Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Corn Usal

Today, I'm going to leave you with a quick and easy recipe for a great snack. That's it. No blabber. And I will more than make-up for the void of stories very soon, I promise.

Usal is a generic name for spicy curried or sauteed beans or sprouts. Corn comes under the grain category, but I guess this dish is called Usal because of the other common ingredients used in the preparation. It's a popular Maharashtrian dish prepared especially in early winter when corn is bountiful. The cooking process enhances the sweetness of corn, and is wonderfully balanced by the touch of spiciness. A dish of warm savory corn usal is very comforting on balmy fall evenings.

Corn Usal/Kanasachi Usal

2 Large sweet corn cobs/ 1 packet frozen corn
1/2 Small onion - finely chopped
1 Serrano chili
2-3 Garlic cloves
1/2 Inch fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon grated coconut
1/3 Teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 Teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnishing
Lemon juice
  • Husk and clean the corn. Hold the stem in your hand, rest the other end on the cutting board and cut off the kernels with a sharp knife. Or, just open a bag of thawed frozen corn :D.  
  • Run your knife through the kernels to give them a rough chop. The starchy juice that comes out helps it cook well, bring the dish together and give it that wonderful caramelization. You can also give the kernels a quick pulse in the food processor. 
  • Grind chili, garlic and ginger to a paste.
  • Heat a couple of teaspoons of oil in a wok/kadhai. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add asafoetida, turmeric, onion and chili-ginger-garlic paste and saute for a a couple of minutes.
  • Add corn, grated coconut and salt and mix everything well. If the corn is dry, you can add a splash of water. 
  • Cover and cook, checking and stirring occasionally, on medium heat. 
  • The dish is done when the corn is cooked completely, most of the water content will evaporate(8-10 minutes). Don't worry if the corn gets slightly brown and caramelized. This is the tastiest part of the dish! 
  • Garnish with lots of chopped cilantro, some lemon juice and more grated coconut if you like. 


Priyanka said...

Perfect! My mom makes this often. I prefer regular corn for this usal than american sweet corn. Pictures look amazing as always!

Snehal said...

Thanks, Priyanka. I like any variety of corn really..but the regular corn is definitely better.


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