Corn is one of Kenya’s staple food alongside beans and potatoes. The crunchy but sweet kernels can be eaten in many ways ie: boiled, roasted or more indulging and tasty curries. My first childhood encounter with corn was a delightful one, one that made me want more time after time, it was charcoal roasted corn on the cob seasoned with chilli powder, salt and lemon hmmm salty, spicy and sour the three tastes that I still savour. One thing i dearly miss about Mombasa is the fact that mostly every corner of the street you’ll find either a small shack or street vendor, cooking fresh corn or cassava and serving it. The sensational aroma always drew my attention to these and nothing beats enjoying them fresh and hot :). So how do you like eating corn? Have you ever consumed corn in form of a curry? If yes ever tried corn on the cob curry? Well this week I bring to you a family favourite which we enjoyed as kids and even now, I do thank my mum for making this delicious curry which I now share with my kids and the rest of the family. Be warned this curry is finger licking and I seriously mean that, juices will run down your fingers when you bite into the cob ;). Obviously it has a Kenyan influence so it’s made with coconut, spinach and spices.
Kenyan style Spicy Corn on the Cob and Spinach Curry- Gluten free, Dairy Free
For the dry masala:
1 Tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp corriander seeds
1 Tsp fennel seeds
1x 1 inch piece cassia bark
1 Black cardamom
For the curry:
2.5 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1x thumb piece size ginger- peeled and minced
1 Tsp minced green chilli
400g crushed tomatoes
1 Small piece jaggery or 1 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp garam masala
1 Tsp salt or to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice
200g spinach- washed and finely sliced
6 corn on the cobs- remove husks,wash,clean and slice- see method.
1 Cup sweetcorn kernels
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup tinned coconut milk- can use light if required
1. In a frying pan over low heat roast all the spices for dry masala, make sure not to burn them. Once you can smell the spices and they change in colour they should be done. Switch off the heat, transfer in mortar and pestle and grind.
2. For the corn on the cob, each cob should be sliced into 6 pieces. Best way to do this is use a sharp knife and gently tap with a heavy item ( I used my marble pestle).
3. In a pan heat the oil, add in the onions and fry for 1 minute. Add in the ginger, green chillies and ground dry masala spice mix. Cook for about 1 minute.
4. Stir in the tomatoes,jaggery, garam masala, salt and lemon juice and let it cook for about 5-8 minutes on medium flame. The mixture should look a bit thick and slightly gloopy.
5. Stir in spinach and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the sweetcorn kernels and corn on cob. Give it a stir, pour in the water, place the lid on the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes on low to medium flame.
6. Finally stir in the coconut milk and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
7. To serve: sprinkle with desiccated coconut and green chillies and serve hot with chappatis or rice.
Has this recipe tickled your taste buds yet? Well on the topic of Kenyan food I am so pleased to announce that Anjula Devi and I will be appearing at Loseley Park Guildford on 28-29th June 2014 at Doyoulovefood festival showcasing our father’s Kenyan Food Heritage so why not come along and see what decadent dishes we will be serving up on these days 🙂
For now enjoy this recipe and oh if you do come along to the festival please come and say Hello :))