Foods like corn have mostly and widely remained underrated on the Indian plate. Whereas western cuisines have experimented and incorporated corn effortlessly, it’s only in the recent past that we are finding that it is now being liberally used with Indian flavours. If the taste isn’t enough to make you bite into it, its health quotient could.
Spiced Corn Soup With Yogurt
The sweetness of summer corn marries nicely with a burst of spices and tangy thick yoghurt this vegetarian soup hot or chilled.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- Large pinch cayenne
- 3 cups corn kernels, from 4 ears
- Salt and pepper
- Whole milk plain yoghurt, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish
- A few cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish, optional
PREPARATION: Put butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds and cayenne and sizzle for a minute or so. Add corn kernels and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Purée soup in a blender. Check seasoning and adjust salt. To serve, ladle into small bowls. Garnish each with 2 tablespoons thick yoghurt. Sprinkle with chives and cilantro sprigs. Add a squeeze of lime.
Caramelized Corn With Fresh Mint
It’s sweet and savoury all at once. And it’s divine!
- 4 to 5 cups fresh corn kernels, white or yellow (from about 12 cobs), or two 16-ounce bags frozen white corn
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
PREPARATION: If using frozen corn, drain between layers of paper towels until thawed, about 30 minutes. In a wide skillet, melt half the butter over high heat. Add half the corn and cook, stirring often, until golden and browned (kernels may begin to pop), about 10 minutes. Stir in half the mint and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining corn, butter, mint and salt.
Millet With Corn, Mango and Shrimp
- 1 cup millet
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 4 ears fresh corn, shucked, with kernels stripped off cobs
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces peeled shrimp, roughly chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 mango or 2 peaches, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups arugula
- ½ cup basil, chopped
- Juice of 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
PREPARATION: Put the millet and a large pinch salt in a medium saucepan with water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally until the millet is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep the grains covered; if any liquid remains by the time the millet is tender, strain it out. While the millet cooks, put 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the kernels and cook, shaking the pan occasionally. Keep the corn in a flat layer until all of the corn kernels are deeply browned (or even lightly charred) on at least one side. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, transfer to a serving bowl and wipe out the skillet. Put the remaining tablespoon of neutral oil in the skillet. When it’s hot, add the shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink all over and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add them to the bowl with the corn. When the millet is tender, add it to the bowl along with the onion, mango or peach, arugula, basil, lime juice and olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.