The other day, at a friend’s function, I had the most delicious Udupi feast ever. Simple everyday home style food but sumptuous and appetizing in every way. The caterers were Bhats from Udupi and served Satvik food that was moderate in spices. Out of the huge spread and varieties, what interested me the most was the salad and the green leaf subzi. These are a rarity (read non-existent) in a Kerala feast.
Sweet corn is a special maize variety that is harvested when the corn-ear just reaches the milk stage. Fresh sweet corn is alkaline in nature and has much less calories than that in the field corn and other cereals like wheat, and rice. It is a gluten-free cereal. It is one of the finest source of dietary fibers and contains healthy amounts of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Sweet corn is also a good source of fiber, which is essential for bowel health. However, corn, just like rice and potato, is one of the high glycemic index food items, and hence need to be used carefully by diabetic patients.
When picking up sweet corn from the market, avoid corn with dry, pale husks and silks that are desiccated. Choose corn that has green husks and kernels that squirt whitish juice when pricked. From the time they are plucked, corn tends to convert from sugar to starch as opposed to fruits that convert from starch to sugar. So, use the freshest to get the maximum benefit.
There is really no recipe needed to make this salad. Use all ingredients as per your taste and discretion. In the version that I had at the feast, they did not add mung dal and green chilies. You may also avoid these as per your taste.
Sweet corn kernels – 1 cup
Pomegrate/Anar – 3/4 cup
Yellow mung dal/sprouted green mung – 2 tsp
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
Green chilies – 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1-1/2 tsp
Black salt as needed
Preparation time: 10 mins (Mung dal soaking time 2 hrs)
Cooking time: 3 mins
Soak the mung dal in water for about 2-3 hours. If you missed soaking the dal, you may add boiling water to the dal and keep it closed for 5 mins. Drain the water and it is ready to be used. Take a bowl and add sweet corn kernels, pomegranate, soaked mung dal (remember to drain the soaked water), grated coconut, and salt. Mix well. Add lemon juice. Heat a pan, pour half a teaspoon oil, and add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add chopped green chilies, saute for half a minute, turn off the fire, add curry leaves, and add this to the salad mixture. Mix well and serve. Kids are going to love the crunchy and mild natural sugars of raw sweet corn.
Tip: If you love to have more vegetables, you can add chopped cucumber and carrots as well to this kosambari.