Two days ago India celebrated its 64th Independence day. As a kid I eagerly waited for this day. Year after year I used to participate in the cultural events that were held in my school and later in college. And it was a ritual to watch the Independence day parade on Doordarshan, our National channel. And every time I saw the youngsters clad in their regional costume, it reminded me of how diversified our nation is. There are hundreds of spoken language in India and each state, each city and each town follows their own tradition and culture. This could tell you how diversified and unique the Indian food culture is. Irrespective of what we eat, Indian women believe in serving a balanced meal to their families. A typical Indian meal will consist of Roti or rice, a lentil based dish (usually dal), a curry, a vegetable side like salad or stir fry and yogurt. In north, yogurt is served in the form of lassi or a cup of sweetened yogurt whereas in south yogurt it is served with rice popularly known as thayir sadam (yogurt rice). It is widely believed that yogurt/curd helps to mellow down the spices that we eat and pacifies our tummy. If you pay little more attention you will understand that an Indian meal includes carbs in the form of rice or roti, protein in the form of lentils, yogurt or paneer, and we get required vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. Isn't a well balanced & healthy meal.
Yogurt is not only served at the end of the meal but it is also used in preparing various forms of curries like Kormas/Kurma, Kadhis, Mor Kuzhambu, Kalan, Aviyal et all. The recipe that I am sharing with you today is one of them. Living and working in a town that is surrounded by farms is a blessing. There is one farm next to my workplace which sells one of the best corn in New Jersey. Whenever you visit this farm stand you are guaranteed to get some of the freshest, sweetest and juiciest hand picked white corn from their farm. I blindly pick half a dozen corn ears and I don't even care to check because I know they are always good. Unfortunately due to the natural properties of corn they don't stay fresh for long. As soon as they are picked the sugar gets converted into starch. If they are not stored properly then you will lose all the sugar content in no time. So it is recommended that we cook corn on the same day it is purchased or picked. If that is not possible put them in the refrigerator with the husks on. That will slow down the conversion process.
Tips for buying Corn
- Husk should be bright green in color and it should look moist.
- More silk means there is good number of corn kernels.
- The silk should be golden in color and should feel moist and sticky.
- Milk should ooze out when you squish the kernels.
- If the stalk is dark brown in color then it has been sitting for couple of days and it is not fresh.
How it tasted?
We prefer to eat the whole corn on the cob. But sometimes I get fancy and make korma like this. In this curry, corn on the cob is slowly cooked in the light onion tomato yogurt sauce. Spices like cardamon, cumin and cinnamon add warmth to this dish while the yogurt mellows down the heat from red chili powder and other spices. As you take every bite, the flavors of all these ingredients create a magic together and teases your taste buds. It tastes equally good with rice and phulkas. I served corn on the cob korma with 2 phulkas, a small cup of rice, yogurt and onion salad. This is my take on serving a balanced meal to my family.
- In a pan or wok, add 1/2 tbsp oil. When it is hot add roughly chopped onions and fry until it turns translucent and changes color.
- Allow it to cool and grind sauteed onions, garlic, ginger, dry red chili adding 1 tbsp water into smooth paste.
- In the same pan add 1/2 tbsp of oil. When it is hot add cumin seeds, Cinnamon and green cardamons. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle.
- On a medium low flame, add onion paste and saute for 3-4 minutes until it reduces in volume.
- Meanwhile grind roughly chopped tomatoes into smooth puree. Add tomato puree to the onion mixture and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add 1/4 tsp tumeric powder. Saute. Add 1 cup of water and let it cook on a low flame.
- Add salt, red chili powder, kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder. Stir and close the lid and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add another 1/2 cup water and cook for 10 more minutes. Add corn and let it cook on a medium flame for 5-10 minute or until it cooks.
- Turn off the stove and let it cool. Now add yogurt, stir it and then on simmer for 5 minutes.
- Enjoy this succulent and light curry with rotis, naan or rice.