Bhutte ka kees
When I was approached by Maria Nasir of Foodie+ to do a three recipe post on the Cuisine of Malwa, I did a quick dance. This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Cuisine of a region which holds a special place in my heart. I lost no time in saying Yes.
My dad settled in Indore ,the heart of Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, after roaming around the country on his assignments. I spent quite a few years of my adult life in Indore. The city of Kanch Mandir holds a special place in my heart as I fell in love in this city and found my soulmate, my Nishema , my husband here.
The iconic Bhutte ka Kees...Corn Upma.
Bhutte ka Kees is a must have during monsoons when the markets are flooded with corn.
Tractors piled high with maize fresh from the fields, line the highway. Vendors roast corn on hot coals, smear on salt, chilli, and lime and serve it to tourists and locals. Across Malwa, a region of western Madhya Pradesh, corn is a popular staple for at least half the year. And the most popular way in which bhutta or corn is prepared here is bhutte ka kees, a dish made with grated corn cooked with ghee, and then boiled with milk and spices. This is a spicy , sweet and tangy treat available across the city during monsoons.
A wonderful snack , suitable for tiffin and breakfast . While selecting corn , take care to pick only that are neither too hard nor too tender. You can either grate them or scrape them off the cob with the knife and then coarsely grind them.
For a Vegan version, replace ghee with oil and milk with water .
If the corns are very sweet, you don't need sugar or may be sparingly. So the quantity of sugar depends on the corn. However remember the overall taste of this amazing dish is sweet and tangy.
Corn ( grated ) 3 cups.
Ghee 3 tbsp.
Asafoetida A pinch.
Green chilli 2 finely chopped
Cumin 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp.
Salt 1/2 tsp.( or to taste)
Milk 1 cup.
Sugar 4 tsp.
Lemon juice 2-3 tsp.
Coriander 4tbsp chopped
Fresh coconut 4tbsp grated
Heat oil in a heavy bottom non stick pan.
Add asafoetida , Crackle mustard seeds then add cumin and green chillies.
Once cumin turns golden add red chilli powder ,salt and turmeric powder.
Give it a quick mix.
Now add grated corn.
Mix well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
Add in milk and mix well.
Keeping the flame high, cook for a minute or so , stirring all the time.
Now on medium flame cook covered for three minutes .
Open the lid.
Mix nicely, taste to see if the corn is still raw.
If yes then cover and cook for another two minutes.
Now remove the lid and cook on high flame till the mixture dries up completely.
Add lemon juice mix well , taste and add sugar accordingly, also adjust the seasoning.
Remove from gas, let it rest covered for atleast 10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander and fresh grated coconut before serving.
Note : the leftover can also be used to make stuffed Paratha . That tastes great too.