Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cholam (Corn on the Cob Indian Style)

If you have grown up in India and in any of the coastal regions like Chennai or Mumbai you could not have missed this delicacy that is a staple on the beachside. It is a totally different story that growing up I have never been allowed to eat much street food due to my dad being a medical doctor and hygiene issues. I wish I could reverse that now. I have tried to compensate for that once I got to college and he has also become increasingly lenient with the confidence that an Andial can end *whatever* should it arise.

To more pleasant things now. I have had an electric stove top until 2 years ago and just could not get this to grill effectively. The past two years since having a gas stove top; we make this regularly every summer when fresh corn is in galore. This is so simple to make, such a nutritious snack and can be modified for kids and adults alike by varying what spices you would use.

Time: 10 min

Difficulty level : Easy

  • Corn ( as many as you would like)
  • lime juice or lime (cut into 2 halves)
  • 1 tbsp chilly powder 
  • 1 tsp salt

Method de Preparation:
  1.  Peel the cover of the corn but don't take it away. You will be grilling it using that to hold. Just fold it backwards.
  2. Remove all the tender husk and string like fabric.
  3. Turn your gas stove top on and move corn back and forth on the fire. Keep rotating it so all sides are exposed to the heat.
  4. You might hear a few corn crackle. That is expected. How would you feel if you were held to the flame - I expect you would crackle too, right?
  5. Keep going until you can see it brown/blacken. Depending on how dark you want it, turn off heat and keep this aside.
  6. In the meantime mix together the chilly powder and salt. Cut the lime in two halves. 
  7. Now for the fun part. Take the corn in your left hand (yes, even if you are left handed), and take the lime half in your right hand. Dip that lime (the cut side of course) into that chilly salt mix. Get a good amount on it. Then apply it along the length of the corn squeezing the lime along the way so that the juice also enters the grooves. Repeat till the corn is covered. For kids, omit the chilly salt mix and use butter and some salt instead.
  8. Now grab your favorite book, go to a secret spot in your home and enjoy. I say secret spot because there will be these people who always say no when you ask them if they want one and that they will have just a bite. Beware that after they try it, a bite is all that will be left for you!

If you have a grill, by all means use that instead of doing this on the stove top. But cooking on that flame gives it a unique taste too.


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