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  • - Nini

Swanson's fancy, spicy corn


Have you ever been in that situation where it’s come to lunch time, you go into the fridge and only have ONE thing to eat? Well for me it’s a frequent occurrence, and yesterday I didn’t have anything in the fridge but corn. I love corn. It’s sweet and crunchy, what’s not to love? But to tell you the truth, I was really looking forward to having some cheese and crackers. Normally I have corn on the cob with some butter, lemon and dried chilli, although today I wanted to get out of the norm and find something equally as delicious.

The one thing with corn is that it’s very simple to cook. You could either put it in boiling water until it’s soft, fry it or, wrap it in cling film and let it cook for 6:30 minutes in the microwave and you will get the same result.

Going through the archive of books for a recipe and low and behold found one. Near & Far is a recipe book by Heidi Swanson that contains recipes that were inspired by her travels and home. If you’re having trouble finding a good vegetarian cookbook I would highly recommend it. Not only does it have amazing photography (which was the sole purpose of me buying the book) but her recipes are also quite wholesome and healthy. It was whilst reading her chapter about her travels to India that I came across a recipe with corn. Vaghareli Maki or as I like to call it fancy, spicy corn has this wonderful combination of sweet and spicy flavours. I genuinely think that using spices in any dish really enhances flavours. Without the flavours the taste can be quite bland.

Feeling a little bit of a chilled-out vibe today, so my playlist includes these indie classics (well to me) which at points make me want to head bang to the tune, and others just soak up in the sun. If you curious about the playlist click HERE .


  • 2 small fresh red chile peppers, stemmed

  • 2 medium cloves garlic

  • 1 (1-inch | 2.5cm) piece of ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

  • ¾ teaspoon fine- grain salt

  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter/ ghee or sunflower oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons yellow or brown mustard seeds

  • 1 pound | 455 g fresh corn kernels

  • ½ cup | 2 oz | 55 g roasted peanuts

  • 1 cup | 1 oz | 30 g chopped cilantro ( also known as dhania, coriander )

  • 1 or 2 lemons

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds.

Method from Near and Far cookbook:

  1. Use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to smash the chiles, garlic, ginger, turmeric and salt into a paste. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium- high heat.

  2. Add mustard seeds, and once they have begun to pop, stir in the corn. Cook, stirring gently but constantly for a minute or so, then add the peanuts, half of the cilantro, and half of the prepared chile paste.

  3. Cook for another minute or so; taste, and add the rest of the paste if you don’t find the dish to spicy, and a good squeeze of two of lemon juice.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve topped with the remaining cilantro, the sesame seeds, and the remaining lemon wedges.


-There is only one ingredient which I opted out using, which was the sesame seeds as I didn't have them in the house at the time. However without them the Maki tasted just as good. Adding a bit of lemon juice (from the lemon wedge) to the Maki blew my mind, I found that it brought and meshed well with the other spices used in the dish.

- Book : Near & Far, Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel [2015] by Heidi Swanson

This is one recipe which I will use repetitively in the future for lunch or to serve for my vegetarian/ vegan friends.

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