Ancient Cuisines: Mohegan Succotash

The word 'succotash' comes from the Northeastern Narraganset Indian word "Msickquatash" which means "a whole ear of corn."

Spirit of the Harvest, North American Indian Cooking by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs

There are many variations of succotash. The Pennsylvania Dutch, who are really of German origin, make this with milk or cream. Some recipes have bacon, fish or meat. It is quite understandable why succotash was a very popular dish during the depression.

Mohegan succotash is slightly different from other succotash recipes - the corn is left on the cob. And that is something I love! Once I have eaten the corn off the cob, I love to dip the cob back into the sauce or the juices and suck and chew on the sweet cob. Fresh succulent veggies in butter is what this dish is all about. It has a wonderful earthy flavor with no seasoning that many might mistake for bland.

Mohegan Succotash

  • 3-4 ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 1 packet frozen lima beans
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Clean the corn of its husk, silk and fibers. Cut the cobs into pieces that are about 1-2 inches in length. You will need a very sharp knife to do this or you culd end up hurting yourself!
  2. In a large saucepan, add oil, lima beans, water, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 10 minutes
  4. Add the green onions and peppers. Simmer while covered for another 6-10 minutes until the beans are tender. The peppers should be tender yet crisp.
  5. Remove lid and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.

I prefer to skip the buttery flavor (1/4 cup butter) and use just a little bit of vegetable oil instead. The original Mohegan recipe calls for bear grease instead of butter, so I am just taking it one step further in substituting it with vegetable oil. In fact, the oil is something I could skip completely. Vegetable stock or chicken broth could also be used.

Succotash is unbelievably satisfying. For this versatile recipe, use your favorite vegetables when you want to be seduced by their inherent flavors. It is something I relish when my body calls for a systemic cleansing of spice overload. It is almost detoxifying in its effects.

I served this with Ute Tortillas and Pueblo Chicken.


musical said...

Simplicity can be really rewarding sometimes :). Totally love this one!

bee said...

this is how all food was eaten and i think ought to be eaten.

Emily Main said...

can't wait to try this.

Anita said...

How simple! Every now and then, we all yearn for some simplicity. And it is also good t know what the vegetables really taste like!

Anjali Koli said...

It was fun to read the earlier post. So when do we get to see Medha in the costume? About this dish, simple veggies seem to be appreciated lot more now in the basics, you will know why I am saying this...

indosungod said...

Simple and if we could grab some of the veggies from the Farmers Market, would be perfect.

DD was overjoyed to see your comments about her poetry. thank you

Indian Food Rocks said...

Yup, simplicity rules! If you must, you could add some green chillies but I prefer it without. Medha felt that this could do with fewer lima beans, especially as she was made to eat all of hers! The lima beans add protein to this meal, making it more complete.

Emily, welcome to IFR! Let me know if you liked it!

Anjali, looks like you missed this. :-D

ISG, our last FM tomorrow and that is really sad! You have a very talented child! Nurture her! Does she go to any creative writing classes? Some of them work wonders.