Vaghareli Makai

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This dish will lift any bland piece of fish or meat to new heights , add chilli to your own taste. Also you can now buy Ghee at Everleigh markets. I found this recipe on line at http://www.davidlebovitz.com        but will be getting this wonderful  book  …… Near and Far by Heidi Swanson when I get home.

Vaghareli Makai (Spiced Indian Corn)

Four servings

Adapted from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

For this recipe, you’ll need to clarify some butter, which lends an extra-buttery flavor to the corn. You’ll find instructions here, or head to your local Indian shop for some ghee. Although this recipe is terrific with fresh corn, if it’s not available you can use frozen corn, thawed. Heidi says it’s nice made with asparagus or broccoli, but my bets are that I’ll be making it with cauliflower come winter.

The original recipe called for “2 small red chiles” so you can use whatever kind of chile pepper you want, depending on how hot and spicy you like things. I split the difference with a habanero (very hot) and jalapeno (somewhat milder). In the photo in the post, the habanero is the smaller, wrinkled pepper and the jalapeno is the longer one . Toasted cashews would make a good substitute for the peanuts, or for those avoiding nuts, use pumpkin seeds. To make it vegan, Heidi recommends using sunflower oil in place of the butter.

  • 2 small red chiles, stemmed, seeded (if desired), and sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • One 1-inch (3cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon clarified butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • 3 cups (450g, about 3 large ears) fresh corn kernels
  • ½ cup (60g) roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup (30g) chopped cilantro
  • lemon or lime wedges
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. In a mortar and pestle, or with a mini food processor, grind the chiles, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and salt to a paste.
  2. Heat the clarified butter in a wide skillet. Add the mustard seeds and cook, stirring until they pop, which will take a minute or two. Stir in the corn kernels and cook a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they just start to feel tender, which will take a couple of minutes.
  3. Stir in the peanuts, half of the cilantro and half of the red chile paste. Cook for another minute then taste. If desired, for additional heat, add more of the chile paste and perhaps a bit of salt. Remove from heat and add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Serve the spiced corn over rice, or as a side dish, topped with the remaining cilantro and sesame seeds. (It might be nice to serve some cooling raita with it, too.) Have lemon or lime wedges handy for guests to add as they wish. Any leftovers can be reheated in a skillet with a little more clarified butter.

Note: If you have leftover red chile paste, I used mine to make a quick salsa by adding a dab to a small bowl of halved cherry tomatoes, adding a little extra salt, cilantro, oil, and a squeeze of lime juice. It got served it atop grilled fish, although would be good with any grilled meat or as lively side dish with something else.

 

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