive to redo my Kenyan recipes. So, here is Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry, in the East Coast style.
Updated on 25/06/2021. First Published on 06/03/2013
Ingredients Required For Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry
- Sweet Corn – use canned, frozen or fresh. When I use fresh corn, I boil the corn cobs with a bit of salt till done. Then I allow the cobs to cool down. Run a sharp knife lengthwise to remove the kernel easily.
- Coconut Milk – I prefer to use canned coconut milk as it is much more creamier and thicker than home made one. 1 can of coconut milk is about 400ml. If you make the coconut milk then you need about 400ml.
- Onion – preferably red but can use white or yellow, finely chopped.
- Garlic – peeled and minced.
- Ginger – peeled and minced or grated.
- Green Chillis – use either whole or crushed. If you use whole ones, slit them into half.
- Salt – add according to your taste.
- Cumin Seeds – jeera, jiru
- Cinnamon – about 1″ stick
- Cloves – just for flavour.
- Pepper corns – for flavour
- Oil – any vegetable or coconut oil.
- Turmeric Powder – an optional ingredient, add very little if you’re using it.
- Water – normal tap water. Don’t add any if you want a much thicker curry.
- Cashew Nut Powder – mainly used as a thickener for the curry. If you don’t have any, replace it with chickpea flour (besan, chana flour).
- Black Pepper Powder – add according to your taste.
- Fresh Coriander – chopped, for garnishing.
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- Gluten Free
- For a Jain version of this curry, omit onion, garlic and ginger
MAKAI PAKA/ CORN COCONUT CURRY
- 1¼ cup sweet corn cooked
- 1 tbsp oil
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp cashew nut powder
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1-2 whole ones
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- ¾ - 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 can coconut milk 400ml
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon.
- Add cumin seeds.
- Add chopped onion and stir fry till the it is cooked and soft.
- Add garlic paste. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add chilli and ginger pastes and stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the cashew nut powder and mix.
- Add turmeric powder, salt and corn. Mix well.
- Add coconut milk. Add about ¼ cup water if you want a thinner curry.
- Simmer makai paka for 5 minutes over low heat.
- Add chopped coriander and pepper powder. Mix and serve with mahamri, rice or chappati.
- If you want a less liquidy curry, don't add water.
- I use canned corn which gives about 1¼ cups of corn.
- Don't allow the curry to boil on high heat as it may separate the fat from the coconut milk.
- If you don't have cashew nut powder, replace it with any nut powder or chickpea flour. If you use chickpea flour, roast it a bit before adding the corn.
- Can be prepared ahead and to serve, just warm it up.
- The curry becomes a bit thick on cooling, so add water accordingly.
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