Monday, November 24, 2008

Sweet Corn, Pepper & Pumpkin Stew

Winter evenings are magical, especially when you have a bowl of steaming "something" to warm your insides. No wonder people put on weight during the winter, my appetite seems to increase by leaps and bounds as the temperature drops. But winter is also when some of the best vegetables are available so it's also the best time to come up with healthy recipes.

I came across some fresh sweet corn on the cob at the local Mother Dairy and it was reasonably priced too - surprising considering even French beans are Rs. 40 a kilo!! So after my daughter polished off a couple of them - microwaved and buttered - I was wondering what to do with the rest.
I remembered a dish my friend made for lunch sometime back - it had sliced sweet corn on the cob in a thin gravy with coconut - apparently an African dish in origin. I also remembered seeing something with sweet corn and coconut on Cynthia's fabulous blog Tastes Like Home. I couldn't wait to ask either for the recipes - I wanted to cook it NOW!

So, I decided to make a stew. Stews are very can put pretty much anything you want in them, flavour and spice them as you like and it will turn into a dish you can peg into some kind of cuisine or the other.
I kept the spices to the minimum - bay leaf, garlic, chilli powder and thyme - and used a stock cube by Better than Bouillon. This is a brand which I have seen much recommended by Jai & Bee of Jugalbandi so when I was in London last month I made it a point to pick it up. It added lovely flavour to the stew and I don't think I will return to Maggi cubes till I run out of these!

Black eyed peas or chowli / karamani/lobia added some much needed thickness to the stew; I soaked them and cooked them in a pressure cooker for two whistles so that they would cook at the same pace as the vegetables in the stew. The sweet corn was simply amazing in the stew - juicy and dripping with flavour as you bit into the tender kernels. I served the stew with brown basmati rice. Perfect for the start of winter!

Sweet Corn, Pepper & Pumpkin Stew

1 big sweet corn-on-the-cob sliced
1 carrot chopped into big pieces
Pumpkin pieces - 1 cup
1 green pepper sliced
1 big tomato chopped
1 big onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 1 tsp
1 stock cube dissolved in 500 ml of water (I used Better than Bouillon vegetable stock cube)

1/4 cup of black eyed peas (chowli/karamani/lobia)
soaked for 1 hour and cooked in the pressure cooker for 5-7 minutes (1-2 whistles) till just done

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the bay leaf and after one minute add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add the red chilli powder and the chopped vegetables (carrot, pepper, sweet corn,pumpkin) and the black eyed peas and the warm stock. Add salt and bring to boil.
3. Turn down the flame and cook covered on low for about 15 minutes till the vegetables are cooked.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and some dried thyme and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off and serve warm with brown rice.


indosungod said...

that is a heart warming stew. Sweet Corn adds a great texture as well as taste. I felt uneasy adding them to rice dishes before, but now I add them to all rice dishes. The kids love them.

bee said...

delicious. nice to hear from you again.

Cham said...

You re right winter makes us to gain more in waist line. The stew is just hearty and conforting one!

Andhra Flavors said...

the stew is healthy and comfort one.

Vaishali said...

Miri, hand me that delicious bowl of stew anytime. Truly wonderful for winter evenings.