I came across a packet of Corn Dalia on the shelves of a gourmet food store recently. Dali(y)a is another name for broken wheat, variously known as wheat rava, samba rava or lapsi, among others, in India. This corn dalia was very yellow in colour and I had no idea if it was rava (ie. coarse meal) of corn or simply dalia flavoured with corn or something else altogether.
I just thought I’d try using it in the same manner that I use regular wheat dalia. The end result had strong corn flavour and I realised it must simply be coarsely ground corn. Much later, a Google search revealed Corn Dalia was exactly that and is referred to as Corn Grits in western countries. Most grits are prepared in a porridge-type consistency, much like the khichdis in India.
What I prepared was upma-like in texture so that it could work as my Day 1’s entry for Blogging Marathon. The strong corn flavour was a nice variation to the otherwise usual upma. I cook wheat dalia in the pressure cooker with two parts of water till two whistles. I needed close to three parts water and cooking till four cooker whistles for a soft but not sticky corn dalia.
Try this upma if you spot corn dalia/grits somewhere.
Corn Dalia Upma
Corn dalia – 1 cup
Water – 2.5-3 cups (to cook corn dalia)
Onion – 1
Capsicum – 1 (small)
Green chilli – 2 (slit)
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Chana dal (Bengal) or urad dal (split black gram)– 1 tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Curry leaves – a few
Dry roast corn dalia and keep aside
Heat oil in the pressure cooker and add mustard seeds
Add slit green chillies and curry leaves when mustard seeds stop popping
When chillies start turning white, add chana/urad dal and sauté till golden brown
Add asafoetida and chopped onion and capsicum
Sauté till onion turns translucent
Add corn dalia, water and salt and give it a good stir
Lid the pressure cooker and cook till four whistles
Open when pressure dies down and serve corn dalia upma with tomato or coriander chutney