Until a few years ago, corn was not available in Kerala and residents of the state could taste it only during trips to the northern parts of India. However, the fruit is now widely available in the southern states. Corn is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Being gluten-free, corn could also be relished by people who have sensitivity to gluten. The fibre in corn will also help reduce the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. Corn can slow down ageing too as it is a good source of antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein.
A major advantage of corn is that it can be cultivated in all fertile areas. This quality has made corn a global food. It is also a staple item in European cuisine. In Kerala, corn is relished as a grilled or boiled item on which various masalas are applied. But, a variety of recipes are available in international cuisine. For instance, corn has been the main food in Irish kitchens for over two centuries due to historical reasons.
A major famine in the nineteenth century forced the people of Ireland to survive on bread baked from corn flour and the item has remained an indispensable part of local cuisine since then. Referred to as ‘yellowmeal’, corn flour is an ingredient in almost every Irish dish, ranging from bread and pancakes to potato preparations. Mainly, two types of breads are prepared with yellowmeal in Ireland – the traditional griddle or skillet bread which resembles oatcakes and Irish soda bread. The following is a recipe for griddle bread.
110 grams corn flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
175 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk
A little butter
Take the corn flour, salt and baking soda in a large vessel
Add buttermilk and stir well with a wooden ladle for five minutes
Heat a nonstick frying pan and melt a little butter in it
Carefully pour the batter into this pan
Cook for four to five minutes
Flip the bread over when small bubbles start appearing on its surface
Cook for three more minutes
Slice the bread into small pieces before serving