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Monday, 1 June 2020

Sweet Corn Cheese Balls

Corn cheese balls are delicious vegetarian appetizers that serve as a great tea time snack, an irresistible party starter and one of the must-try monsoon munchies. Made with sweet corn, cottage cheese (paneer), boiled potatoes and processed cheese, along with some herbs and spices these deep-fried fritters are crispy, crunchy, cheesy and oh so delectable! With a simple and easy to follow recipe, corn cheese balls are very addictive and a hit among kids and adults alike. The recipe is onion-garlic free and you can make the balls ahead of time, freeze them and deep fry just before serving. Corn cheese balls can be paired with ketchup, Coconut chutney or Peanut curd dip. I have served it with fiery hot Momos chutney.

What is an appetizer?

An appetizer is a small portion dish or a bite-sized delicacy of an overall meal. It can be a snack, a finger-food, a salad, chips, cracker, garlic bread, dips, vegetables and fruit or a drink that is served before the actual meal and that is basically meant to satisfy and feed the hungry crowd until the main dish is being served. Hare are some appetizers that you can easily make at home and serve at a party.

Monsoon Munchies

Monsoon or the rainy season lasts from June to September in India. While some may hate this season, i totally enjoy every bit of  it , whether it be heavy downpour, constant drizzling, or the humidity associated with it . I like the awesome weather , the lush green nature, the waterfalls and foggy surroundings during monsoon. Rains is not only associated with the beautiful green foliage after a the harsh summer months but it also brings life for the crops and all living beings. And last but sure;y not the least, Monsoon brings in a vast range of lip-smacking food for all foodies that can be enjoyed while sipping hot beverages like masala chai. Rains make one crave for comfort food and every region has their own monsoon favourites. 

While Kanda bhaji or the onion fritters remain my personal favourite among monsoon munchies, one can hardly resist dishes like Masala Corn, Baby Corn Pepper FryPaneer lollipopUrad Dal KachoriBengal Gram FrittersBaingan Bhaja and Vegetable Chop on a rainy evening. Soups and rasams provide the required warmth and serve to a soulful snack during wet and cool monsoon months. Tomato soup,  Mushroom Soup with Garlic Bread , Sweet corn vegetable soup, and Spinach soup are my family favourites. Pepper rasam , Tomato rasam and Turmeric milk prove as home remedy to sore throat , cough and cold.

Thankfully, this year monsoon arrived earlier in India and luckily , we North Indians also experienced spells of shower in the last 2 days which certainly brought a much-needed relief from the heatwave conditions prevailing in this region over the last 2 weeks. 

One craves for crispy, spicy, deep-fried food and hot beverages during monsoon season and it is in accordance with Ayurveda which discourages raw food like salads, fruits and vegetable juices during this season. Warm, spicy, tangy and oily food is known to balance the Vaata dosha, and spices that aid in digestion and medicinal concoctions are encouraged.

Another reason why i love monsoon season is the different Hindu festivals that fall during this season. Festivals like Vat Savitri Vrat, Naag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Onam Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami all fall during the monsoon season. Festivals are mood enhancers, they bring people close to each other, fill our hearts with joy and enthusiasm and off course food plays a very important part here too as each festival is associated with specific food delicacy. 

Puranache DindNarali BhatRatalyacha keesBesan DhirdeGavhache DhirdeMalpuaKesar RabdiRajgira Ladoo , Aluchya Vadya are some of the festive delicacies enjoyed specially during monsoon season.

Related Event:
Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a gourmet Facebook group where a group of talented food bloggers from around the globe share their food recipes each week depending upon any one of the chosen themes. All bloggers take turns to suggest two themes per week and the theme that wins maximum vote is been finalized. I owe a lot to this food group and I am a part of it from the last 3 years. So,  far i have shared 249 recipes for this weekly event and we are approaching to another big milestone, our 250th theme. Yes, i joined this group when it had already completed its 100 weeks. "Monsoon Munchies" was the 149th theme proposed by Archana di, a versatile food blogger. Archana di suggested that we could share any fried, baked or steamed snack that one could enjoy during the monsoon season. Considering the limited resources in our pantries owing to world-wide Covid 19 lock-down ,she suggested that this could be a no-recipe post sharing stories about our monsoon memories and some related recipes from the archives, but thankfully , i had frozen sweet corn and some cheese cubes in my pantry so i could manage with this recipe. Meanwhile, do not forget to check out her lip smacking Samosa chaat and Medu Vada Sambar recipes that can be enjoyed during this season.

What goes into my Sweet Corn Cheese Balls?

These sweet corn cheese balls can be easily made at home and require very few ingredients. The first and the most obvious ingredient are the sweet corn kernels. You may use the fresh corn on cob or the frozen corn kernels in this recipe. The corn kernels are boiled and pulsed in a grinder jar. The second ingredient is processed cheese. I have used Amul cheese here . You may use either cheddar or mozzarella cheese or a blend of both. Next, I have used 1 boiled potato in this recipe. I have also used some crumbled cottage cheese (paneer) here and both paneer and boiled potato help the sweet corn and cheese bind with each other. These sweet corn cheese balls are mildly spiced and i have used only chili flakes ,crushed black peppercorn and salt to season the cheese balls. You may add finely chopped green chilies also in this recipe if you wish. Fresh coriander leaves add color and refreshing flavor to the dish. You may add Oregano or other dried Italian herbs also in this recipe if you wish. 

For a typical Indian flavor, you may add chaat masala, red chili powder or garam masala also. I have kept it simple and have not added any of the above spice blends except chili flakes and crushed black pepper corn. All the ingredients are mixed together together to form a dough. If you feel the mix is very sticky, you may add 1-2 teaspoon of wheat flour or cornflour to the dough. The key to perfect sweet corn cheese balls is that cheese should not ooze out while frying the balls, hence i have first coated the balls with dry flour, then dipped them in a slurry of cornflour and water and then rolled them in cornflakes powder. Yes you hear it right, i have not used bread crumbs to coat the corn cheese balls. I have powdered cornflakes and used them instead, Cornflakes give a nice crunch and crispy outer covering to the soft cheese balls. There is no harm in using breadcrumbs if you do not have cornflakes. Another way in which these cheese balls can be coated is using savai or fine vermicelli. I have shown both cornflakes powder and vermicelli method to coat the balls. My little one loved the vermicelli coated cheese balls more. The oil should be hot while you dip the balls for frying and then the flame as to be kept to medium so that the cheese balls cook well from within and become crisp and golden brown from outside.


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 14-15 cheese corn balls

Ingredients for the corn cheese balls
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1/2 cup processed cheese(I have used Amul cheese)
  • 1/4 cup Indian Cottage Cheese / Paneer
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corn
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes or as per taste
  • 2-3 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
Ingredients for coating the corn cheese balls
  • 1/4 cup corn flakes / bread crumbs/ sevai
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
Other Ingredient 
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. To begin with making sweet corn cheese balls, we will pressure cook the potato and sweet corn kernels for 2 whistles. I already had a boiled potato already in my refrigerator so used that and just boiled the sweet corn kernels in a vessel for 4-5 minutes in sufficient water. Peel the boiled potato and grate it. Transfer the boiled sweet corn kernels in a mixer jar and grind it coarsely without adding any water.

2. Transfer the grated boiled potato, coarse corn paste, grated cheese and crumbled paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) in a mixing bowl. Add chili flakes, crushed black pepper corn, salt and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and mix all the ingredients to form a dough. I have not added any flour to the dough at this stage as i the dough appeared firm to me. If you feel your dough is sticky and requires more binding, you may add 1-2 teaspoon of wheat flour or cornflour to the dough.

3. Grease your hands with little oil and pinch out small portions from the dough and shape it into round balls using your palms. Make equal sized balls with all the dough. I could make 14 balls corn cheese balls with the above mentioned ingredients.

4. Transfer the plate with corn cheese dough balls into a refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before we could proceed with deep-frying them. This step is optional but the balls get time to become firm. If you are planning to fry the corn cheese balls the next day, keep these dough balls in an air tight container or cover the plate with dough balls with a cling film and refrigerate it overnight.

5. Now we will prepare for the coating process of the corn cheese dough balls, for that take cornflakes in a grinder jar and pulse to powder it. Keep it in a bowl. If you wish to use bread crumbs for coating, keep them ready in a bowl. If using sevai, crush it with your fingers and keep ready in a bowl or plate. Take some flour in another bowl for the first coating. Mix cornflour and little water in another bowl and make a coatable slurry with it.



6. Now, coat each prepared corn cheese dough ball with flour and then dip it in a bowl of cornflour slurry. Coat the ball evenly with the slurry and then carefully place it in a bowl of bread crumbs, crushed sevai (vermicelli) or powdered cornflakes and roll it from all sides, such that it coats well. Coat all the corn cheese balls similarly with the coating of your choice.

7. Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan or small wok and heat it on medium flame. Once the oil is hot enough lower the flame and drop in a corn cheese ball and deep fry it.Check if does not disintegrate in the oil and cheese does not ooze out from it. If it is perfect, add another 2-3 balls and deep fry them on medium flame until they are golden brown from all sides. Make sure you do not over crowd the balls in the frying pan. Remove the fried corn cheese balls with a slotted ladle on to an absorbent sheet or kitchen towel to drain the excess oil. Fry all the balls similarly.

8. Serve the crispy crunchy and utterly delicious sweet corn cheese balls immediately with ketchup or any dip of your choice and enjoy with your loved ones!

Recipe Notes:
  • You may use the fresh corn on cob or the frozen corn kernels in this recipe. 
  • I have used Amul cheese here . You may use either cheddar or mozzarella cheese or a blend of both.
  • These sweet corn cheese balls are mildly spiced and i have used only chili flakes ,crushed black peppercorn and salt to season the cheese balls. You may add finely chopped green chilies also in this recipe if you wish. Oregano or mixed dried Italian herbs also can be added if desired.
  • For a typical Indian flavor, you may add chaat masala, red chili powder or garam masala also. 
  • Do not skip boiled potato as it acts as a binding agent. If the dough appears sticky add 1-2 teaspoon of cornflour and again bind all the ingredients well.
  • The oil for deep frying should be hot while you drop the cheese balls but make sure your fry them on medium flame so that they cook well from within and turn crisp and golden brown from all sides.
  • The corn cheese balls turn soft and chewy on cooling and taste best when served immediately after frying so fry them just before serving.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

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  1. Cheese corn balls are one of my favourite appetizers. Your home-made ones look so perfect, delicious and inviting! I'll definitely try making these too. Apt for the rainy weather we're having in Bangalore these days. :)

    1. Thank you Priya. Homemade starters are delicious plus customisable as per our liking and that makes them perfect. You are right these corn cheese balls make a great tea time snack especially during monsoon.

  2. I love sweet corn in any form. And these corn cheese balls look superbly delicious. I wish I could grab one from the picture. You have a vast collection of appetizer on your blog. Loved all.

    1. Thank you di. Glad you liked my appetizer recipe collection. Do give them a try.

  3. Nowadays since we're at home hubby likes to have some hot snacks during the weekend especially during our movie night. These sweet corn cheese balls looks like a perfect snack to try out for this weekend. Love how minimum spices have been used so that one can taste the natural flavors of corn, paneer and cheese.

    1. Absolutely di. I seasoned the corn cheese balls with just pepper powder, salt and chili flakes as I intended to serve it to kids. And guess what even adults loved them with minimum spices.

  4. O la la! Wow Poonam these are yummy! The moment I saw them on FB I was like I want some. These are something that will be delicious n definitely loved by all.

    1. Thank you di. You are right, these corn cheese balls are tempting and irresistible. Do give them s try.

  5. Perfect dish for monsoon, this bite size cheesy balls always in at my place :) lovely

  6. Cheesy balls with sweet corn sounds so inviting Poonam.. sure a hit among all the age groups.. crunchy munchy treat for rainy days or infact any days!

    1. Absolutely Swaty! We really do not need any specific weather or season to enjoy these cheesy treats .Thank you.

  7. These corn cheese balls are so crisp and crunchy. My boys will love it. Perfect deep fried snack for this wet weather. Awesome !!

    1. Thank you di. I am sure your boys will love it as much as my son did.

  8. Corn cheese balls looks amazing with lovely presentation Poonam. Using corn flakes powder for binding is new to me, i always use bread crumbs. will try it next time. yummy monsoon snack !!

  9. wow. These cute little balls are too tempting and perfect to enjoy during monsoon. My kids will finish this in no time

    1. Thank you Narmadha. do give it a try. I am sure your kids will love them.