It’s sweet corn season in India, although sweet corn isn’t the most typical Indian ingredient and only used in a few traditional recipes, but you can often find it roasted as a roadside snack. When I met my husband we often bought some roasted corn from a street stall, while we were floating aimlessly through Delhi. It would be a very romantic memory if the corn didn’t get stuck between my teeth all the time.
In the Punjab dried corn gets ground into Makki ki Atta (a slightly grainy flour) and thick yellow flatbreads are made out of it. They are smeared with ghee and eaten together with cooked mustard leaves. In Rajasthan they make a sweet rice pudding or kheer out of fresh corn (Bhutte ki Kheer). The young corn gets grated and boiled together with milk, sugar, cardamon and saffron till it becomes a thick, sweet pudding similar in texture to Indian rice pudding, but with the sweet aroma of corn.
If you get relatively young and fresh sweetcorn the texture of the traditional recipe is fantastic! But if your corn isn’t really young (or you use frozen corn) you face the problem of unpleasant pieces of corn skin, which I don’t like. Thats why I made a soft and silky sweetcorn dessert out of the traditional recipe, it still has the pleasant aroma of corn but won’t disturb any first date with unpleasant bits. In the recipe below I explain both versions.
Sweet Corn Saffron Dessert
For 3 - 4 people.
- 1,5 cups corn (from 2-3 fresh cobs or frozen)
- 500 ml milk
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- 1,5 teaspoon starch
- 1-3 tablespoons honey
- chopped nuts
- edible silverfoil
- pomegranate seeds
Grate the corn with a boxgrater from the cobs & catch all liquid which is extracted from the cobs.
Give the corn, liquid and milk into a blender and puree it. Strain the mixture through some cloth or nutmilkbag. Press as much liquid out as possible.
Grind the saffron in a mortar with a bit of sugar. Mix the starch with 2 tablespoons of cold milk.
Put the cornmilk into a pot and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The milk should reduce by 1/3 and become a bit thicker. Stir regularly. Add the saffronsugar and boil a little more. Then stir in the starch with a whisk, increase the heat and bring it to one more boil. Take of the stove.
You can add the honey now or drizzle over the cream just before serving (I prefer that). You will have to adjust the amount of honey according to the sweetness of the corn.
You can serve the cream warm or cold. If you cool it you should keep a piece of foil directly on top, though no skin is forming.
If you want you can whip it a bit before serving. Decorate with chopped nuts, edible silverfoil or pomegranate seeds.
If you want to make the original dish from Rajasthan you add the grated corn directly to the milk and boil it till it has a slightly liquid rice pudding like consistency. You won’t need any starch in this case. All other ingredients stay same.
You can also add 1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder (I feel it diverts too much from the sweet corn flavour)
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