What is a good monsoon experience without biting into piping hot, juicy, and spicy bhutta? Are you salivating already? So are we! It was commonplace to find a roadside seller who would fan the burning coal which would emit the intoxicating aroma of smoky bhutta or makkai, compelling you to stop and buy one.
But now the desi bhutta has become rare and American sweet corn, in its steamed on-the-cob or in-a-cup avatar, has taken over. Unlike desi white bhutta, sweet corn is yellow in colour and is a different variety of maize. Sweet corn has sort of pushed the desi corn out of the market.
Do you miss desi white corn? Is that one your favourite? Do you crave it? Well, those who have tasted white corn once in a lifetime will never forget its taste. But what makes white corn unique? Is there any difference between desi white corn and American sweet corn?
We looked into this matter! What we found was that desi bhutta is more nutritional than American sweet corn and offers unique benefits and flavour.
The most common variety of corn we eat nowadays is called sweet corn. But there was a time, not so long ago, when there was desi white makka everywhere on the streets. But now you can’t find it easily.
Recently, celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar emphasised that with time, Indians are leaving our desi varieties of foods behind despite the fact that they are healthier and tastier than the in-vogue versions! She said, “Chemical and fertiliser intensive farming of just one type of corn prospered, the desi varieties and diversities of corn and their farming practices wilted.”
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“Now Kashmir to Kanyakumari, MP to Arunachal, everyone eats the American corn,” she added.
White corn is a grain crop that belongs to the gramineae grass family. It is not only a grain but also considered a vegetable and a fruit. Its white colour is due to the presence of 2 recessive Y alleles. These alleles in white makka do not produce carotenoids, the plant pigments responsible for red, orange, and yellow colour. Hence, its colour remains white, and produces white kernels.
White corn contains plenty of sugar and water in its kernels that make it sweet and juicy as compared to yellow corn. The nutritional profile of white is somehow surprising. This desi white makka contains low fat and is a good source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6. That makes white makka a very popular variety of corn.
So, don’t just follow fads. Soak in the joy of going back to the desi bhutta, and relish it by roasting it and sprinkling it with a dash of nimbu, namak and laal mirch!