The idea popped up one morning after a Facebook post by one of my favorite cook book authors, Monica Bhide. A picture of coal roasted ears of golden corn.. the conversation thread went on as it is wont to about street foods in Delhi, chaats, chat masala, & minty Jaljeera..with a handful of toasted and cooked Fregola thrown in, it became a fabulous lunch offering. —Panfusine
1/2 cup Fregola or Israeli cous cous
2 ears of corn removed from the cob
1/2 hot house cucumber finely diced
1 roma tomato deseeded & finely chopped
1 thai chilli deseeded & finely minced
25-30 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Canola or olive oil
1 handful of toasted chopped walnuts or pecans
Minty chat masala dressing
1/4 cup mint flavored extra virgin Olive oil (see last step)
2 tablespoons Chat masala spice blend (available at any Indian grocery
Toast the Fregola until it turns a pale brown color, add to 2 cups of boiling water. Cover & cook for about 5-6 minutes until the Fregola turns soft. Strain out any excess water and rinse thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Heat a cast iron skillet till very hot and drizzle the olive oil, when it just begins to smoke, add the corn kernels & spread into a single layer allow to roast on the pan for about 5 minutes on medium high until the kernel begins to develop tiny brown spots. Shake the pan & continue roasting the corn for 2 minutes more. Switch off the heat and allow the corn to brown lightly in the pan's residual heat. Transfer to a mixing bowl along with the fregola.
Roll the mint leaves and cut them very fine in a chiffonade. Chop the chiffonaded leaves further using a sharp knife to obtain tiny shreds of mint. Add this to the mixing bowl along with the diced tomato, cucumber, walnut and thai chili.
In a smaller bowl combine the lime juice, honey and chat masala & whisk to dissolve the honey. Add the mint flavored olive oil and whisk into a dressing. Pour over the corn & Fregola salad and lightly toss to combine. Place in refrigerator to chill and allow for the flavors to blend. Spoon into bowls and serve with a side of pita chips.
For infusing your own batch of mint flavored Olive oil, here is the recipe: