It was supposed to be a small remodeling of the kitchen but it put mine out of commission for nearly a couple of months. What’s that saying about humans making plans and the gods laughing on it?
Sprinkle in extra chaos of spring break – before , during and after, some 4 year old chores and AP exams and prep for A1 . Then add in some gymnastics meet schedules for A2 and spring soccer for A3 – complete with game schedules, make ups , thunderstorms and more( we won the last game – yay!), I just think we were lucky to just have plain simple fare to fill the bellies.
Add to it a missing contractor. Just when we thought we should put out an APB ( I did contemplate it for a whole min – I promise !) for this chap , he shows up . Yippee ! Now that work is almost done, I can get back some of the sanity that was in short supply during these couple of months !!! . And therefore on an impoverished day , canned baby corn come to the rescue. This was got in the hope that some day it would inspire me to make MSG – less version of it from a popular Indo- Chinese fusion restaurant that draws in hoardes near my place.
This is such a simple and delicious fare that you can add your own twist to it and it still works out handy. A friend of mine sampled it on the day it was made and had nothing but good things to say. Serve it with a wedge of lime, add a dash of cream to make it extra special. Serve it with basmati pilaf, hot phulkas, laccha parathas or fried rice. You just cannot go wrong with this.
Of course the main reason why this could be made in 15 -20 min or so is because we pan cook the tomatoes and onions before grinding them to a paste. And also we use readily available dry masala powder to shorten the process time.
Prep time : 5-8 min Cook time : 8 -10 min Total time 15 -20 min
- Canned baby corn : 2
- Onions : 2 ( diced)
- Tomatoes : 2 ( diced)
- Green bell pepper : 1 ( chopped into big pieces)
- Cashew/ Almonds : 10 ( broken if possible)
- Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
- Crushed Kasuri Methi : 1 tbsp.
- Chopped fresh Cilantro : 1/4 cup
- Garam Masala : 1 tsp.
- Kitchen king Masala : 1 tsp.
- Kashmiri Mirch powder : 1 tsp.
- Red chili powder ( spicy ) : 1/4 tsp. + adjusted to spice tolerance
- Optional : 3 Tbsp. light cream, for serving
- Flavorless oil : 2 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp.
- Salt : to taste
- Water : 1/2 – 3/4 cup
- Drain the baby corn of the liquid in the can , wash well with cold water , cut into smaller pieces about an inch long or so and keep it drained in a colander. The idea is to get rid of the brine as much as possible.
- In a heavy sauce pan or wok, on dry heat roast the cashew or almonds until very warm or slight brown and set aside.
- In the same wok add the 2 Tbsp. of oil and fry the onions and then the tomatoes in sequential order for about 5 -6 min so you are left with a very thick stew. The purpose is two fold – one is to cook the onions and tomatoes so the raw edge of the veggies are wiped out and the second purpose is to hasten the cooking process of the gravy. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil in the wok and add in the cumin seeds and once it sputters add in the chopped bell peppers and sauté till it retains the texture but almost cooked. Say about 3 min or so.
- Now add in the chopped baby corn and stir it in.
- Add in the Garam Masala. Kitchen King masala and chili powders and a tsp. of salt and stir for about a min or so.
- Grind the roasted cashews / almonds and then the sautéed onions and tomatoes with about 1/2 a cup of water till you get a thick gravy. It was about a min in my Vitamix.
- Add this to the vegetables and let it boil for about 5 min or so. You will see the change in the color a tad bit . Taste for salt. Add in the crushed Kasuri Methi , stir again.
- You will have a very thick stew with slightly crunchy bell peppers and tender baby corn !
- Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro ! Add a dash of lime or drizzle in some heavy cream and your kids will lick their finger tips !!
- Can I use frozen baby corn?
I wish I got those here in these parts of the world. Definitely would be my preferred choice over canned ones. Follow the instructions on the pack for cooking directions or if there are none, I would thaw and then dunk in boiling water for about a min.
- What if I do not have the Kitchen King Masala or Garam Masala on hand?
Simply adjust the quantity of one for the other or use whole masala in their place. Of course it requires additional time of roasting and grinding.
- Why do you need both the chili powders?
One is of low heat and gives a vibrant color and the other adds the heat.