I had this dish decades ago while visiting family friends. They were both practicing physicians with young children and very little spare time. This was the appetizer that “Auntie” whipped up.
Aside: If you don’t have access to the spices listed below, just use regular salt and pepper and some ground cumin. No worries.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 3 cups frozen sweet corn kernels
- 1/4 bell pepper, cut into small dice
- *1 teaspoon Amchur powder (dried mango powder)
- *1/2 teaspoon Indian Black Salt
- *1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- *Alternately, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of store-bought Chaat Masala instead of the last three ingredients
- Juice of fresh lime or lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter or oil.
- Meanwhile, wash and dice 1/4 piece of red bell pepper. Add it to the hot pan. Stir.
- After a minute, add 3 cups of frozen corn and cover the pan.
- Cook covered 3 minutes.
- Remove the cover, increase the heat to high to dry off most of the liquid.
- Add the spices and turn off the burner.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the finished dish and serve as either an appetizer or side dish.
Note: *These ingredients may be purchased at your local Indian grocer. For this reason, I have given you the name of the spice both in English and Hindi as that is the name (written phonetically in the English alphabet) you will find it under when you go shopping.
Amchur Powder (green mango powder) – Sour, slightly sweet, fruity.Used only in its powdered form. It is added to cooked food after turning the burner off. It is a large component in Chaat Masala, a condiment, sprinkled over Indian savory snacks like Papadi Chaat, Fruit and Potato Chaat, bean salads, etc.. It is used alone to impart a bright note to bland vegetarian dishes such as Lotus root, boiled black chickpeas, squash, potato, and yam dishes. Added to ground meat curry (Keema) to add a bright, sour note. Added to vegetable stuffing for Parathas (Indian stuffed flatbreads). Boosts digestion, contains vitamins A, C, D, and B6 which help your immune system. Amchur is also an antioxidant. It stimulates detoxification; helps in weight loss; and, is good for the heart.
Jeera/Geera (cumin seeds) – Earthy, smoky.The whole form is added as one of the first spices when seasoning cooking oil. If using it in the powdered form to season cooked food, add it after the burner has been turned off. Used whole when flavoring cooking oil in vegetarian and meat dishes. The whole form is added as one of the first spices when seasoning cooking oil. Used as a powder either by itself or as part of Garam Masala after cooking for both vegetarian and meat dishes. Whole seeds are boiled in water to make a tisane to aid digestion (reduces gas), for weight loss, and relaxation. Rich in iron – it has 66g of iron per 100g which is five times the daily dose. Aids in digestion; improves blood cholesterol; promotes weight loss and fat reduction; and, helps promote sleep. It also helps with diabetes. It has both stimulating and calming effects. Improves cognitive function and helps prevent cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimers. It also improves lactation.
Kala Namak (Indian Black Salt) – Salty, sour. Used in the same manner as table salt when cooking. It is used extensively as a condiment in cooking and in spice blends called Chaat Masala. Black salt has comparatively less sodium, it helps reduce bloating. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is considered to be a “cooling” spice. That is, it is calming and alkaline. Black salt is useful for curing depression problems. It helps to preserve both, melatonin and serotonin hormones, which are essential for a peaceful and unhindered sleep. Black salt is rich in potassium which helps to relax muscles and reduces muscle cramps. Potassium also helps to improve the absorption of many other minerals. Black Salt is recommended by many health professionals for its medicinal benefits as it is an antacid, anti-flatulent, antioxidant, digestive stimulant and a laxative. The American Society for Microbiology and European Pharmaceutical and Medical Research Journals have touted the benefits of this salt.
Kali Mirch (black pepper) – Sharp, spicy. Whole peppercorns can be added early on when using them to season cooking oil. However, the ground form is only used toward the end of cooking. Black pepper is used as a condiment and a food preservative. It is one of the components of Garam Masala and Chaat Masala. It is used whole to season doughs like Mathi (savory crip wafer). It is most often ground and used as a condiment in cooked foods. The ground form, when mixed with honey is used to relieve coughs and sore throats and improve breathing. Whole peppercorns are brewed into a tisane to effect the same benefits. For best results, don’t buy it preground as you’ll lose not only flavor but also many health benefits. BLACK PEPPER INCREASES THE BIOAVAILABILITY of certain other nutrients, especially, but not limited to CURCUMIN, WHICH IS THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT OF TURMERIC. It helps reduce swelling; is a known antibacterial; it’s an anti-inflammatory; and, is high in antioxidants. It is a natural pain killer. In ancient times, it was used in conjunction with salt to preserve meat. It helps drain the sinuses.
Chaat Masala is an amalgamation of the spices listed above. It may also contain citric acid powder and plain salt.
Written by Anju Kapur of Anju’s Table. All content and images on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without my permission. Should you wish to share this recipe on your site, please add a link to this post as the source.