But, Madhur Jaffrey, number six on Gourmet Magazine's list of 50 female game changers in food, managed to do just that. She combined cinnamon sticks, cloves, mustard seeds, cardamom pods, chiles, ginger and more and set up the cooking process so they quickly infused their mix of flavors into the corn.
NPR wrote that Madhur was destined to have a life full of flavor: "On the day of her birth, cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey entered the world, opened her eyes and tasted an ancient food. As was the tradition in her family, her grandmother came to the house and used honey to write "Om," which means "I am," on Jaffrey's tongue. Even her name is associated with an ancient food: Madhur means "sweet as honey," as if she were destined to have a life of flavor."
In choosing Madhur Jaffrey, Gourmet wrote: "As Marcella is to Italy, so is Madhur to the Indian subcontinent. She also is a great spokesperson for vegetarian and assorted Asian cuisines. And she is beautiful. And can act."
Be sure to check out the other bloggers who all tried recipes by Madhur Jaffrey this week:
Corn with Aromatic Seasonings
recipe from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka
Jaffrey describes this as "an easy, perfumed, stir-fried corn dish that can be made with fresh or frozen corn." This recipe serves 4 to 6 as a substantial side dish, and the flavor is well developed. I found it reheated well throughout the week.
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds (I substituted brown mustard because that was what I had on hand)
4 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
One 1-inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly chopped hot green chiles (do not discard seeds)
4 cups corn cut fresh off the cobs, or two 10-ounce packets of frozen corn, defrosted and drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
Heat the oil in a frying pan set over medium heat.
Combine the mustard seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves in a small cup. When the oil is hot, put in all the whole spices. As soon as the mustard seeds pop, usually a matter of seconds, add the ginger and green chiles. Stir once or twice, and then add in the corn. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the salt and cream. Continue to stir and cook for another minute. Turn heat to low and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until all the cream is absorbed. You can pick out and discard the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves if you are serving those unaccustomed to large whole spices in their foods.