This lightly spiced Gujarati sweetcorn curry is creamy, sweet and aromatic and takes just 15 minutes to prepare.
Makai Nu Shak is a popular creamy, sweet and spicy vegetarian corn curry from the Indian state of Gujarat.
It is a milk based curry prepared with a few spices, fresh green chiili and thickened with cornstarch.
Its typically eaten as a farsan (see below) or side dish to the main meal but can also be enjoyed as a dip with bread for dipping.
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What are farsan?
In Gujarat meals were traditionally eaten on a thali, which is a large metal platter holding several tiny bowls. The main part of the thali was for rice and bread while several smaller bowls contained small portions of vegetables, dals and several farsan.
Farsan are small side dishes which either compliment a meal or can be eaten as snacks or taken to work in a lunchbox or tiffin.
This corn curry is a type of farsan and is really quick and easy to make – many of these ingredients are pantry staples (if you make Indian food) and are easily available and inexpensive.
Makai nu shak does not contain onions, garlic or ginger because Gujarati cuisine is heavily influenced by Jains who are vegetarian and do not use root vegetables.
Instead, they use Asafoetida (hing), which is used as a substitute for the onion and garlic flavours. Although extremely pungent when raw, once cooked asafoetida lends a wonderful aroma to the dish.
Asafoetida is available in supermarkets as a powder, usually mixed with ground wheat (this is not as noxious). For a gluten free diet select the GF version which is usually made with rice flour.
- This recipe uses cornstarch to thicken the curry.
- Partially blend the sweetcorn for extra creaminess, leaving the rest whole for some crunch and set aside.
- Warm the spices on a low heat in a dry pan so they don’t burn.
- Mustard seeds should be heated first as they take longer to release flavour than cumin seeds. Once they start moving about in the dry pan, add the cumin seeds.
- Keep the heat low when pouring in the oil or the oil will heat up too quickly and splatter and the spices will burn.
- Before serving add lemon juice and garnish with chopped coriander.
Makai nu shak can be eaten warm or at room temperature.
Make ahead and storing
It can be prepared the day before and reheated before serving.
Transfer to a closed container and keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
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Makai Nu Shaak – Sweetcorn Curry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium green chilli finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 500 g sweetcorn 3 cups, canned, optional – partially blend or use same quantity creamed corn for extra creaminess.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (cornflour)
- 120 ml milk ½ cup, warm
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cilantro (coriander leaves) chopped
- Combine 120 ml milk and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl, mix well then set aside.
- In a saucepan on lowest heat warm ½ teaspoon mustard seeds till they start to move slightly then add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. Wait 30 seconds then pour in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the seeds start to sizzle stir in 1 medium green chilli chopped and ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida powder.
- Next add 500 g sweetcorn and ½ teaspoon salt and mix well.
- Pour in the milk mixture and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes till the mixture thickens slightly then remove from the heat.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with 1 teaspoon lemon juice over the top and 1 teaspoon cilantro chopped. Serve warm with any kind of flatbread or plain rice.
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Nutritional information is calculated automatically and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information above is an estimate per serving.
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