Back when we were children, those weren’t the days of dining at sprawling, high-end hotels or brunches at a four-star resort. Nowdays, when I see everyone checking into the Marriott or Leela or Westin on facebook, I smile on remembering the time when we would look at the Taj Palace Hotel of Mumbai from across the street during the ‘Mumbai-Darshan’, and marvel at the fact that all the famous film-stars dined there. Ah, the simpler times!
Our weekend takeaways came from simple eateries like Udipi (a famous yet budget-friendly South-Indian food franchise) or Hong-kong, an Asian restaurant tucked away into a narrow lane near our house. We used to wait for the day when mum would order us food from these joints and even today, I still get the same takeaways when I visit my home-town in India.
One of these favorite joints of ours was a place called- VRINDAVAN. It was a humble little restaurant in the New Palasia area of Indore and the specialty of this place is that it did an insane variety of corn-based dishes that were more delicious than you can ever imagine. They had corn-pakoras, corn-bhel, corn kees, corn-pulao, corn chaat and corn-what not. Corn-Chaopati it was called! It was a budget-friendly fare, very reasonable and the food was so yummy that the taste still lingers on my tongue.
So, when I saw a tin of corn in my refrigerator which was almost 3/4th full, I immediately thought of replicating my favorite dish from Vrindavan- Corn-Pulao!
All I could remember from memory was that it used to have whole-spices, corn kernels, coconut shreds, it used to be sweetish and it used to have a greenish base, like a pesto. Relying on my memory and taking tit-bits from a couple of recipes on you-tube, I began making this new recipe. For the green paste, I pretty much used the ingredients for the standard green chutney that I prepare regularly and for rest of the procedure, I simply followed the way of making an everyday pulao. In the end, I added sugar…. (remember I told you that Vrindavan’s pulao used to be sweetish?)….mix-mix and taking a spoonful, stuffed a gigantic bite into my mouth. Surprise, surprise! I nailed the exact taste on my very first attempt! Every bite was like an instant trip down the memory lane. I quickly wrote down the exact recipe lest I forget even a single element of it.
I would recommend that you follow this recipe step by step, without any alterations or leaving out of any ingredients. Try out this recipe the next time you want a change from cooking your routine vegetable Pulao or Biryani and I assure you that everyone will love it. If you are a corn lover like me, you have to try it!
Give this recipe a go friends and enjoy!!
– 1 cup Basmati Rice
– 1 cup of ‘ready-to-eat’ Sweetcorn kernels
– 1 large Onion
– 1 Bay Leaf
– 2 Green cardamoms
– 3 Cloves
– 1 tsp Cumin seeds
– 2 tbsn Oil
– 1 tbsn Red chilly powder
– 1 tsp – Garam Masala powder
– 1-2 tsp Sugar
– Salt as per taste
For the green paste:
– ½ cup Fresh coriander leaves
– ½ cup Mint leaves
– A small piece of fresh Coconut, peeled
– 1 small piece of Ginger
– 2 Garlic cloves
– 2 Green chillies
– Wash rice and cook it al-dante (3/4th cooked) as we do for fried-rice. We do not want the rice to be fully-done as they will also be cooked a bit more later. Set aside.
- To check if your rice is done, here’s a trick- The rice should be pretty much cooked but still have a bit of a grain when you break a rice between your forefinger and thumb.
- Also, before you add the raw rice to your boiling water to cook, make sure you add 1 tsp of olive oil and some salt in it. Oil ensures that your rice doesn’t get mushed up together and salt is for inducing some seasoning.
– Grind all the ingredients under the ‘green paste’ by adding a little water. Set aside.
– Meanwhile, thinly slice the onions. Set aside.
– Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan.
– Add cumin, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf. Fry for around fifteen seconds.
– Add the onions and cook on medium-low heat till they turn crisp, brown and caramelised.
– Now add the green paste and saute for 2 minutes.
– Add the corn and sauté again for 2 minutes.
– Add the red chilly powder, garam masala, salt and sugar and mix everything well.
– Add your pre-cooked rice and gently mix it with the tempering, careful not to break the rice. Cook for the final 4-5 minutes more and switch off the flame!
– Serve hot and enjoy!!
– If your sweetcorn kernels are not of a ready-to-eat variety, steam the corn before adding to the tempering.
– I have used the green peas only for decorating the dish! They haven’t been used in the recipe itself.