Makai

This is another recipe kindly provided by Prashad Indian vegetarian restaurant in Bradford.

The chef there says: "This dish always reminds me of Bonfire Night – it became a tradition that we would eat it at a friend’s bonfire party every year. This is my version, which I have given a little Kaushy twist. The sweetness from the corn and the caramelised onion balances the spices and brings a little magic."

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions
  • Corn on the cob - enough to fill the pan
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 400g tinned peeled plum tomatoes, finely chopped or blended
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp medium red chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 2-4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 handfuls fresh coriander, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Masala
  • 2-4 fresh green chillies (ideally Kenyan), trimmed but not de-seeded
  • 8cm root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Crush the chillies and ginger together with a pinch of salt with a pestle and mortar (or in a blender) to make a fine masala paste. 
  • Finely chop or blend one onion to form a smooth paste and dice the other finely (roughly 5mm cubes). 
  • Heat the oil in a large pan (big enough to fit the corn cobs in) for 30 seconds over a medium-high heat, then stir in the onion paste. Cover and leave to fry gently for three minutes until the paste is starting to brown, then stir in the diced onion. Re-cover, reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for two minutes before stirring again.
  • Continue to cook covered, stirring every couple of minutes, until the onions have caramelised to a lovely dark brown. It is important to brown them slowly like this, taking care not to burn them, as they give the dish its rich colour and a sweetness that marries beautifully with the intense spices. 
  • Add the masala paste, tomatoes, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin and one handful of fresh coriander and mix thoroughly to combine. Cover and leave to cook for two minutes, then stir in the boiling water. 
  • If the corn cobs have been frozen whole, cut them in half across the middle (or in thirds if you prefer). Gently place in the onion-tomato mixture and stir to coat in the sauce. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to medium, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Check to see whether the corn is soft and fully cooked – if not, reduce the heat to low and cook for a further five minutes or until cooked through. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the garam masala, taking care that it goes in the sauce and doesn’t all land on one cob! 
  • Stir in the other handful of chopped coriander, cover and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes to let the flavours develop. 
  • Reheat over a medium heat and serve steaming hot with generous quantities of the thick rich sauce spooned over each helping.