On my list of dishes to cook over the summer is Makai Paka or corn on the cob in a coconut sauce. Don’t ask me how two words translate to eight, as I too, am lost in translation on this one. All I can say is that this creamy, tart-y, slightly spicy, delicious-ness is summer-time experience.

My mom would make this dish for us every summer. It’s the dish you get down and dirty with as you use the cob to soak-up and suck-up every last drop of curry—who needs utensils anyway? (But, if you do, remove the kernels from the cob—this dish is for all to enjoy!). This dish migrated to our summer menu from the East African side of my huge family. Prior to, or post India’s partition in 1947,  several of my Nana’s (maternal-grandfather) siblings immigrated to E. Africa and lucky for us our family cookbook expanded to a whole new continent of recipes! This dish, is my version of Makai Paka or corn on the cob in a coconut sauce. With all the coconut creamy-ness still in tact, the roasted poblanos add the influence of my California breeding with the chilis of Mexico.

Ayur-wisdom: with all six tastes, sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter, and a nice balance between heating and cooling ingredients—this is a primarily sweet and heavy dish. Making it a great first course. You know that saying—eat dessert first? Well, there is a truth to it. If you start with eating a heavier course or sweet tastes (tends to be heavier), it prevents the heavy, lethargic feeling after a meal. Since heavier foods need more time to digest, beginning your meal with sweet tastes allows for it to be digested first.  By the time you reach the end of the meal, the heavy food has moved down the digestive trail. Preventing the wait time for it to begin digestion and the end of the meal food coma. Happy Eating!

Corn in a Roasted Pablano Coconut Sauce

Dosha: PVK*
Seasons: PV (summer and fall)
Prep Time: 15-20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
You need: a blender


  • 5 cobs of corn (cut each into 3-4 pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut cream (1-14 oz can)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 T of lime juice (1 lime) 


  • 2 poblano peppers (roasted & seeded)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (roasted  & seeded)
  • 3/4 of a bunch of cilantro (roughly chopped including stems)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger (chopped up for easier pureeing)
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds or powder
  • 2 tsp sea or pink salt
  • 1/2 cup of water

Step 1: Roast the poblano and jalapeno peppers in the broiler or a slightly oiled cast iron pan. When tender and charred on all sides, place them in a small paper bag to “sweat” (about 5 mins). Remove the peppers from the bag and then peel and seed the peppers.

Step 2: Blend all the ‘blender’ ingredients to a nice puree, especially the ginger and garlic.
Step 3: In a 3-4 quart pot, add the coconut cream, water and blended ingredients. (Don’t add the coconut cream to the blender like I did—it gets frothy!) Mix well and bring this to a boil.  Add the cut up pieces of corn and let simmer in the covered pot for 30-40 minutes or until corn is cooked and all the flavors are melded together.
Step 4: When corn is cooked, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. Add the lime juice and stir. Then, add the chopped up cilantro and cover for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot or warm.

Serves: 10-12

Tastes: Sweet (corn, coconut, garlic), Salty (salt), Sour (lime, garlic), Pungent (peppers, cumin, garlic), Astringent (cilantro, garlic), Bitter (cumin, garlic)

Qualities: Heavy, Moist, Soft—serve as a first course & follow-up with some astringent and bitter greens to balance the qualities with some lighter and crunchy foods.

Notes: *Kapha imbalances or kapha predominant doshas eat in moderation. If the curry is too thick, add a bit more water, if it is too thin, cook a little bit longer.

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