Quick Summer Side Dish: Spicy Corn with Mustard Seeds

Fresh corn sauteed with chiles and mustard seeds

When did weekends become all about running around and less about sitting around? A few months ago, almost ten years after our first baby arrived and we'd parted ways with leisurely weekend mornings, we resubscribed to the Sunday New York Times. I like seeing the blue plastic bundle waiting for me on the front stoop - it gives the impression that I am a person who has time to read the newspaper.

I can't say I've ever managed to read the whole paper; a half hour spent with the Book Review and the Arts and Leisure section on Sunday mornings seems to be my limit before I'm off and on with the day.

This past Sunday, my promise to grill ribs for dinner had to be postponed at the last minute, as I found myself at Home Depot shopping for home improvement projects right around dinner time. Time for Plan B! I made a quick dash to the store to buy some chicken to throw on the grill and fresh corn for 25 cents an ear.

I was inspired by this recipe which appears in the July issue of Sunset magazine. It's from a new cookbook by Ruta Kahate called 5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices.

It was delicious! I used just one chile pepper, and found it gently spicy. I also added some lime juice for a little extra flavor. This is a 5-minute recipe, especially if you use frozen corn.

Slicing the kernels off the cob can get a little messy, though. I managed to splatter corn juice all over T and his Times crossword puzzle.

Spicy Corn with Mustard Seeds
makes 4 servings

6 to 8 ears corn (or use 4 cups thawed frozen corn)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 or 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 -2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, to taste

1. Slice kernels off corn, if using fresh.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat, add mustard seeds, and cover. When seeds stop popping, lower heat to medium and add chiles; stir 30 seconds.

3. Stir in turmeric. Add corn and salt to taste. Toss, turn heat to low, cover, and cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes (cook frozen corn about 1 minute). Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve warm.

Ruta Kahate, Sunset, JULY 2007 5 Spices, 50 Dishes

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


Alanna said...

That looks just delicious ...

Liza said...

YUM! I love corn in almost any form. It will be a while before we get local corn here in Maine though. I think I can wait.

valentinA said...

I was starting to get bored with corn coz each time I end up eating them with a dollop of butter. But you've greatly inspired me now!! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe Karen!

Karen said...

Alanna, I think you'll like this...

Liza, and DITTO for you! After kayaking, of course.

Valentina, this is a nice alternative to buttered corn - but no replacement. Butter and fresh summer corn are not to be missed!

Kristen said...

Nothing quite like fresh corn. I love what you did with it!

Joe said...

I'll have to give this a try when we get some fresh corn from the farmers market!

Erika said...

That sounds delightful! Corn is just around the corner for us, but I'm tempted to pick up some frozen corn to try this one.

Dani Spies said...

This looks great...I've made something very similar, but instead of the tumeric and mustard seeds I used a bit of cumin. Can't wait to try this version.

Karen said...

Kristen, you're right, and it feels like the season is so short!

Joe, I'm still waiting for local corn, too. I always have lots of big ideas, and not enough time.

Erika, I think it would be just delicious either way.

Dani, cumin and corn are are a great combo. Maybe I'll try a more Southwest seasoning next time, as well!

Grant said...

This recipe sounds fantastic. Cumin is one of my favorite spices however, I never really think to use mustard seeds in very much. I think I'm going to have to pick up a copy of this book. I love Indian, but sometimes the recipes can be a bit daunting. But these sound great.