Creamed Corn (Maharashtrian style)

When we were kids, the only kind of corn we got in the markets was the white corn. Like a string of the best pearls, it sat in its green casing, golden silk showing up here and there. If you pierced a pearl with your nail, it oozed thick white milk, holding promise of flavor. Most times, we ate it like this–at home or outside. It was and still is very difficult to stop the salivation when one sees corn being roasted on the cob. The frustration of not being able to dislodge a bit of corn skin stuck in your teeth is small price to pay.

These days, however, all we get in the markets–supermarkets or local markets likewise–is the yellow corn; which is great in its own right but I do miss the humble white corn of my childhood. I miss going to the market and spending a tad too long on choosing the perfect ear of corn and walking back home with dreams of eating my mother’s Makyaachi usal. “Usal,” here, is a misleading term; an usal is typically made using whole, sprouted grains, but that’s what we call it at home. In reality, the texture is more like creamed corn. In Indore, it is known as “Bhutte ka kees” or quite simply, grated corn, but oh, I can tell you it is so much more! The recipe is embarrassingly simple but this versatile dish can be served in many avatars–as a side with roasted meats and veggies (like you would serve mashed potatoes), as a breakfast dish with hot, buttered toast (like you would serve scrambled eggs), or just by itself by the bowlfuls on a cold, rainy evening.

As I sit at my table racing against time to meet a deadline, a sick child tugging at my sleeve, watching dark clouds cross the hills and come toward us holding promise of rain, I am reminded of this warm, comforting dish–its reassuring flavors and textures calming my soul. And as luck would have it, I have pictures of the usal I made last year. You could just as well make it using yellow corn, but if you do happen to find some of the good old white stuff, please make this. It’s tastes of mother’s love.

Creamed Corn (Maharashtrian Style)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white (or yellow) corn kernels
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Freshly grated coconut to serve
  • Freshly chopped green coriander to serve

Method:

  1. Place the corn kernels and milk in a food processor and process to a coarse but homogenous paste.
  2. Heat the ghee in a non-stick wok. Add the cumin seeds, chopped green chilies, and asafetida in quick succession and saute for a second.
  3. Tip in the onions and saute until translucent. Add the corn and milk mixture and season with salt and sugar. Stir once and cover to cook (aout 5 minutes).
  4. Serve piping hot, garnished with freshly grated coconut and finely chopped green coriander.

Comments (13)

  1. Preeti June 17, 2012 at 2:31 am

    I am having this for lunch now..haven’t got corn on cobs..but will use frozen corns..I hope that turns out ok.

  2. Anjali June 17, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Saee this has a promise of an Akuri for a vegetarian. I like it that you leave out the turmeric to keep the real taste and color unlike the bhutte ka kees.

  3. Poornima June 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Would love to try this, since we only get sweet corn here, will make a wonderful sweet and spicy dish!

  4. Megha June 17, 2012 at 6:48 am

    My kinda comfort food. I’m so going to make this 🙂

  5. Ansh June 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

    This absolutely does speak of mother’s love. I will definitely make this.

  6. Rhea June 17, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Wow! That’s a ridiculously easy little dish to whip up! I shall try this soon 🙂

  7. Priti June 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Lovely write-up and a very comforting recipe. Corn is in season and I see myself cooking this very soon. I hate to see white corn disappearing from the market and yellow ‘too sweet’ corn replacing it. I love white corn and the lovely backdrop it offers to a myriad of flavors, especially in several savory preparations, the dearest to me being ‘Rushi chi bhaaji’ made on rushi panchami day.

  8. anecdotesofmylife June 17, 2012 at 9:08 am

    We get the white corn here…am gonna try it Saee 🙂

  9. Pinky June 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Lovely write up Saee…..Love the way u express ur emotions and ur memories as well……….A lovely start to my morning after reading your post.

  10. evolvingtastes June 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Our local farmers get white, yellow, and bicolor, and depending on what is fresh, they are all goof. Corn season just started here, and so I am going to try this out soon! Will let you know.

  11. evolvingtastes June 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

    They are all good, not goof!

  12. chinmayie @ love food eat June 19, 2012 at 3:22 am

    I have never heard of something like this. Looks so comforting, creamy, sweet and delicious.

  13. Spandana June 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I would love to try this. Never tasted it before. Love the way you write and loved your videos too.
    Glad I found ur space.

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