Corn is supposed to be first cultivated in Mexico and then spread across to the other continents through Europe. However the dish I have made today is inspired by a very Indian rather Indoori Bhutte ka kees which I absolutely adore. I have given it my own twist and done a fusion that you will surely enjoy.
This recipe is an entry for Freedom Tree Baking Contest at IFBM 2014.
Before we go to the recipe, I must share a wonderful story that we used in Knowledge Management. Many of you have wondered what I did for a living. Well that is what I did I was a Knowledge Manager, mutter the names of few IT companies that you can think of 1-2-3 stop, I used to work for one of it. Going back to the story...
There was a farmer in Mexico who grew the best quality corn. His fame was such that one day a North American journalist decided to dig out the secret to the quality of the corn. He came prepared with a team of scientist to analyse the quality of the grain and soil. The soil did not show any outstanding characteristics but the grain did. They found the farmer cared for his crop a lot and yet when other farmers came to him for help or request for seed he happily shared it with them. That surprised the N. American journalist.
He thought let me educate the farmer. He went on to advice, you must protect your grain, do not distribute. You must have monopoly of the best corn in Mexico. Which means you will earn the highest. Soon the journalist returned to his country.
The next year again the N. American journalist decided to do an interview of the farmer thinking that this time the farmer would be a richer man. To his surprise the farmer was still the same.
On further insisting why he had not monopolised the corn this is the answer the farmer gave to the N. American journalist. "My corn is best because the neighbors grow good corn too with the seeds I share. I work harder to protect my corn from diseases but the pollination happens by wind. If the pollens from my neighboring fields was bad quality the quality of my corn will also drop. That is the reason I share not just my seeds but also my knowledge.
The N. American journalist's face fell at how petty his thoughts had been and took back with him not just the secret to the great corn grown by the Mexican farmer but also a lesson in nobility.
(I am not able to trace the origins of this story but it has been retold so many times with everyone adding their own touch)
At the Indian Food Bloggers Meet 2014 this story is what you will see unfold, learn from the community members who are generous enough to share and from professionals outside the community who have given the time to share their knowledge with us. I am all set. What about you?
Now tune in here as I share this recipe. I wish I win the exclusive bakeware hamper from Freedom Tree!
For the Corn Tart shell
1/2 cup makkai ka atta/ milled corn flour
3/4 cup maida / all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
100 gms salted butter (Amul)
Melt the butter. In a large bowl measure out the makkai ka atta and maida. Add the sugar to it. Pour the melted butter over it and knead. It should form a soft dough.
Tip : If required add about 2 tablespoon of chilled water to bind the flours. I did not use water at all as I was using bake and serve tart plates and there was no need to demoulded it.
In two 6 inch bake and serve tart plates press the Corn Tart dough to evenly line the bottom. Cover with cling wrap and keep in the fridge for 30 mins. While it is chilling prep for the Creamy corn.
Preheat oven to 180 deg celcius and blind bake Corn Tart shell for 25 mins till golden.
For the Creamy Corn
2 sweet corns
2 scallion with bulbs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cumin
15-20 curry leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
2 tablespoon butter
With a scissor snip the scallions into small bits. Keep bulbs aside for garnishing.
Remove kernels of corn and keep aside, about 1/2 cup. Grate the remaining one full corn plus the remaining half. It should yield a cup of grated corn, keep the liquid too which releases while grating.
Now heat the butter till it melts in a wok. Add asafoetida, then cumin, brown it till fragrant. Add the curry leaves. Now add the whole corn kernels first. Pour milk into the wok. Cook for 5 mins. Then add the grated corn. Keep stirring as it thickens a bit but is still creamy about 3 mins. Finally add the scallion greens. Salt the dish.
scallion bulbs ( I had 5)
Assembling the tart
In the blind baked Corn Tart shell fill the Creamy corn. Level it out evenly with a spoon. Garnish with scallion bulbs, cashew and raisins.
Bake again for 15 to 18 mins to let the creamy corn set in the tart shell.
Remove from oven and serve warm. Though I served it with ketchup and mustard sauce none of us touched it. The tart was so good on its own!
To explain the taste, the shell is crunchy with the sugar and makkai atta, quite buttery. The creamy corn is sweetish savory with slight pungency from the scallions when you bite into a snipping. The cumin and butter perfumes the creamy corn along with the asafoetida and curry leaves.
Note: I haven't use green or red chilli in this dish though it is savory. If you wish to add heat feel free to do so.