This is my second Indian snack, or easy Indian recipe this week. Now don’t get me wrong, masala sandwiches and corn chaat (also known as masala corn) are very post-worthy, but I had originally planned to space them out more, and post a VERY tasty vegan dessert I’ve been working on. Alas, I was first cursed by an incredibly dark stormy day (not enough natural light in the photos), and secondly by experimenting with skipping one of the cooking steps, which completely messed up the texture. Never fear, my tasty vegan showstopping dessert will be up on Monday! For now, I leave you with another really easy vegan snack.
I love sweetcorn, but rarely eat it for some reason, and until India, I would never have considered eating it as a snack. The only obvious corn snack go to for was popcorn. Which, FYI, I will never post a recipe on n because the popcorn recipe to end all popcorn recipe is this stovetop popcorn. Try it and you’ll never ever consider microwave popcorn again, I promise, it’s that good. I cook it with coconut oil and no butter, and it’s just perfect, with every kernel popped.
I loved loved loved going to the cinema in India. It was wayyyy cheaper than back in Europe, and they had really cool things like reclining seats, a much bigger snack variety, and even waiter service and full cooked meals in some of the swankier ones! I noticed some masala corn counters with different sauces and toppings, but initially dismissed them. Why would I eat a little ice-cream style cup (you know, the ones they put one or two scoops of ice-cream in) of sweetcorn at the cinema? Madness.
But then one day I went to the cinema with my amazing friend Ranu, and her son Elliot, and she got some masala corn and offered some to me. At first, I said no, but eventually I tried it, and my oh my was I pleasantly surprised. Creamy spiced salty hot corn sprinkled with coriander is definitely NOT something you should be turning your nose up at.
To be fair, I think my initial reluctance was due to the fact that I had mainly experienced corn either as:
- The vegetable side to my mashed-potatoes-and-meat typical Irish meals. Plain, and boiled. Blah (And I still shudder at the sight of mashed potatoes).
- As yummy buttered corn-on-the-cob (amazing, but still, if it’s not on the cob it’s totally not the same).
- An afterthought-veggie in fried rice.
One day, back in Madrid, we were watching a movie and everyone wanted popcorn. I went to the kitchen to make some, but shock horror, we had run out of popcorn kernels! There was nothing else left to really snack on….except a bag of frozen corn….
And so I remembered my love of corn chaat! I swear to you, other corn-reluctant eaters out there (or corn fans), you really need to try masala corn. The beauty of chaats (savoury snacks/Indian street food) is that they are waaaay easier and quicker to prepare than curries, and work with ingredients you may already be familiar with (or even leftovers), but combine them in a different way. And there’s no easier way to initiate yourself into the world of chaat-eating or cooking than with corn chaat. Serve in a small boll with a teaspoon, or in an ice-cream cup, as an alternative to your usual snacks, and feel free to play around with the spice level. Kids love masala corn but normally not when it’s super spicy.
If you can’t find black salt you can use regular salt, but I highly recommend black salt – it gives a singular flavour to any dish and is also great in any vegan recipes that usually require eggs, such as scrambled tofu or vegan frittatas.
- 4 cups corn, frozen or tinned
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 2 tsp chaat masala
- 1/8 tsp cayenne, optional
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp black salt, kala namak
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- If frozen, microwave the corn in 5 minute increments until done. Drain well. If canned, rinse, drain and heat up for 1.5 minutes in the microwave in a covered container.
- Add the margarine and mix it with the corn, making sure the corn is hot enough to melt it.
- Add the chaat masala, cayenne if using, black pepper and black salt and mix well.
- Add in the lemon juice and coriander and mix again. Serve hot in small snack-size portions. Or big ones (no judgement here!).