The monsoons are murder on my allergies, the humidity in the air makes them play up and I haven't woken up one morning this season without a sniffle (best case scenario) or a case of full-blown eczema which then takes weeks to mend. While everyone is relishing the last of the season's mangoes, I just want to stay undisturbed in my room with a dehumidifier on and a packet of digestive biscuits for nourishment. Unfortunately, that is the stuff that dreams are made of and is NEVER going to happen! The kids are home for their holidays and my kitchen is on overdrive. They feed every two hours and one has to get pretty creative so they don't just eat junk.
(The Reluctant Gastronome, Shweta Bachchan Nanda: Comfort Food From My Mom's Kitchen)
Mumbai's monsoons are an event in themselves and an integral part of my growing-up years. Thankfully, the monsoons have their own particular food associations - hot tea, freshly fried vegetable pakoras, soft pav bread and several others. They bring up delightful memories, the robust smell of rubbery gumboots, unfurled umbrellas like colourful mushrooms as far as the eye can see, waves crashing over the sidewalk delighting little boys who tease and dodge them, and me sitting warm in my car a hot 'bhutta' (corn cob) in my hand, licking off the salt before I bite into its fibrous burnt skin, the flavor accentuated by the sweet butter and the tang of lime.I'm sharing a recipe for Mexican street corn on the cob that will substitute nicely for our very own 'bhutta'. What appealed to me was the ease of its preparation. The ingredients are fairly easily available and it's quick so you can tackle it between staunching leaky ceilings and defrizzing hair, it's a fool proof way to go.
(Banana Chips, Lukhmi and More: Hot and Sizzling South Indian Monsoon Snacks)
Mexican Style Street Corn
4 corns on the cob
2 tsp lime juice
4 Tbsp mayonnaise
Salt (or garlic salt if you are feeling adventurous) to taste
A pinch of chilli powder (not too much, we don't want it over powering the dish)
50 gm feta, crumbled (preferably the unsalted variety)*
Few sprigs of coriander
1. Roast the corn over the fire till done (try not to over-roast it to avoid it being too burnt)
2. Mix the lime juice and mayonnaise in a bowl and baste on the hot corn with a pastry brush. Coat properly and generously.
3. Spread crumbled cheese on a plate and roll the cobs to coat on all sides (if you prefer to sprinkle it on top, go ahead, whatever is easiest)
4. Sprinkle salt and chilli powder (you can also add chopped coriander if you wish)
5. Eat it piping hot. Ensure you have enough at hand, trust me you will want seconds.
Grab a seat near a window with a view and as the song goes "listen to the falling rain, listen to it fall."
*Traditionally the cheese used in this recipe is Cotija - a semi hard cows' milk cheese made in the hills of Michoacan, in the town of Cotija Mexico. Feta is easily available in India so I prefer to use it instead, the taste is similar.(Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy: 5 Foods to Avoid this Monsoon)
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