This is the first year we got corn in the farm share! When these guys arrived I was reminded of a very simple stir-fried corn recipe my mother would make for me flavored with just cumin seed, black pepper, lemon and cilantro. These particular ingredients together give you a nice mix of sweet, spicy, herby and sour. I believe this recipe was one she grew up eating in Bangalore and was known in our house as corn palya (palya = stir-fry in Kannada). You really don’t need to add much to the corn because it’s already so flavorful.
Growing up, we’d eat corn two ways: either roasted straight on the fire or shaved off the cob and stir-fried.
I adapted my mother’s recipe slightly by using the basil and leeks I got this week. They gave the corn a nice herby and earthy flavor that went really well with the lemon.
Stir-Fried Corn w/ Basil & Leaks
4 corn cobs, kernels shaved off cob (2 cups)
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 leek, white & green parts chopped small
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
*Easy method to shave corn off cob: just stand it upright and run your knife as close to the cob as you can get. The kernels will just come right off.
Heat ghee or oil under medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add in cumin seeds. When the seeds start to brown, turn the heat to medium and add in the leeks. Cook the leaks for about 3-5 minutes, until they are cooked down. Mix in the black pepper.
At this point, add in the corn kernels and salt to taste. Fry the corn for a few minutes (doesn’t take long to cook). Turn the heat off. Squeeze lemon and mix in the chopped basil. Add salt to taste.