With monsoon comes fresh and tender corn on cob. As market flood with the corn crop roadside vendors do brisk business especially in the evenings. Full of fiber and essential nutrients corn either roasted, boiled or used in local preparations like fritters, curries, salads, patties, cutlets, soups, enchiladas and much more. Eating corn on cob from a street vendor is an experience in itself. The brisk fanning of embers, the crackle of corn kernels, the spicy masala, the tangy lemon and the first bite of soft yet crunchy corn kernel full of different flavors is something one looks forward to every monsoon.
In the hills of Uttaranchal (Garhwal Himalayas) local people dry the corn by hanging it as shown in the pic. They later use it to make flour which is their staple food. This pic is from Bhatoli village near Mussoorie. Once the corn is harvested in Sept-Oct , it is hung like this inside or outside the house and used when needed. It is the way villagers conserve their harvest since ages.
I use corn in many ways but usually I simply roast or boil them to have as an evening snack or for breakfast. Some years back one could spot street vendors selling boiled hot corn on cobs which they would dip in spicy tamarind chutney and serve in a dona( dry leaf plate). It was out of the world. I have not come across any in last few years especially in the area where we live. Yesterday I decided to make it at home. I had made a fresh match of tamarind date chutney and the house help got fresh tender buttas. I could not resist the temptation to indulge in some exotic flavors. You can read the recipe for the chutney Here .
To make Boiled Masala corn on cob you need:
Tender fresh white ears of corn (husked)
Water – To boil the corns
Spicy masala mix ( rock salt, raw cumin powder, red chili powder, ground coriander powder, powdered carom seeds(ajwain), powdered black pepper mixed together)
To choose a good ear of corn, look for bright green husks and golden brown tassels. Yellowing husks and black tassles is indicative of hard, bland corncob. Peel the husk and check if the kernels are bright and plump and milk oozes out of them when pressed gently, if yes, then it is good to use.
To boil the corn cobs, either fill a big pot 3/4 with water, break the corn cobs into two to four pieces ( depending on size) and boil them till tender or do it my way by putting them in a steamer / pressure cooker and cook till tender.
Once the corn cobs are done, take them out gently in plate.
Generously sprinkle some masala over the corncob pieces, pour the tamarind chutney to coat them evenly from all sides. and serve hot.
There are many ways to celebrate monsoon and this is one of my favorites.
Sinfully spicy and full of flavors this is not just healthy but utterly delicious too.