Gather your ingredients. If you want to keep the corn cakes warm until serving, turn your oven on to 300°F (150°C) and place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix together all the batter ingredients EXCEPT the egg, garlic, and milk. Add the egg, if using (see Notes below if not using an egg), the garlic, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix thoroughly and add more milk in one tablespoon increments until you have a thin, smooth pancake-like batter. Be careful not to overmix if using wheat flour. Heat oil in a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
Add the rest of your ingredients and mix together. Test a bit of corn and when it sizzles nicely, turn the heat down to medium and add about 2 tablespoons of batter into the skillet for each corn cake. Shoot for 3-inches or less or they become difficult to turn over. If you care how round they are, using a spatula, nudge the edges of the cake into a rounder shape. Cook until they are golden brown on the first side; about 3 minutes.
Turn over and cook another 2 minutes, or until beautifully crisp and golden. If you are keeping them warm, place on the wire rack, and tuck into the oven. Cook the rest of the corn cakes, adding a little more oil if needed.
SERVING NOTES: Serve with raita, sour cream, or your favorite chutney and a summer salad like my cucumber salad or a coconut cabbage salad. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or wrapped tightly in the freezer for 2 months. When you have perfected your favorite corn cakes, make a big batch and freeze some for another meal or snacks.
No eggs: If you don’t want to use eggs, substitute 2 to 4 tablespoons additional chickpea flour and more water to get a thin batter consistency.
Keep warm: Corn cakes are tasty at room temperature, but if you are wanting to keep them hot until serving time, turn your oven to 300°F (150°C), set up a wire rack on a baking sheet, and pop your corn cakes into the oven as they are made.
Optional step: If using chickpea flour, add a nutty aroma by toasting it in a dry skillet over low heat. Stir the flour for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns a couple of shades darker and it smells toasty.
No garlic: If you don’t use garlic, simply leave it out.
MAKE YOUR OWN SWEET CORN CAKES:
Binder: all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, gluten-free flour, corn flour (not cornmeal but cornstarch may work). NOTE:If you are using cornstarch, don’t use all cornstarch or your corn cakes will be doughy. Half flour and half cornstarch would be the best move here. Or, take cornmeal and give it a good whiz in the blender to make a finer powder.
Cheese:cheddar, Colby, feta, Monterey Jack, and paneer
Chili ideas: use 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili, finely chopped green chilies, use your favorite hot sauce, or chili flakes.
Herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, and parsley
Liquid: cream, coconut milk, half and half, or water