Makai (maize) in Nepali kitchen
Makai or maize/corn is one of the most popular food items in the Nepali households as well as in Nepal. This healthy and hygienic food item is produced in the most parts of the country and is tasty along with being healthy. There are many ways to consume corns and the varieties of ways to make various cuisines out of it results into tasty and delicious dishes.
Maize or corns are eaten in many ways like boiled, fried, grilled, etc. Not only is the maize or corn popular but also the corn flakes and the corn rice grains are popular. Corns could be consumed as a breakfast, lunch as well as dinner as there are many ways to cook and serve it. Most of the cuisines made of corns, however, adorn your everyday lunch menu.
Corn flakes are popular breakfasts among the school going children as well as the elders as it is light, tasty and healthy. For lunch, there are varieties of items to be made of corns that include boiled corns, fried corn grains, grilled corns, popcorns, etc. In dinner as well, you can have the corn rice instead of others. It is quite popular during the fasts, especially the Ekadashi fast when the rice grains are not allowed to be consumed.
Corns, for making lunch, could be boiled in a pressure cooker with some water and salt, however, it is boiled without salt during the fasts. The boiled corns or usineko makai is then served with chutney of green chilies, cumin seeds and salt. Depending upon the size of the corns, it is either broken into halves or cooked whole. For another purpose, the corns (young corns) are brought and after removing the cover completely, is grate using the grating machine and is fried in ghee adding sugar and a bit of salt to it. It is more popular among the kids for its tasty and sweet nature. The grilled corns or poleko makai (grilled in the charcoal) are also very popular and are available in the stalls or roadsides all around Nepal. Its popularity increases especially during the winter or rainy season. Another way of serving the corns is, the most popular way all around the world not only Nepal, making popcorns. The corn grains are shelled and stored in a container to be used later as pop corns. Also, the grains like those of rice (but half the sizes) are also available to be cooked instead of rice. It gratifies your hunger along with being healthy and light.
Hence, corns or maize, locally known as makai in Nepal is one of the most popular food items consumed by most of the people all around Nepal from Terai to Pahad (hill).