Friday, July 22, 2011

Indian Spiced Corn

Who knew that a dish that came together in 10 minutes from start to finish could be packed with so much flavor? And a dish based around corn, which for most of my life has been simply boiled and topped with salt?

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:
      Val - More Than Burnt Toast
      Joanne - Eats Well With Others
      Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
      Susan - The Spice Garden
      Heather - girlichef
      Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
      Mary - One Perfect Bite

      Kathleen - Bake Away with Me
      Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen      
      Sue - The View from the Great Island
      Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey 

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.


  1. What a perfect choice! This looks beautiful and I'm sure it is delicious. I'm so glad you've joined us on this adventure through the Gourmet Live list. You've been a great traveling companion :-). I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. That corn sounds like it has so much flavor! And I love the story of her birth day, thanks for sharing.

  3. Yum! The creamy spicy sauce that this corn swims in sounds just wonderful! A perfect pick for this tribute to Madhur Jaffrey! With corn season fast approaching, this heat should make the corn really grow here in New England!

  4. You are so right about this corn dish, we loved it...I sampled it way too much while it was Needed many samplings (not to test it but just because I couldn't stop taking a little here and Looks pretty, too. I love Jaffrey's recipes and fun to have you cooking them, too.

  5. I spent a bunch of time sampling as well! The dish just had such an interesting flavor to it that I kept going back for more. I've already made this dish (and the tofu one) again!

  6. What a nice spiced corn dish to celebrate Madhur Jaffrey - a must try!

  7. Corn is one of my favorite foods in the world, and yet I never do anything more exotic than corn chowder with it. This will be a must try for me while fresh corn is in season.

  8. I love that line...her memoir started with it, as well. This corn is just lovely :D

  9. Madhur is a genius. Thanks for sharing that interesting background information on her!

  10. This corn was so delicious wasn't it:D I just arrived back from holidays and had to see what the group had been up to. Well done!!

  11. I enjoyed reading your post and reading more info about Madhur. The combination of the spices and the corn sound wonderful.

  12. Made this earlier this month and it was sooo good. Several of us make Indian about every 2 weeks and enjoy sharing!!

    Jaffrey's dishes are so tasty!!