Ohhithere! Yup, it’s me. The return of the lost blogger. In my defense, my summer has been packed, I mean PACKED with things like travel. So much travel. International. Domestic. You name it, I’ve done it– at least it seems this way. But I’m hopeful you’ll take be back in spite of my prolonged absence because I come bearing corn kadhi (curry). Not just boring ole kadhi, this one is teeming with peak season, sweet, yellow corn. Ya know, the wondrous fruit and vegetables stands that decorate the midwest roadside come prime summer harvest time, bursting with delicious corn? Yes, THAT corn is the star of this show. I hope we can go back to the way we used to be over a bowl of steamy rice, smothered with sweet yet savory peak-season-veggie corn curry. Be still my ❤.
I came back from India (!) to a CSA box overflowing with ears of corn. And lucky me and my wholy midwestern family, we got two shares to make up for our holds from vacation. Now, I have 20+ ears of fresh, organic corn, with endless possibilities. And yes, I did take lots of pictures which I’m working on posting soon.
I missed this. I missed these foodversations with you, my dear readers. And I have this sense of comfort, writing, blogging, photographing while pausing every few minutes with “Sweetie pie, please put your pants back on. And no, that cheeto behind the couch doesn’t belong in your mouth” or “Guys, I just need five minutes. If you’re not bleeding or need emergency medical attention, then you can wait while I finish this paragraph.” This truly my happy place in my world of piles of laundry, sinks full of dishes, and dirt being tracked in through the patio door. so.much.dirt.
Sadly, summer is winding down and we’re in the dog-days of August. Sure, it’s hot but there is an endless bounty of fresh produce, post-play popsicles to be had, and the last couple of weeks before the kids go back to school (yay!). I’m gonna invoke my safe-space, judgement-free zone privilege here, be real here, and say ‘yes, a thousand times yes, I’m so ready for my kids to be back in school so we can all benefit from being apart for a few hours a day.’ But that quiet. Oh those quiet mornings with my boy(s), now that Little Man is starting preschool. Pardon my mid-post dreaming.
Life right now, however, consists of copious amounts of tex mex like chicken tamale pie, unbeatable enchiladas, and indian food, like this corn kadhi. What is this kadhi business, you ask? Kadhi is a yogurt based curry, thickened with gluten-free (yes!) chickpea flour, and simmered to perfection. And then it’s tempered as a final step, with warm, whole cumin seeds, mustard seeds, whole dried chilies, and curry leaves. I love the addition of smashed garlic to the tempering mixture for added punch and flavor. Plus I just love garlic. Did I happen to mention that the moment I opened the CSA box and The Mister saw the corn, he cried out “CORN KADHI!” like the midwesterner he is?
I didn’t grow up with indian recipes that made use of corn. I remember roasted corn with lime, salt, and chili powder- that’s the extent of my corn savviness from my childhood so when The Mister asked me about it years ago, I said “challenge accepted” and set out to make a no-frills and comfort based indian dish that starred corn. Enter corn kadhi. And while I’ve tried many variations over the years, this version is the one I love most of all. The simplicity of it alone makes this a great weeknight dinner, clocking at under 30 minutes from start to finish. And you know what I love the absolute most about this dish? No chopping vegetables. Winner winner, kadhi dinner!
It’s also comfort on a plate. Ladled over a plate of fragrant, white basmati rice, the gravy is filled with subtle tartness, laced with the aroma of curry leaves and fried garlic. Go ahead, close your eyes and take a whiff. I’ll wait for you. I feel like I’m transported into my mom’s kitchen, as she prepares dinner and I’m ten and insisting on helping her. Watching her work is art in motion. Her expert hands adding a handful of this and a spoonful of that; grabbing fitstfuls of vibrant cilantro, expertly smashing garlic cloves, and tossing it all into the pot. And as she leaned in to smell the kadhi, I would get up on my tiptoes and quietly inhale the warmth of the gravy myself. Then she would add the chickpea fritters. H-E-A-V-E-N. Mom, sorry but you may have a lot of internet strangers (my friends) at your door in like five secs.
And while my mom adds chickpea fritters to her traditional kadhi, I’m a little bit less traditional with mine with the addition of corn. The thing about this corn curry is that while it’s ah-mazing with fresh corn on the cob, it works just as well with frozen corn on the cob because um, corn. So go ahead, don’t be afraid to celebrate corn on the cob in the fall or wintertime. In fact, I make corn kadhi in the fall at last once a month from the corn I’ve frozen from my CSA box. Thank goodness for CSA boxes that help me venture outside of my comfort zone and become a culinary adventurer.
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
- 3 ears corn, husked and cut into fourths (12 pieces)
- 5-6 cups water
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp crushed ginger
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chili powder or to taste
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 5-6 whole dried chilies
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed lightly
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped plus more for garnish
- sliced jalapenos for garnish (optional)
- Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and ginger and let cook until it turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Add chickpea flour and stir with wire whisk until it becomes fragrant. Slowly whisk in yogurt to form a paste. Continue whisking to prevent lumps. Add in turmeric, chili powder, and salt.
- Slowly whisk in water, one cup at a time, until no lumps remain. Bring to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add corn cobs and reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking the curry, Heat remaining oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic cloves and stir until fragrant and the garlic starts to change color. Add curry leaves coat with oil. Cook for 30 seconds, until the leaves start becoming crisp. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and dried chilis. Stir to coat with oil. Be careful of splatter!
- Remove saucepan from heat. Add mixture from saucepan to the curry and immediately close the lid. Remove from heat and add in cilantro.
- Serve hot with white basmati rice or roti.
- Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro.