Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lend me Your Ears. Corn and Coconut. The Perfect Pair. Who Knew?

   Corn is the Miss Popularity of the vegetable World. It seems to be the vegetable that no one rejects, even the pickiest eaters, even guys who don't "eat" vegetables, and I don't mean that in the ironic hipster sense. But speaking of hipsters, I once cooked dinner for a couple of hipster P.A.s. One guy warned me ahead of time he didn't eat vegetables so therefore I should only give him what he would eat. Meat.

   Surely I thought this wasn't possible. There had to be one freakin' vegetable this kid would eat. Some plant matter had to make its way into his digestive system besides beer nuts and Doritos. So I asked him if he ate corn. "Yeah, well corn isn't really a vegetable" I was told. Dude, unless you have to hunt it down and chase it to get it into your mouth, it's a vegetable. So, it turned out there was something green and growing that he'd eat. Corn. Busted.

   Corn is probably one of the easiest things in the world to cook. Fresh shucked, 2 minutes into boiling water and out. That's it. Of course there are more complicated ways of making corn, roasting, grilling, dry-rubbing with spices. All of them delicious. Almost every cuisine has a recipe for corn and Indian cuisine is no exception. One of the best is an Indian corn salad made with coconut. Easy, Fast perfect for Summer eating, it's another great make-ahead dish, and who doesn't want to take some of the pressure off cooking at this time of year.

Indian Corn and Coconut Salad

Here's What You Need:

6 fresh ears of corn
1 and 1/2 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut or dried grated unsweetened (fresh is best if you can get it)

Here's What To Do:

Shuck and wash the ears of corn.
Scrape the kernels off the cobs.

Take 1/2 of the kernels and grind them up in a blender. Do Not add any water.
Grind them up until they form a smooth batter.

Mix the ground corn in with the rest of the whole kernels.
In a skillet or kadhai heat the coconut oil.
When the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle and turn color, add in the corn mixture and the turmeric.

Mix it together well.
Cover the pan, turn down the heat and cook the mixture for about 10 minutes or so. Stir it every now and them so nothing sticks.
After 10 minutes, take off the cover and add in the sugar, salt, ground cumin, cayenne and lemon juice.

Give everything a good stir, cover the pan again and cook for another 4 minutes or so.
Take the lid off, add in the coconut, give it a good stir and you're done. Serve this at room temperature.

   I served this corn as one of the dishes at an all vegan tasting menu at our house a couple of weeks ago. It works just as well with any backyard barbecue menu and is a great alternative to the usual grilled corn. Coming up next, smoke your eggplant and drizzle it with honey and spices. You'll be surprised at what a great dish you get. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori 


  1. Kathy I love the sound of this! fresh corn is my fav... love the recipe.. got to try this one!

  2. We can eat corn in many ways, boil the corn for the last 15 after that, you can eat, even i like your pic, in that you clearly shown us i understood how to make it.



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