During my school and college days, we as a family used to go to a restaurant in Chennai India which had an eclectic selection of dishes. It was by the beach and was a quaint little place. It was not in the happening part of the city but was quite popular based on word-of-mouth reviews. A unique attraction to this restaurant was that it was completely vegetarian and yet had continental dishes on its menu. Growing up, our exposure to these dishes was quite limited and we always looked forward to our visits to this restaurant.
One such dish was corn on toast. This dish was a nod to ‘corn au-gratin’ but was enhanced with Indian flavors such as coriander or cilantro and green chillies or jalapeños for the heat. In addition, the dish imparted a ‘tangy’ taste which seemed to provide its unique pale pink, orangish color as well. My dissection of this dish, lead me to believe this was some form of tomato.
After several years, this dish was reminisced when my mother said she prepared it last week. Goodness, how could we forget this sheer indulgence and the sweet nostalgia it brought back. This restaurant was our go-to hangout place during our dating days 🤪 We used to share corn-on-toast as an appetizer and by our second visit, we ordered one each. This dish is absolutely divine and not to be shared !
To enhance the nutritional value of this dish, bring in 2 additional veggies – orange bell pepper or capsicum and spinach. This dish is quite easy to prepare and it took all of 20 minutes to go from stove to dinner table. Quick hacks – using frozen corn and spinach. Chopping the pepper is the only part which took 5 minute. Start off by thawing the frozen corn by microwaving it or running it under hot water. Do the same for the spinach. Squeeze out the water and set aside on a colander. On the stove, start 2 pans – one large skillet and one saucepan. Heat the oil in the skillet and cook the veggies one by one. Simultaneously prepare 1 portion of white sauce. I always follow the recipe of a very famous Indian cook from my growing days when we referred to cookery books !! White sauce proportion – 1 tbsp butter – 1 tbsp flour – 1 cup milk. Add the ketchup to the white sauce. When the veggies are cooked, add the white sauce and cheese and combine. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
This dish can be served as an appetizer with corn chips or pita chips.
The restaurant served this dish over 2 crisp pieces of toast and hence the name.
This dish can also be served as an open-faced sandwich on top of a crisp burger bun.
Enjoy it with all options and post your comments on what was your favorite selection !
Corn on Toast recipe
- Frozen Corn – thawed and squeezed 2 cups
- Frozen spinach – thawed and squeezed 2 cups
- Orange bell pepper (capsicum) – chopped 1
- Jalapeños or green chillies – chopped 5
- Cilantro – chopped 1 tbsp
- Cheddar or Colby cheese 1 cup
- Tomato ketchup 1 tbsp
- Heat 2 stovetop burners
- Put a large skillet on one, add oil, add peppers, jalapeños and saute. Add the corn and spinach, season with salt, put a lid on and cook until done
- On the 2nd burner, put a saucepan to prepare the white sauce. Once white sauce is ready, add the ketchup and mix very well
- Add the white sauce to the cooked veggies and combine well. Now add the cheese and melt. Turn off the heat and sprinkle plenty of cilantro.
- Creamy corn is ready to be served as a dip or on toast.
White Sauce recipe
Ingredients – For 1 portion white sauce –
1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour, 1 cup milk
- On a low flame, add the butter
- When butter has melted, add the flour, fry until golden
- Now take off heat and add the milk slowly and combine without forming any lumps
- Put back on stove and warm to thicken