Make a meal with corn meal

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Corn is also called maize and the Indian word maiz means ‘sacred mother’ or ‘giver of life.’ It was also believed that cornmeal was also sprinkled to keep the enemies out.  But this is a folklore and cannot be relied upon.

What is corn meal

The dried corn kernels are too hard to be bite, so it is usually ground into a flour before being used in cooking. And this flour can be used immediately to make tortillas, cornbread or tamales.                                       

Besides how can one possibly forget the popular winter dish of sarson da saag eaten with makai di roti that is cooked in every Punjabi home with much reverence.  By the way makai means corn.

Types of cornmeal

Cornmeal can range from fine flour to one as coarse as Kosher salt. Although food connoisseurs swear by stone-ground cornmeal (that which is ground between stone wheels at a mill) I don’t really think it makes much difference to the flavour from cornmeal that is ground using modern equipment. 

Cornmeal in the kitchen

Cornmeal is versatile and can be used in a lot of ways and not just to make cornbread or makai di roti. Especially since it has very little flavour of its own, it can be easily used as a thickening agent. Be assure that it will not change the flavour. 

Amongst baked products cornbread and corn muffins are my favourites. It can also be used to make cookies and cakes. 

It can also be used to coat meats along with seasonings. When making fried chicken for example, just dip the pieces in egg or milk before rolling in cornmeal and bake or deep-fry. The result will be a wonderfully crisp and golden on the outside and juicy inside. You can also pan fry the meat pieces.

Or you can make mush, for which all you need to do is mix cornmeal with a liquid. It may sound horrible, but it actually can be sublime. Polenta, Indian pudding and grits, for example, are all forms of cornmeal mush. Made well, all are delicious.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.