Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Corn(y) Affair

During the monsoons, one craves for different kinds of food: chai, pakodas/bhajiyas, hot soups, and a favourite of most, corn. Corn can be had in many forms; boiled or roasted with different seasonings like salt, pepper, chaat masala, red chilli powder, lemon juice to name a few but each person has their preference so it can be pretty much anything. Corn is used in a lot of cuisines for different dishes, salads, soups, fritters, chaats, baked dishes, pasta, pizzas, pancakes, in rice dishes , the options are endless.

With the local bhutta (roasted corn cobs) walas by the sea side diminished over the past few years luckily there are a lot of places in the city corn can be found in different disguises. The simplest form of corn can be found in movie theatres and malls at the boiled corn stalls that serve fresh hot boiled corn with different seasoning as per your choice. Soam serves delicious corn khichdi and corn panki. All time favourites of a lot of Mumbai-ites, New Yorker and Cream Center offer amazing creamed corn enchiladas, corn-capsicum quesadillas and cheese corn balls. Samrat at Churchgate have chatpatta corn bhel for the corn lovers. Blue waters at Oshiwara serves one of the best tandoori makkai (corn) in the city.

Corn is such a thing that can be had as a light snack or be used to make a hearty filling dish depending on the time of the day or one’s mood. It tastes equally good hot or cold and goes well with a lot of other ingredients. Here is one of my all time favourite recipe I came up with when I was in one of my experimenting moods and was looking for a fresh change from the usual. It was also featured in Me magazine a couple of months back.

Tri Coloured Corn Soup

Serves: 4

2 ears American Corn
1 small Red Bell Pepper
1/4th Cup Spring onion leaves
4 Cups Vegetable/Rice/Noodle Stock
Salt to taste

De-seed bell pepper and cut into squares, place in baking tray, drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven at 150 degrees C for about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile boil the corn and remove the kernels. Keep a handful aside.
Puree the rest till completely smooth adding stock as required.
Take the corn puree in a thick bottomed sauce pan and add stock to get desired consistency. Add salt to taste and boil.

While the soup is boiling. Make a paste of the roasted bell pepper. Keep aside.

Make a paste of the spring onion leaves and keep aside.

Remove 2/3rd and keep aside in a bowl or sauce pan.

In the remaining 1/3rd add the bell pepper paste and mix well and let it simmer for few minutes. Keep aside.

Take another 1/3rd in the sauce pan and mix the spring onion paste and simmer for few minutes.

Can be served in 3 small glasses as shots or small bowls in a platter.

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