Thursday, February 3, 2011

Makkai / Bhutte ki Bhaji | Stir-Fried Corn Kernels

Makkai or Bhutta is fresh corn and usually seen in the Indian markets only during the latter part of the monsoon season. It is sold roasted fresh over coal embers on street carts. Seasoned with spices and lemon juice, it makes for a tasty treat and perfectly compliments the chill of the seasonal downpours!!

In the States, I find corn everywhere, fresh, frozen, packaged, tinned! But here too we get some wonderful fresh corn during the annual harvest season - around July and August. But most of this corn is the typical American sweet corn or super-sweet corn. Its great for grilling and tasted yummy with butter, but ti can leave you with a cloyingly sweet aftertaste in the mouth!!

And so I have been on the hunt for juicy corn kernels that are not filled with a sweet juice, have a great bite, are chewy, and combine well with Indian masalas in cooking. And yes, I finally did find some brands that fit the bill. They are usually found in the organic frozen section. If you find them in your grocery, try this lovely recipe I made last week.

2 cups corn kernels
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, minced
8 curry leaves, torn
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  2. When they begin to pop, add the curry leaves and reduce the heat. 
  3. Add the corn kernels and salt to taste.
  4. Stir on medium heat, pour in a quarter cup of water. 
  5. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chopped cilantro. 
Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice. This Bhaji tastes great with chappatis and curd.

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Apu @ Annarasa