Maize, commonly known as corn, grows on the leafy stalk. The seeds are called kernels and are used in cooking as a vegetable or as starch. Maize is the most widely grown grain crop in America and the staple food in many regions of the world.
The health benefits of corn include controlling diabetes, prevention of heart ailments and lowering hypertension. It not only provides the necessary calories for daily metabolism, but is also a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals. Its high fibre content ensures it plays a role in prevention of digestive ailments such as constipation, haemorrhoids and colorectal cancer.
The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-cancer agents and prevent Alzheimer’s. Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin. It contains abundant phosphorus apart from magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper. The vitamin B12 and folic acid present in corn help prevent anaemia.
Popcorn consists of kernels of certain varieties that explode when heated, forming fluffy pieces that are eaten as a snack. Unleavened bread called makki ki roti is eaten in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
Cornflakes are a common breakfast cereal all over the world. Dried maize mote, also known as hominy, is used in Mexican cuisine. The Brazilian dessert canjica is made by boiling maize kernels in sweetened milk.
Now, for a recipe.
Makki Ki Roti
Makki atta (maize flour): 3 cups
Green chillies, chopped: 2
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, chopped: a few sprigs
Water: three-fourth cup
Method: Mix all the dry ingredients together. Make a hole in the middle and pour hot boiling water to it. Mix it lightly with a spatula; allow the dough to sit for a few minutes. Knead it well until smooth. Divide the dough into small balls. Place them on a lightly greased plastic sheet. Flatten a ball of dough slightly with your palm, place a plastic sheet on top of it; gently pat it to flatten it further. Remove the plastic sheet; transfer the pancake on to a tawa. Turn it on the other side after about 3-4 minutes of cooking or when you see it turn a deeper shade of yellow with brown-red spots. Serve makki ki roti with sarson ka saag.
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