Corn on the Cob Curry

2 Jul

IMG_3056You can spend several years traveling all across India and still find distinctive dishes that you have never tasted before. There are thousands of regional dishes and over hundreds of ways of preparing each of them. This is the very reason India and Indian food is paradise for food enthusiasts. Just when you think you have tried every dish a region has to offer, you will surely stumble upon another unique flavor profile.

A few years ago my mother-in-law introduced me to a Corn on the Cob Curry. I had never eaten corn in a robust coconut gravy laced with tamarind paste and finished with a classic South Indian tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chilies. This dish harmoniously married together different textures and several spices; there was perfect equality among all the ingredients with no element dared to over-power another.

This adaptation of my mother-in-laws brilliant recipe features  just in time for the height of corn season. So go ahead and add something more than just butter and spice to your Corn on the Cob this summer.

Corn on the Cob Curry
Recipe adapted from Minal Morarji’s Makai Curry Recipe
Time: 30 minutes
Yield:  3-4 servings with rice

3 white corn on the cobs, husk removed
2 cups coconut milk, fresh or canned (See note)
1 ½ tablespoons gram flour
1 + ½ tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
¾ cup red onion, diced
1 green chili, diced
1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
½ – 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate or tamarind concentrate (See note)
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
2-3 dried red chilies
Salt to taste


  • This dish tastes best when made with regular coconut milk. Light coconut milk makes a very runny curry that doesn’t coat the corn well.
  • If making tamarind paste from dried tamarind: puree the tamarind with 3 tablespoons of water and pass through a strainer. Use the watered-down paste, one tablespoon at a time and taste and add more.

1) Cut 2 of the corn on the cobs into 3 inch pieces. Depending on the size of your corn that’s about 3-4 pieces per corn.  Remove the corn kernels from the remaining corn and set aside.
2) Fill a large pot 2/3 of the way with water and bring it to a boil. When the water comes to a boil add the corn on the cob and the kernels to cook.  Cook 5-7 minutes till the corn is tender. The corn can be drained in a colander (The colanders holes should be smaller that the corn kernels). Set aside.
3) While the corn is cooking mix the coconut milk with the gram flour and set aside.
4) Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large cooking pot on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they are tender and starting to change color.  Add the green chili and ginger cook for another minute.
5) Lower the heat and add the coconut milk, turmeric, red chili powder and water and cook for a few minutes till the liquid is a little reduced. Turn off the heat and stir in ½ tablespoon of tamarind paste and cilantro.
6) In a small saucepan heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil and add the asafetida to it.  Now add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start sputtering add the curry leaves and the dried red chilies and let them cook 30 seconds to a minute (the curry leaves should not burn). Turn off the heat and stir this tempering including the oil into the coconut curry.
7) Heat the coconut curry on medium low. Add salt to taste and add the cooked corn. Cook for another 5 minutes with the corn. Taste the curry and add the remaining tamarind paste if you would like a little more tang in the dish.
8) Serve hot with white Basmati rice.

3 Responses to “Corn on the Cob Curry”

  1. chef mimi July 2, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    This looks and sounds so delicious!!!

  2. Mama's Gotta Bake July 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Corn is my favorite summertime vegetable. Looks like a lovely dish!

  3. Puja September 17, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Neha.. this loks very interesting… can the corn on the cob be replaced by frozen corn kernels? 🙂

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