Calling for corn

So I was all ready to hop into the shower the other night (this is code for “I was buck naked”) when the phone rang. My child answered it and thoughtfully ran it right up to me, disregarding the obvious signs that I was otherwise occupied. I took the call because, really, I can talk on the phone without clothes just as well as with.

Is this too much information?

Anyhow, the call was really important. It was about corn. My friend had just made it for supper and she was very clear in her message: my life would be much enhanced if I made the corn. A bonus: it was Indian style.

I hung up the phone, got my shower, cozied up in my bed to write, and …. the phone rang again. It was my friend with more observations about the corn recipe. She was spooning the juices into her mouth as she talked, describing to me the play-by-play details. I hung up the phone again and then ran downstairs to 1) return the phone to its rightful place in the kitchen, and 2) fetch the appropriate cookbook.

Back up in bed, between writing about plum cake and editing photos, I read the recipe. It did look good, I had to admit.

Fast forward to today. A bucket of unhusked corn from yesterday’s pathetic picking lurked in the back hall, so I sent Miss Beccaboo and our newly arrived Fresh Air boy out to the compost to husk it for me. (The boy returned to the porch early—he’s a little shell-shocked, understandably.) Then, a little later, after running errands and slapping together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids’ lunch, I set the children up in front of the computer to watch School House Rock while I made my lunch, the spicy Indian corn.

I ate a bowl right off (and scorched the roof of my mouth in my haste) and then I rushed the kids off to rest time so I could sit myself down and tell you about it. And eat a second bowl.

It’s good stuff, my dears—spicy, sweet, creamy, crunchy. (Aren’t I good with adjectives? I think I have a real gift.) If you don’t have a blog platform from which to vent your corny ecstacy, I suspect you’ll want to call up a couple good friends who will listen patiently as you recount the delicious details. You’ll be so absorbed in describing the fireworks that are going off in your mouth you won’t even care if the person on the other end of the line has any clothes on or not.

And that’s a fact.

Indian-Style Corn
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

This would be delicious served with fried or grilled chicken and a spinach salad (or in winter, creamed spinach).

5 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 medium onions, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 (or 4, if you dare) jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
½ cup sweet pepper (red, green, or orange), small dice
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups fresh, uncooked corn, cut off the cob
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, toss in the mustard seeds and stir for 15 seconds. Add the fenugreek, red pepper, and ginger. Stir once and add the onions, jalapenos, and sweet peppers. Saute till the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the turmeric and stir once.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the corn and garlic. Cook for about five minutes or until the corn is tender, stirring frequently. Add the yogurt and salt and heat through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve warm.

Yield: six servings

This same time, years previous: garden tsunami, seasonal regret, and hamming up Luke.


  • Jennifer Jo

    ThyHand, I, too, have lots of spices to share. Stop by!

    Kris, I will not forgive you because there is nothing to forgive you for! It's a great recipe—I'm so glad you shared.

  • Kris

    ThyHand, it wouldn't be the same. You could come to my house and I would give you two teaspoons of mustard seed and a half teaspoon of fenugreek, just so you can make the recipe as God intended…or at least as Sally Fallon intended. It might still be good without them, but I can't guarantee that. Let me know when you want to stop by…

    Jennifer, it sounds like you've forgiven me for not caring what state of undress you were in when I first called?

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    This looks really good. Is it worth making if I don't have the black mustard seeds or fenugreek seeds? I'm guessing it wouldn't be quite the same, but still may be really good?

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