SARASOTA (WWSB) - BLACKENED SWEET CORN CHAAT
Makai ki chaat
4 ears of corn,
2 tsp (10 mL) cumin seeds, crushed
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
3/4 tsp (3 mL) ground black pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground red chili (plus extra to serve)
Just over 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 1/2 tbsp (40 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/2 a red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro, finely chopped
A handful of sev (chickpea noodles) optional
1 lemon, quartered, to serve
If you’re using fresh corn, pull off the husks and any loose silky threads. Bring a pan of water to a boil and carefully lower in the corn. Boil for around 8 minutes, until tender. Drain, then wash under cold water. To slice off the kernels, make sure the ear sits flat (slice off the stem on the bottom if not) and place in a shallow dish. Hold the pointy end firmly with one hand and, with the other, slice close to the core, letting the blade move down the ear of corn. Set a large frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, put the cumin into it. Stir-fry for a minute, until you can smell it, then add the butter and let it melt. Turn the heat up and, when the pan starts to smoke, add the corn. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes—don’t stir too frequently, so it has a chance to blacken and caramelize, but watch out as the odd kernel may pop. When the corn has a good amount of colour, add the black pepper, ground red chili, salt, and lemon juice and let it sizzle off. Divide the corn between four plates and scatter over the red onion, cilantro, and sev. Sprinkle a little ground red chili over the top and place a wedge of lemon on the side.
Recipe excerpted from Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes for Every Day by Meera Sodha (Flatiron Books, 2018).