Choclo Al Comino, the very simple recipe that I bring to you today comes all the way from Peru. Peru (officially, The Republic of Peru) is a country in South America that I have always been fascinated by, thanks to its history of many ancient civilisations like the Incas. It is, after all, home to Machu Picchu, that 15th-century Inca place that is one of the seven wonders of the world, and features on most travellers’ bucket list. The same can be said of the Amazonian rainforest that is the pride of Peru, too.
Peruvian cuisine includes dishes cooked by its indigenous people, as well as those brought in by immigrants to the country in later years, such as the Spanish, Italians, Asians, Germans and Africans. Tubers like potatoes and yams, a variety of beans and other legumes, chilli peppers, kiwicha, quinoa and corn are the staples of Peruvian cuisine. The cuisine includes a number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, as well as several desserts. (Information courtesy: Wikipedia)
Choclo Al Comino is a ‘piqueo‘ (a hors d’ouevre or appetiser) in Peru, typically made with Choclo or the giant corn that is native to the country. Unlike the sweet corn that is commonly available in India, choclo does not have a sweetness to it – it should be more like our desi corn, I am guessing. Boiled kernels of Peruvian corn are sauteed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, with a dash of cumin and lemon, to make Choclo Al Comino. It is quite a simple thing to prepare, but one that is extremely delightful when served hot.
The theme this week at Foodie Monday Blog Hop is #InternationalFeast, wherein members are exploring cuisines beyond the realm of India. I chose to make Choclo Al Comino from Peru for the challenge, with Indian sweet corn in the absence of the Peruvian choclo. Well, it turned out absolutely lovely, a pleasure to tuck into, just as I had expected it would be. Our family has a new favourite way to eat corn now!
Let’s now check out how I made the Choclo Al Comino or Peruvian Style Corn With Cumin And Lemon, shall we?
Recipe adapted from: Peru Delights
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
- 2 big cobs of corn
- Salt to taste
- About 4 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon pepper powder or to taste
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
- A dash of lemon juice
1. Remove the husks and fibres from the corn cobs. Separate the kernels from the cobs.
2. Place the corn kernels in a pan, and add in just enough water to cover them. Add a little salt.
3. Place the pan on high flame and bring the water to a boil. Then, lower the flame to medium. Keep the pan on medium heat till the corn kernels are cooked. Don’t overly cook the corn kernels – they should be just done and retain their crunch. Switch off the gas at this stage. After the water boils, it should take just about 2 minutes for the corn to cook.
4. When done, transfer the corn kernels to a colander and place in the kitchen sink. Allow all the water to drain out.
5. Heat the butter in a pan. When it melts, turn the flame to medium. Add the cooked corn kernels, the sugar, and salt to taste. Saute on medium flame for a minute, stirring intermittently.
6. Add roasted cumin powder and pepper powder to the pan. Mix well. Saute on medium flame for a minute more. Switch off gas.
7. Mix in lemon juice.
8. Serve immediately, garnished with finely chopped coriander.
1. Peruvian giant corn, also called choclo, is typically used to make this dish. In the absence of that, I have used Indian sweet corn.
2. Use sweet corn that is fresh, but not too tender. Only then will it be easy to separate the corn kernels from the cobs. You may use Indian desi corn as well.
3. If the corn you have is sweet enough, you can skip adding the sugar. I used it because the corn I had wasn’t very sweet.
4. The original recipe doesn’t call for coriander, but I have used it here. I felt it added a nice touch to the dish.
5. I have used Amul salted butter in this dish. I think using garlic butter instead would have had a lovely result as well.
6. The original recipe calls for the use of 1/3 cup butter. I have used only about 4 tablespoons.
7. To make roasted cumin powder, heat a pan and add a handful of cumin seeds to it. Dry roast on medium heat till the cumin emits a lovely fragrance. Allow to cool, then make a fine powder in a mixer. Store in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed.
This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, for the #InternationalFeast challenge.