It’s the season of amazing maize! Fragrant, delicious, glutinous and in colours that range from the deepest purple to almost everything in between, they are a joy to behold and to eat!:) We love to roast them on hot coals or boil them with a touch of salt. They do well in hilly areas and the produce from my home district of Dima Hasao is wonderful.
2 cups basmati rice
1/3 cup boiled corn kernels
1 large onion sliced fine
A quarter tsp of freshly made ginger & garlic paste
2 star anise
A pinch of whole cumin
Some black pepper
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cardamom pods, bruised
2-3 Indian bay leaves
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Pick and wash the rice. Soak it for an hour and then drain in a colander. Keep aside. It’s best when the rice is almost dry.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it comes to smoking point, add the whole spices.
Now add the bay leaves and the onions. Fry till the onions are turn golden brown, then add the ginger and garlic paste.
Add the rice and stir gently. Keep stirring but be careful that the grains do not break.
Add nearly double the amount of hot water (4 cups) to the rice. Mix the turmeric powder in a teaspoon of water and add to the pan.
Put in the corn, give it another stir. Cover with a lid.
Cook till the water dries up and the rice is done stirring only once in between. After it’s cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes or so.
Before serving, fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving platter.
Our accompaniment on that particular day happened to be leftover chicken curry. The darker the corn the more attractive the pulao looks.