By Naini Setalvad August 2013 Whether eaten roasted, boiled, spiced, or along with vegetables, corn makes for great taste packed with nutrition, says Naini Setalvad No sooner does the first drop of rain touch the ground, than my instinct urges me to reach out for a scrumptious roasted corn on the cob. It is one of the most popular cereals in the world and forms the staple food in many countries including USA and Africa.Closer home, it is commonly seen during the monsoon, with bhutta vendors on the streets, roasting corn on the cob on fiery red hot coal, finished off with a dash of salt and chilli powder, and a smear of lemon juice. Quite simply, the perfect way to enjoy the rains! Corn, incidentally, is packed with nutrition. Though technically labelled a grain, many people use corn kernels as a vegetable. Despite being a grain, corn contains relatively high fibre content. Unlike refined grains and white rice that can lead to constipation, corn keeps your digestive tract in good shape. Being a grain, it is classified as a carb, but its protein content makes it a nutritive food. Corn has a positive effect on your moods, and is good for overall heart health. This is due to its magnesium content. Regular consumption of corn helps in preventing and lowering hypertension, ensuring stable blood pressure. Magnesium is an essential mineral as it works with the heart muscles and our neurology so that it can improve the cardio vascular health as well as manage a stable mood. In addition, it contains zero cholesterol, which works well for most people. Potassium is also abundant in corn. This nutrient is essential in ensuring stable blood pressure. Regular consumption of corn will definitely help in preventing and lowering hypertension. Potassium also helps regulate the mood and improves the communication between our brain and the rest of the body, thus helping us to relax! As we know, corn can be made in many different ways. The most popular and easy way to eat corn is by boiling the kernels, and mixing them with chaat masala, lemon, salt, and may be a little pepper. This tangy snack tastes great, and is widely available in cinema theatres, malls, and street corners. Since it is cooked, it is safe to eat. When you buy corn, press one of the kernels. If a milky white liquid oozes out it shows that the kernels are succulent and juicy. Corn in India is available in two varieties – white and yellow. The latter is also known as American corn or golden corn. Corn is also a great addition to salads. Because of its low calorie content and high fibre, it can be a good substitute for fried paneer in the popular palak paneer dish. Substitute fried croutons or a dollop of cream in soups with boiled corn kernels. Kids love watching the golden kernels bobbing in the soup. Corn flour is ideal for makai ki roti, a Punjabi specialty eaten during winter along with sarson ka saag. Corn Melody Ingredients 200 gm white corn 200 gm yellow corn 100 gm green peas, boiled 100 gm French beans, boiled 100 gm red capsicum, finely chopped 2 tbsp grated coconut 1/4 tsp green chilli paste Salt and lemon juice to taste Ingredients for tempering1/4 tsp rye (mustard) seeds1/4 tsp urad dal (Split black gram)5-6 curry leaves1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)2 tbsp til (sesame) seeds2 tsp ghee Method 1. Add ghee to a kadai (wok). Once it is heated, add rye and urad dal. 2. As it starts crackling add curry leaves and hing 3. Grind both the varieties of corn in a blender and add it to the kadai (wok) 4. Roast it for 5 to 7 minutes till the mixture starts to dry. 5. Add salt, green chilli paste and roast again 6. Add coconut, lemon juice, green peas, French beans to the kadai (wok) 7. Sauté the chopped capsicum in another kadai and then add to the corn mixture. 8. Cook till little moist and set it in a bowl. 9. Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over it and serve. Stuffed Tomatoes Ingredients 4 tomatoes (scooped) For stuffing 2 whole corn (boiled and grated) 1 capsicum (finely chopped) 1 onion (finely chopped) 1 green chilli (finely chopped) 30 gms low fat paneer (grated) 1 tsp chaat masala 1/4th cup coriander (chopped) Chilli flakes (to taste) Oregano (to taste) Method1. Mix all the ingredients of the stuffing.2. Fill it in the tomatoes.3. Serve as a starter or salad.
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