It’s a Corn-tastic world!
A country that is obsessed with food for all the right reasons – for us, love translates to food. From seasons to soirees and everything in between, we find perfect excuses to perfume the air with mouthwatering aromas and fill every stomach in sight to the brim. So, it should not be baffling that when a land such as ours goes through changes, so will our cuisine.
When we envision the history of food in India, it is more like a book that is constantly being filled by anyone that has ever visited, leaving behind their mark in a dish, ingredient or technique that has changed the culinary landscape irrevocably. As we progressed through time, our country’s cuisines have had a new ingredient take centre stage on our plate.
The usage of corn in our realm is as diverse as our culture and though its uses were popularized by the Europeans, it is a change that won’t be sent back to them. It’s a handy component found in everything from your perfume to the plastic it comes in and as urban India expands its palate, it’s a commodity we just can’t live without.
In celebration of the grain that feeds us all this World Food Day, here are a few amazing corny recipes that we salivate just thinking about.
Feeding the World, One Cob at a Time:
Like those special people who get along with anyone under the sun, corn is one of those special food items that can be used in meals in any part of the world. Boil it, fry it, bake it or steam it, corn will taste great regardless of how it is prepared. From your soup to your salad, here’s how corn is becoming a fantastic addition to our meals:
Pop goes the Maize:
Slather it in butter or smother it in caramel, popcorn is a snack no one can say no to. Midnight binge watching is not the same without it, but did you know it was once used for more than assuaging the munchies? Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of Tlaloc, their God of rain and fertility. In South America, kernels of popcorn found in burial grounds were so well preserved they would still pop even though they were 1,000 years old.
This Corn is on Fire:
The coal roasted corn on cob or bhutta, as it is reverently called in India, is a monsoon staple that needs no excuse to indulge in. This method of grilling it straight on the cob is one of the simplest yet satisfying ways in which corn is prepared. Covered in masalas, lemon juice and a generous amount of butter, its satiating and thoroughly enjoyable charred taste brings drool to most mouths.
Adding Pizzazz to Corn:
Pizza is love, Pizza is life, but Pizza with corn is a food revelation. Regardless if you love it as a topping like the Japanese, or hate it like the Americans, corn is omnipresent in your Italian guilty pleasure. Dried ground corn (cornmeal) is commonly used on the bottom of a lot of pizzas as it adds texture and crunchiness and also helps prevent the base from sticking to a stone or pan.
The Taste Trinity:
Spinach, corn and cheese is a food combo that ends all other combos. This go-to union of delicious options is present in pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and foodie daydreams.Easy to make and delicious to boot, even hardcore non-vegetarians will be tempted away by this veggie alternative that fulfils any hunger pang.
So as you can read, corn is a great ingredient no matter the cuisine, and if that distant growling you hear is your stomach, what are you waiting for? This World Food Day go and grab a cob of golden goodness!