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Jonna kudumulu – Andhra Corn Tamales

Corn is a popular grain used in Indian villages. I think the use of corn is fast fading away from Indian Kitchens. Mokkajonna Kudumulu is one corn preparation famous in Telangana border regions and very nutritous breakfast. I googled for more details about Kudumulu – but could not find any. Have you heard about mokka jonna kudumulu ?I have never heard of it until I knew Ravi. I personally have been able to appreciate andhra cooking as done at ravis’ home as much as I devour my moms’ cooking. Sans the spicyness ofcourse.Before marriage, I thought there is not much difference between Tamil and Andhra household. But there is an amazing array of differences. Andhra – I find is heavily influenced by aryan culture and Tamilnadu deep into dravidian culture. I found this underlying difference in all the traditions, customs and habits of the Andhraites.Culinary-speak – Tamilians start with sambar and end with buttermilk. Telugus start with powder/pickles/ chutney, dals and finish off with thick curds. Any veggie curries or sautes’ are mixed with rice before starting on the liquid course. Ofcouser sambars, charu and rasam is still enjoyed – but I discovered its very impolite to pour sambar over rice for the first course. For Tamils it will be impolite if its not done that way !!! Tamilians love all that is diluted and easier to pass thro the oesophagus.Another culinary tradition I was surprised is – Puliyohara or Tamarind/Lemon Rice. For Telugus, its like an important dish in parties or when you have guests at home. On the other hand people from TN find it very rude to serve tamarind/lemon rice because its said to be made with left-over rice.

So at my household, if ravi absolutely loves a dish, I do an andhra preparation. If I absolutely love a dish its done as per my moms way. Same goes for festivals too – I make it a point to celebrate Ugadi and Tamil New Year so neither of us feel missed out.

All this is based on my personal experiences and not generalization in any way. Coming back to mokkjonna kudumulu – Mokkajonna means corn and kudumulu refers to a steamed dish. Though the name may be really difficult to pronounce the actual dish is very very easy. Fresh corn is ground without any water and steamed in the corn husks. Corn idlis anyone ??

For RCI-Andhra, Ravi and I prepared this dish with frozen corn that we get here in US but it did not come out right. Its because of the water content in the frozen corn.

When I went to India Ravis’ mom prepared this dish for us to show how it is to be done. The recipe is darn simple. Just grind the corn without any water to make a paste. Take a big blob of the paste onto a cleaned corn husk and make a patty out of it. Pile up the husks randomly. Alternatively it can also be done in a idli steamer.

Tastefront, its not soft like a tamale, but much more firmer and harder than idlis. It just tastes little bit bland with the natural sweetness of corn. Like the taste of ragi mudda. Just basic but very comforting. And the side dish determines the kind of taste for the dish. Eaten with sugar it tasted like dessert, with fish curry it would be savoury. For reasons beyond my brain, its eaten with Ridgegourd curry. I personally did not like the combination. I would rather have it with sugar. Or probably pickle or fish curry.

Dry indian yellow corn

ground corn 
arranged in the corn husks
Thank you Sailu, for coming up with Taste of India. Really appreciated when FBD is going down.

January 29, 2008 - Posted by | Andhra Cooking


  1. Nice to see you posting regularly, Revathi. This post is quite interesting, written from a Tamilian’s POV. BTW, I know I am yet to answer your question. Please give me some time. Will definitely write to you.

    Thanks Suganya..

    Comment by Suganya | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. We in Karnataka make something called kadubu, but not from corn.As indira mentioned it is from kandi pappu. I had never heard of corn kudumulu. It is good to see those dishes which are fading away today coz of other food habits. Nice Post.

    Comment by Lakshmi | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. HOT TAMALE!! YUM! My ajji makes something similar with banana leaves and steamed, sweet or savory with rice flour. Jolada mudde is always made for laboreres everyday in the coconut farm at her home too.
    Good to see this recipe. We are all the same,same but different(Like that silly but true movie!)!!;D

    Comment by Asha | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. thank you for this great recipe, revathi. i would love to try it.

    Comment by click | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. Romba nalla irrukku, indha dish. Good for health especially for kids.

    Comment by Mythreyee | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. Quite an interesting and informative note…..and nice to see how each culture has its own variations of the same dish or technique. Liked this post a lot 🙂

    Comment by Mishmash ! | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. Superb post revathi! I never knew that a tamale like dish existed..

    Comment by Shankari | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  8. wow, it is a totally novel recipe for me… looks absolutely delicious! It was interesting to read your observations about the differences between Tamil and Andhra customs… I have seen the same with the mallu and tamil customs and cuisines too… similar yet sooo different!

    Comment by Sig | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  9. very interesting post revathi and i really want to give it a try. we call corn as makke jola in kannada. there r so many similarities in southern states when it comes to cooking yet many difference in the way it is cooked and served. very nice post. it is really nice to see these recipes which are on the way of becoming extinct.

    Comment by Sia | January 31, 2008 | Reply

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