This tasty creamed corn dish is a popular snack or light meal from Gujarat, in Western India. Also known as Makai ki khichdi, it is aromatic, sweet and spicy. I have prepared it as a dip here.
In Gujarat, meals are traditionally eaten on a thali, which is a large metal platter containing several smaller bowls. The main part of the thali is for rice and bread, while the smaller bowls, each contain a different vegetable, dal and farsan. The farsan are small side dishes which can either compliment a meal or can be eaten as snacks any time.
This corn dish is a farsan and is really quick and easy to make – many of these ingredients are pantry staples (if you make Indian food), or are easily available and inexpensive.
Rather unusual, for Indian cuisine – there are no onions, garlic or ginger here. This is because Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, being heavily influenced by the Jain community. So many dishes do not include any root vegetables. The asafoetida is added to take the place of the onion-garlic flavours, and although quite pungent raw, once cooked it lends a wonderful aroma to the dish.
To prepare, the sweetcorn is partially blended for creaminess, while some are left whole for a slight crunch. Mustard and cumin seeds are heated in oil to release their flavour, and then the asafoetida and green chillies and stirred in. Next, the corn and milk are added. Before serving, simply add lemon juice and chopped coriander.
You can either serve this warm as a side or at room temperature as a dip. Khakhra (Indian flatbread) is a perfect accompaniment.
Gujarati style corn
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- a pinch asafoetida powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- 3 cups sweetcorn partially blended
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- a few sprigs of coriander
Combine the milk and cornflour in a small bowl and mix well, then set aside.
In a saucepan on medium heat, heat the oil and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once you hear the seeds crackle, stir in the asafoetida and green chilli. Now add the corn and salt and mix well. Pour in the milk mixture and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Garnish with lemon juice and coriander and serve.