With the amount of diverse flavours and textures available readily to us in our little Indian kitchens, we could traverse the world in a few days with prudently created regional recipes. Give us a block of good cheese and some fine eggs, and we’ll serve up a classy Continental breakfast, with our signature masala edge. Rope in some fine wine, a bunch of fresh basil, and a heap of vine-ripe tomatoes, and ask for a pasta party, in true-blue Tadka Pasta style. Some fresh corn and peppers, de-boned chicken breasts, and some advance notice to make a slab of paneer..is all we’d ask for if you’re in the mood for a backyard cookout, minus that different tasting barbecue sauce – we make our own desi tikka marinade, thank you. If ever you happen upon a variety of chilis, God knows we could build them up into a tall Tex-Mex treat. We’ve done this before, and we love doing it again, so here’s our latest multi-cuisine offering, with a wallop of heat and a punch of spice: stovetop cornbread, slotted neatly and deftly in the cute little hollows of a paniyaram pan.
Crusty Cornbread Bites
Special Equipment – An Ebelskiver pan, or as we call it in India, Paniyaram pan
- Dry Ingredients –
- ½ cup yellow corn flour (our sub – makki ka atta)
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour/atta
- ¼ cup all purpose flour/maida
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp Mexican chili powder (sub – ½ tsp red chili powder + 1 tsp cumin powder)
- Wet Ingredients –
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
- ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- oil or ghee for cooking
- Any or all of these add-ins –
- ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup boiled corn kernels
- 1 small green chilli, minced
- 1 chopped onion + 1 tomato and/or capsicum, sauteed together in a teaspoon of oil
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a smaller bowl or measuring cup
- Preheat the ebelskiver/paniyaram pan as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir briefly until mixed.
- Stir in any or all of the add-ins mentioned above
- Put a few drops of oil or ghee into each cup. Spoon in the batter into the preheated pan – about a tablespoon in each cup, leaving a little room for the cornbread to rise.
- Cover the pan with a domed lid.
- Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until set. Carefully turn them over using a thin spatula or bamboo skewer. Cook the other side for about 2 minutes or until well-browned, adding more oil or ghee, if desired.
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately
Put a stack of these crusty bites on the table and watch them disappear in no time! They can moonlight as a side for any meal or as a wholesome after-school snack with a glass of milk. And they happen to be perfectly portable to take along for a picnic or potluck. If you’re serving them on their own, put out a bowl of spicy salsa, pickled chilies and sliced olives or let guests dip them into a thick yogurt ‘n honey-mustard sauce. Sometimes we take this recipe a step further by making cheese-stuffed bites. For this variation you can gently push in a small cube of cheese into the batter once you’ve poured it into the cups. Leftovers can be refrigerated and then re-heated briefly in the same pan to crisp them up before serving.