Makai Monsoon Magic, 5 Corn Recipes For Rainy Days

Corn holds a special place in Indian cuisine and is especially cherished during the rainy season. Originating from the Americas, corn found its way into Indian kitchens centuries ago and has since become a beloved vegetable across the country. Its versatility, sweetness, and ability to adapt to various cooking methods have made it a staple ingredient in many regional cuisines.

In India, corn is widely used in both sweet and savoury dishes, offering a delightful combination of flavours and textures. During the monsoon, when rain showers bring respite from the scorching heat, corn becomes even more popular. There are a few reasons why this golden vegetable is loved during this season.

Corn is abundantly available during the monsoon months. It is harvested during this time, making it easily accessible and relatively affordable. The fresh, juicy corn cobs can be found in local markets, street vendors' stalls, and grocery stores, enticing food enthusiasts to experiment with this versatile ingredient. The sweetness of corn pairs well with savoury spices and tangy chutneys, creating a balance of flavours that is highly sought after in Indian cuisine.

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In addition to its culinary appeal, corn also offers several health benefits. It is a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Corn is known to boost energy levels, aid digestion, and provide essential nutrients. Its high fibre content helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system, while the antioxidants present in corn contribute to overall well-being.

Whether enjoyed as a street food snack, a side dish, or a main course, corn dishes add a touch of warmth and delight to the monsoon experience in India.

Bhutta: Starting with the simple OG monsoon corn favourite, this is a popular street food snack in many places across India. Whole corn cobs are grilled over an open flame until they develop a smoky and charred flavour. The corn is then brushed with butter, sprinkled with a mixture of salt, red chilli powder, and chaat masala, and served with a squeeze of lemon juice. Bhutta is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours.

Makai Vada: Makai vada is a crispy and savoury snack made from freshly ground corn kernels. The corn batter is seasoned with ginger, green chilli, coriander, and spices, then deep-fried until golden brown. These fritters are enjoyed with mint chutney or ketchup and make for a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea during the rainy season.

Corn Pakoras: Pakoras are a quintessential monsoon snack in India, and corn pakoras provide a unique twist to this classic dish. Fresh corn kernels are mixed with besan, spices, and herbs to create a batter. The batter-coated corn is deep-fried until crispy and golden. These pakoras are a delightful combination of sweet corn and spicy flavours, best enjoyed with mint chutney or tamarind chutney.

Corn Bhel: Bhel is a popular Indian street food snack that is perfect for the monsoon season. Corn bhel is a variation of this dish that incorporates boiled corn kernels, along with puffed rice, chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander, sev, and tangy chutneys. It is a refreshing and crunchy snack that offers a burst of flavours and textures.

Bhutte Ka Kees: Bhutte ka Kees is a popular street food from Indore. It is a grated corn stir-fry that is cooked with aromatic spices and served as a delicious snack or side dish. To prepare this dish, fresh corn kernels are grated and sautéed in ghee along with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies, and ginger. The mixture is then seasoned with turmeric, red chilli powder, and a pinch of sugar for a hint of sweetness. The grated corn is cooked until it turns soft and the flavours meld together. 

Corn Curry: Corn curry is a rich and creamy dish that combines the sweetness of corn with a creamy coconut based gravy. The corn kernels are simmered in a spiced tomato and onion-based gravy, along with aromatic spices, ginger, garlic, and coconut milk. This curry is best enjoyed with hot rotis or steamed rice, offering a hearty and satisfying meal during the monsoon season.