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.
Nothing is more exciting than ripping open the first corn of summer!
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.