Bhubaneshwar: The kitchen, in itself, is the house of food. We store all of our ingredients here until it is time to use them in the preparation of our meals. Some ingredients are used more often than others, while the use of others is compromised because most people don’t know more than one use case. Such is also the gory story of one of those magical ingredients, which is mainly used only to thicken food or to make puddings and custard. And that versatile ingredient is cornstarch; it can be used for so many other unconventional uses that it can even be called a cook’s right arm!
Did you know that you can coat your pieces of paneer, chicken, or shrimp in cornmeal before frying, instead of regular flour or breadcrumbs, to get that crispy, crunchy bite? Since it is a gluten-free addition to your vegetables and fried foods, it makes a great alternative to maida. It is also perfect for giving a golden color and a crispy texture to samosas, luchi and baturas.
Plus, because it tastes neutral, you can mold it to the exact, authentic taste of the cuisine you’re using it for. Now that you know that, take a mental (or physical) note and leave room for other uses to follow as well.
- If your favorite food to devour after a long and tiring day is also Chinese, then cornstarch will be your holy grail. Used to thicken and get that restaurant consistency and taste. Cornmeal will turn any of your sauces and sauces into a refined and authentic Chinese dish. It also works well with soups. All you have to do is mix the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. The remaining components of the sauce should be combined in another bowl. In the pan, add the components of the sauce. Give it a moment to warm up. Add the cornmeal porridge. Stir and watch the sauce thicken like magic. Club the sauce, vegetables, tofu and meat and mix them together.
- Corn flour is also an excellent substitute for eggs. So the next time you want to bind some ingredients together but you don’t have any eggs, add some cornmeal to the mix instead and enjoy the richness of the food as it would. It is also perfect for kebabs and cutlets.
- Our ultimate and all-time favorite street food is momos. When made at home, we often find that the texture is not like momos that are made in a restaurant or by an expert vendor on the street. This may be due to the fact that the interior filling of the momo often turns out to be fragile. Weikfield’s Corn Flour has an ultra-fine consistency that’s perfect for the best texture for momos and mixing a little with the inside filling of any momo helps bind the filling together.
- Bengali Sweet Sandesh that melts in your mouth also uses corn flour as an ingredient. Simply mix it with the chenna among other ingredients and grind it until smooth, to enrich its taste.
- Burgers have become increasingly popular over the past decade. Take-out has become the mode of preference over cooking because people tend to think it’s a tedious process and it’s hard to get the patty just the perfect amount of juicy, golden crispiness. But adding a little cornmeal to your marinade helps the chicken crisp up while cooking and cooks it to perfection.
- Asian cuisine, particularly Indian, uses the velouté technique to preserve delicate meats such as fish and poultry. Simply coat strips of chicken, turkey, pork, beef (or scallops, shrimp, etc.) in a mixture of egg white, cornmeal, oil, and salt before baking. fry in hot oil or poach them in simmering water. Once cooked, the delicate marinade of egg white and cornstarch forms a barrier that prevents the meat from drying out and keeps it juicy.
- Cornmeal is also useful when making fondant cakes, as the fondant can stick to the platform. The corn flour starch helps make the fondant non-sticky, without altering the taste. Just sprinkle a little on the counter before spreading the fondant. It also gives the cake a much needed moistness.
- Telebhaja, which means ‘fried’ in Hindi, refers to a wide variety of fried delicacies, such as egg chops, mutton chops and brinjal fries. Bombay duck (also known as lotey maach) and onion rings are all dipped in a corn flour batter before being cooked. It’s a favorite street food because of how golden and flavorful they are when cooked.
If you’ve taken any notes so far, you now know that this versatile component can work wonders if used with care and transform your kitchen into a Michelin-starred restaurant in minutes. So go ahead and bake mouth-watering delights, preferably with Weikfield’s cornmeal which gives them an amazing texture and golden, crispy crunch.