Sweet corn is one of the biggest new-age finger food crushes. The way to make many more wonderful food items with it lies in your hand, however. And the South Indian corn chaat makes the job easier for you by spiking the taste at 3 stages. The first level is achieved by the whole spices and herbs added to the water for cooking the corns and the remaining mission is accomplished by infusing the South-Indian flavour bomb, the Podi masala into the cooked corns. This corn chaat is a much-needed break from the regular and mildly sweet, spicy, and sour-sweet corn you have been eating outside. With a deliciously fiery taste and ease of cooking, this Corn Chaat is worth indulging in every bit.

Podi is to South India perhaps what chaat masala is to North Indian cuisine. The  Podi masala is usually made with a combination of lentils such as split Bengal gram, black gram, sesame seeds, curry leaves, and spices like chili, black pepper, and cumin which are roasted and ground to a fine powder.

The masala is used to increase the flavour of various dishes in South India right from snacks to main meals. Podi has been known for its explosively spicy and fiery flavour and taste for a long time and perhaps this is how they got named Gunpowder in English.

And like many South Indian dishes that are mentioned in Sangam literature, Podi also finds a mention in it.  The podi is said to become popular in the Vijayanagar dynasty in present-day Karnataka, around 1336 AD to 1565 AD. 

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Servings: 2-3

Ingredients

For cooking corn

  • 3 corn on the cob, broken into half 
  • 3 dry red chilies
  • 1-inch ginger 
  • 4-5 coriander roots
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 clack cardamom 
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp sugar 
  • 1 tbsp butter 

For making Podi 

  • 1 tsp oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 3-4 dry red chilies 
  • 1 tbsp chana dal 
  • 1 tbsp urad dal 
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves 
  • Salt to taste 
  • For preparing chaat:
  • ¼ cup coconut, chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, chopped 
  • 2-3 tbsp remaining water from the corn 
  • 1 heaped tsp butter 
  • 1 tsp podi 

Method

  • Firstly cook, the corn in the pressure cooker with water and dry red chillies, ginger, coriander roots, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, black pepper cons, coriander seeds, salt, sugar, butter up to 1-2 whistles
  • Then allow it to cool and depressurize naturally and keep the stock for use later in the recipe
  • For making Podi, roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chillies, chana dal, urad dal, and curry leaves in oil until they turn slightly brown and nutty. Grind it into fine powder when it cools down
  • Let it cool and add it to the blender jar and blend into a powder. Keep aside for further use
  • Now remove the corn from its stem by cutting from the sides
  • Heat a pan and add corn to it, then add chopped coconut, curry leaves, corn stock, and 1 tbsp of butter and mix everything well
  • Lastly, add 1 tsp Podi masala to it and combine well with corn and other ingredients
  • Your South Indian-style Corn Chaat is ready to savour

The flavourful stock that you prepared with so many spices does not go wasted and is incorporated with corn chaat fully. The crunch and fresh and raw flavours come rushing through in every bite with coconut bits, curry leaves and a good dose of butter pampers you with all the flavourful joy.