At the peak of corn season when fresh, local corn is at its finest, my favorite way to eat it is steamed on the cob. I may add a touch of salt or butter, but other than that it needs nothing else. After I’ve had my fill of eating corn on the cob this way for countless meals, I like to switch it up a little and look for different ways to make it. This dish was inspired by a recipe I came across last winter in an Indian cookbook that I had bookmarked to make during corn season.
The sauce has deep flavor from the onions and complexity from the spices. It’s creamy and looks absolutely indulgent, but is actually yogurt-based and completely healthy. I thought the sauce was a great pair with the corn’s sweetness. As delicious as this sauce was with corn, during corn season I still prefer my old standby of fresh, steamed corn on the cob. If you find you’re in the mood for a new way to eat corn, this is definitely worth a try though. Also, I think it would be a great way to dress up frozen corn in the middle of winter.
A Note on Heating Yogurt: Be sure to mix the yogurt into ingredients that are completely cooled and then heat it gently over low heat. However, even if you do everything right your yogurt can still curdle. (Such is the nature of yogurt.) Mine did. The good news is that this is one kitchen crisis that is easily solved. Just mix together 1/2 TB cornstarch and 1 TB cold water; add this mixture to the sauce and bring the sauce up to a simmer, then remove from heat and proceed as normal.
Roasted Corn with Indian-Spiced Yogurt Sauce (Adapted from Best Ever Indian Cookbook)
(Yield: 4 servings)
4 ears of corn on the cob, husks removed
2 TB canola oil, divided
1 small-medium onion, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
2 curry leaves*
1/4 c plus 2 TB plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 TB cornstarch mixed with 1 TB cold water**
Salt and pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced (optional, for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut each ear of corn into 2 pieces, then toss the corn with 1 TB canola oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast at 425F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350F and roast 20 minutes. Flip the corn a couple times (or carefully give the pan a good shake) while cooking.
In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, combine the remaining 1 TB oil with the onion, garlic, ginger, sugar, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, curry leaves, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook until thickened and browned (about 10-12 minutes), stirring occasionally. Cool the onion mixture, then stir in the yogurt. Cook on low heat until warm, stirring frequently.
If your sauce curdles, whisk in the cornstarch slurry, bring to a simmer (stirring constantly), then remove from heat and continue as normal.**
Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, and/or sugar as desired. Serve the corn topped with the sauce. Sprinkle the sliced scallion on top if desired.
*Curry leaves are available at Asian markets.
**You will only need the cornstarch slurry if your yogurt curdles.