When I first came across this recipe in my mum’s collection I was very intrigued by it (Clarification: the original recipe was for a Sweetcorn Salad. Using it as a filling in pani puris was entirely my idea). I’m not sure where she got it from but I liked the fact that it used an ingredient like sweet corn, which we’re so used to seeing only in sweet corn soup at Chinese restaurants, in such an unusual way. Over the years I’ve forgotten what the original recipe called for, except for the tomato sauce and prawns, and have altered it to suit my tastes. Though I remember it as being some kind of salad I’ve tweaked it into a filling and it’s become one of my favourite snacks to serve at a party. It’s really easy to make, the ingredients are all easily available and it can be made a day in advance and assembled just before serving which also doesn’t take long.
What really works for it is the balanced contrasts particularly the sweetness of the corn and the pungency of the chilli and the soft filling and the crisp puri. And if there’s any filling leftover, it can be thinned down with a little milk and smeared on hot toast for breakfast.
1×500 gm tin sweet corn cream
8-9 medium-sized prawns
2½ tbsp onion, finely minced or grated
1½ tsp tomato ketchup
2 chillies, finely minced
2 tbsp capsicum chopped
1 tbsp celery stalk, finely chopped
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
a few drops of Tabasco
salt and white pepper to taste
1 tsp oil
For the garnish
1 tbsp of celery leaves, chopped
Shell and devein the prawns. Chop up about 6 of the prawns roughly and keep the remaining aside.
Heat up the oil on a low flame in a non-stick frying pan
Fry the onion till it turns pink and soft.
Add in the chillies and celery and fry for about a minute.
Add in the sweet corn and stir the mixture well till all the lumps break up and it has a rough, creamy texture.
Spoon in the ketchup, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Continue stirring so that the sauces are well incorporated into the corn mixture.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add in the chopped prawns and capsicum and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and continue stirring till the prawns are cooked through.
Remove from the pan and fill into a container. Keep aside to cool.
Put in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, cook the remaining prawns till just tender. Slit the prawns into two lengthwise. Cut each piece into about 5 neat pieces. Keep in the refrigerator to chill.
To Serve: Break a hole in each puri and stuff with the sweet corn filling. Top with sev, followed by celery leaves and a piece of prawn.