Corn Kheer or Pala Padiyum is a milk based sweet made with corn puree. It is usually served with corn vada or makha garelu, although the kheer can be served as it is, as a sweet. Normally pala padiyum is made with rice or rice flour.
Rice is soaked for at least half hour, ground to paste and then cooked in boiling milk. It is usually served with makha garelu. At my paternal grandmother’s place, corn vada are always served with pala padiyum and at my maternal grandmother’s, it is with chicken shorva (curry).
My athamma (mother-in-law) use to make it with rice flour. When I mentioned this to my mother, she said my aunts use corn puree instead of rice. I do not remember eating it but back then, I did not care much for garelu, as my favorite was and still is roasted corn. So, I thought I would make corn kheer for the final day of the marathon.
As I mentioned on the in esquites post, roasted corn on the cob or roasted corn kernels with chili garlic butter is my all-time favorite way to eat corn. When growing up, garelu or corn vada were made quite regularly at home. Although I relished it, I did not really care, or rather never really craved for it. We make corn vada with desi (country) corn and as we do not get it here, now these vada are something I look forward to eating during my visits to India.
Since I was making corn kheer, I thought why not try corn vada too. I knew they would not come out as good as the vada back home because the sweet corn is lot more juicer than the desi corn and I would need to add some binder to shape the vada. I had some cornmeal in my pantry, went ahead and made the vada too.
Vada turned out ok, but not as good as the ones back home. I will still go ahead and post the recipe, in case anyone wants to try it. Also, the vada made with regular corn (not sweet corn), when ground to properly, puff like puri. My vada were flat.
Corn Kheer ~ Pala Padiyum
Total Time: 40 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 3 Ears of Corn or 2 cups of Corn Kernels
- 3 cups of Milk
- 1 tbsp. Rice Flour (check note below)
- ⅔ cup Sugar
- ¼ tsp. Cardamom Seeds powdered
- 1 tbsp. Ghee or Butter (opt)
- Few Raisins and Cashews (opt)
- Scrape the kernels off the cob.
- Take the kernels into a blender, with about ½ cup of milk and puree it.
- Heat remaining 2 ½ cups of milk in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil. It should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the corn puree to the hot milk and stir well. Make sure no lumps are formed and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
- Take some water and rice flour into a bowl and make a nice paste. Add this paste to the simmering corn milk. Stir immediately to avoid lump formation. Continue stirring and simmer for another 5-8 minutes until the milk thickens.
- Add sugar, cardamom powder and mix. Cook for few minutes until sugar dissolves in the milk.
- Turn of the heat and let the kheer cool.
- If using raisins and cashews, heat a pan with ghee and roast the raisins and cashews until golden brown. Raisins will puff up. Transfer these to kheer. I did not use raisins and cashews as I served it with vada.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Even after simmering for 15 minutes, my kheer did not thicken to the required consistency. Hence added rice flour. I actually liked the taste. But if one wishes not use rice flour, use at least 2 ½ to 3 cups of corn kernels, instead of 2 cups.
- Variations: Can substitute rice flour with corn kernels. For three cups of milk, ¼ – ⅓ cup rice flour might work. I have not made it at home and cannot give accurate measures. This is my guess. Please go by trial and error to figure out the right amount flour. I shall update it here, once I make it at home.
- Another alternative is soaking rice for 30 minutes and then making a paste of it. This paste can be used instead of rice flour or corn puree. Again, I am guessing ⅓ – ½ cup of rice should do.
Makha Garelu ~ Corn Vada
Total Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 - 20 minutes (I fried one vada at a time and hence it took me this long)
Yields: 12 – 14
- 2 cups Corn Kernels or kernels of 2 Ears of Corn (the corn I used here are bigger than the ones I used for the kheer)
- 3 Dry Red Chilies (adjust to one's heat tolerance)
- ½ tbsp. Coriander Seeds
- ¼ - ½ tsp. Cumin Seeds
- ½ small Onion chopped or approximately ¼ cup Onion chopped
- ¾ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste. I used a little more than ¾ tsp. and felt less would have been better)
- 8 tbsp. Corn Meal (might need little less or more)
- Oil for Deep Frying
- Scrape of the kernels from the cob, using a knife.
- Grind cumin, coriander and chilies to powder. I used a wet/dry grinder so added onions to this powder and made a paste. If your grinder doesn’t have a wet grinding option, that is fine. You can grind the onions with corn. Also, this step can be skipped, if using an Indian blender. I used my food processor and I was afraid the spices might not blend/grind to fine powder/paste in the processor. Americans blenders would require some water and I did not want to add ant water, as the sweetcorn kernels are juicy, but not juicy enough to blend well in the blender. So I opted for a food processor and ground the spices separately.
- Transfer the spice powder (paste with onions were added) to a food processor bowl, add corn and onion, if not already ground, and process it for few seconds until the spices blend well and the corn is crushed to a paste.
- Transfer the batter or the corn mixture to bowl. This is going to be watery. Add cornmeal and mix well. Add more cornmeal if required until the corn mixture is thick and can be shaped into vada.
- Take a pan and heat oil for deep frying.
- Take a Ziploc bag and wipe it with some water. Take some corn mixture and make a golf ball sized round ball. Pat the ball on the Ziploc bag to make a vada. Place the vada on the fingers and pull off the Ziploc bag, gradually slip the vada into hot oil.
- Fry the vada for few seconds and turn it around. Fry for few more seconds until it turns golden brown. This should take about a minute and fry the vada on medium heat. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
- Make the vada in similar fashion with rest of the corn mixture.
- Serve hot with corn kheer.