Walking around NY, one can’t help but notice all the ‘corn’ sold at the various fruit and vegetable stands.
As a child, I loved corn, but in recent years, our dear friend has taken quite a beating for featuring in pretty much everything we eat and drink and turned many of us into corn-o-phobes. Of course, it is no surprise that I have used very little corn in my cooking and my imagination does not stretch beyond boiling or grilling it.
Last week, I took a brief trip down memory lane and remembered a dish my brother and I used to love as children. This dish changed the status of corn on the cob as a side dish to that of a main course. It was a succulent corn dish that had been cooked in a zesty sauce of yogurt, curry leaves, toasted and whole dried red chilies and grated coconut….now that’s amore.
4 corn on the cobs
16 – 18 curry leaves
3 tbslp grated (desicated) coconut
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tblsp ginger
1 tblsp garlic
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 whole dried red chilies
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp turmeric – 1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup of olive oil- 4 tbslpn heavy cream – cilantro to garnish
1. Cut each cob into 4 pieces so that you have about 16 pieces. The most effective way to do this is to place the sharp part of your knife on the cob, keeping your hand steady, wack (for want of a better word) the knife with a rolling pin. It will go straight through.
2. Heat the pan and add the oil
3. After a couple of minutes, add your mustard seeds, cumin seeds and whole dried chilies and turn heat to medium/ high.
4. As you begin to hear a sizzling and popping sound, swiftly add your ginger and garlic (you don’t want to burn the seeds) and cook until golden
5. Give your tomatoes a quick whizz in the blender to avoid chunks of tomatoes. Add to frying pan and cook for 5-7 minutes until you see oil specs emerge
6. Add your curry leaves and stir in your beaten yogurt (to avoid yogurt lumps from forming)
7. Season with salt, chili powder, turmeric and cook a further couple of minutes
8. As the mixture turns from a milky orange to a deep orange and the oil begins to separate from the mixture, add the corn and cook for 10 minutes. The kernels will develop a deep yellow color
9. Add the coconut, cream and garam masala and toss all the ingredients thoroughly together for 2 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro
Serve with a piece of toasted Naan bread.
Pearls of Wisdom
Add cream just before serving to avoid curdling.