Saturday, May 19, 2012

Maka Bhaja (American Corn fry called these days...)

This corn fry is my mom's recipe. Maka is the Odiya word for Corn. Bhaja is the Odiya word for shallow-fry. She used to make this for us an evening snack. We used to only get in particular months of the year in Odisha - so when it was available, eat as much as you can. And I used to love this particular preparation, not just for it's awesome flavor and taste but also because this did not require me to put any effort in eating the kernels off the corn! ;)

A few years back during one of our India trips, we realized that there was a big craze for American Corn fry as an appetizer when eating out. Everyone was going gaga about it. We decided to try it out and R's humorous take on it was "'s just Maka Bhaja" :) It still intrigues me why people refer to it as "American"..wonder if it is the next American Chopsuey that only exists in Indo-Chinese cuisine! Ok maybe coz it is the young corns whereas we are used to eating the slightly mature corns after roasting it in flame. But then it could have been called "Kancha Maka Bhanja"..ofcourse that does not sound as trendy! Anyways, there are better things to worry, enjoy the recipe!

3-4 servings

Canola oil - 1 tbsp
Corn heads - 4
Onion - 1/2 big, thinly chopped
Fresh Green Chilli - 1, chopped
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 2 pinch
Fresh Curry leaves - 4-5
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) - a pinch
Salt - as per taste
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Lemon juice of 1/2 small lemon


Take the fresh corn heads. Clean the hairs left on them, if any.
Holding the corn in your left hand with the utensil underneath. With your right hand, take a knife and start cutting out the kernels from the corn. Takes a few strokes to get all the kernels. Some people can just use their hands to pull off the kernels - not me!

Start the cooking by heating the Canola oil.
Add the Mustard seeds.
Once they sizzle, add the Cumin seeds and fresh Curry leaves.
As the Mustard seed crackles by now and the smell of the Curry leaves is encompassing your kitchen, add the chopped Onions and Green Chillies. Stir and mix.
As the onion starts turning translucent, you can add the Hing. Stir it to mix up.
Add the Turmeric powder and Salt after a few seconds. Mix it well.

Depending on how crunchy you want the Onions to be, appropriately add the already chopped corn kernels as shown in the pic.
Mix well and let it cook in Medium-High heat.
As the corns look half-cooked, add 2-3 tbsp of water and mix it well. Cover it and let it cook in Medium heat.
Once the corn look cooked, add the Coriander Powder and Lemon juice. Mix it well and cook for 2-3 more minutes to make it crunchy.
You can garnish it with fresh chopped Coriander leaves for added flavor. I did not when I prepared this.

You can have this as an evening snack. Or as an item with bread \ Chapatti.


Priya said...

Excellent side dish for rotis.

Poonam Borkar said...

looks delicious!

Follow foodie said...

Very tempting

Pragyan said...

@Priya - Indeed, it is! It can be had by itself also as a snack!

@Poonam - It is, a little sweet but savoury afterall! :)

@Follow foodie - Thank you, dear! :)