Indian Street Corn. Kicking Your Plain Corn to the Curb.

I’m kind of notorious for liking “the classics”.  A hamburger with regular mustard, not fancy mustard.  Pizza with pepperoni and cheese.  Boiled corn with butter.  But this grilled Indian Street corn with lime, melted butter, cilantro and Indian spices is soooooo delicious it’s changed my opinion on the perfect way to eat corn.

grilled corn with indian spices and limes

Skip right to the recipe.

That right there is a thing of beauty.  It’s a tray of Indian Street corn which is similar to Mexican street corn in more ways than the fact that they’re usually sold from street carts.  Indian and Mexican street corn are both topped with spices, buttery goodness, lime and cilantro. Indian street corn doesn’t have the mayo, sour cream and cheese that you see on Mexican grilled corn. 

A few years ago a neighbour and I (more my neighbour really) organized a street party for the end of summer.  It was a pot luck with everyone just bringing whatever food they wanted.  No one knew what anyone else was bringing, there was no planning, and no organizing.  Just a general invitation to show up at 5 o’clock with some food and a lawn chair.

We shut the street down with hockey nets, because this is Canada, and everyone just started loading up the food table and rolling out the grills.

I made wood oven pizza for that first street party and with that move, figured I had secured the best dish at the neighbourhood BBQ.  I even lotioned my arms so they’d look good slipping into the inevitable sash and photo ops.

Not so.

Instead the HIT of the neighbourhood party was my neighbour’s Indian Street Corn.  Fresh corn roasted on the BBQ then slathered in Indian spices, melted ghee and topped with chopped cilantro and a huge squeeze of lime.


basket of corn in cozy kitchen


Everyone went NUTS over this corn.  Backflip nuts.  Eyes roll into the back of your head nuts.  I may have been the nuttiest of them all asking what was on the corn, how did she make it, what were the spices???


Is what I thought.  What I actually said was, “Hey Edwina?  Could I get that recipe?  I mean it.  I’m not just saying, Hey, I’d like the recipe …. I really, really mean it.  Could you give it to me?  Because I’d really like it and not just in a polite kind of way I mean I REALLY AND TRULY WANT THIS RECIPE YOU SCENE STEALING CORN GRILLING GODDESS.”

A day later she showed up at my door with a recipe written on beautiful paper along with a jar of her own spice blend.  I immediately asked her to marry me.

She said no.  So did her husband.  But I still got the recipe so I don’t care.

Indian spice blend in a bowl


The most important part of the recipe is the blend of Indian spices.  Hot Indian chili powder, paprika, Garam Marsala, kosher salt and cumin.

Sharing this delicious grilled corn with everyone you know is also important but not as important as the cumin.


fresh corn on the cob


The corn is also important.  You want fresh husked corn that’s as juicy and tender as possible because once you put it on a BBQ corn tends to shrink and shrivel.



grilled corn on the cob with cilantro and lime on a platter.


Charred kernels and Indian spices, oh my!
4 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon of hot Indian red chili powder or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 cobs of corn
  • Indian Spice blend
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Melted ghee or butter


  • Mix the first 5 ingredients together to create your Indian Spice Blend.
  • Husk corn.
  • Melt butter.
  • Chop a large handful of cilantro.
  • Pre-heat grill to medium high.
  • Grill corn with the lid closed turning occasionally until the corn is nicely charred and cooked.
  • Remove from grill and immediately brush the corn with melted ghee or butter.
  • Liberally sprinkle spice blend and cilantro over corn.
  • Finish with a large squeeze of lime.

So back to the street party.  THIS is the kind of thing that comes out of a street party so if you’ve ever thought of having one but couldn’t be bothered know this … you’re stupid.

delicious looking indian street corn

Cause seriously.  Look at that.  Just LOOK at it.

The year after I decided not to embarrass myself and kept the pizza oven shut and opted to bring a massive Caprese salad and sourdough bread.  The next year I brought – actually I can’t remember what I brought the next year. But the last time we had a street party, preCOVID was 2019. I brought pulled pork that I smoked on my smoker and sweet buns for it to go on.

This year?  If we’re lucky enough to be able to hold a block party this year (on account of the Ick) I have a very special surprise that I’m going to bring.  And I’m ridiculously excited about it.

But I can’t say what it is yet because I don’t want to tip off any of my neighbours who happen to read this blog of mine.

I will say if there’s ANYTHING that can beat Indian Grilled Corn, this thing I’m planning is it.

Take *that* my sister wife Edwina the Corn Grilling Goddess.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


Indian Street Corn. Kicking Your Plain Corn to the Curb.


  1. Vanessa says:

    *sheepishly types* Hi Karen…. This is the first non academic interest blog i’ve ever followed… I have lots of nice words that would waste both our time so i’ll simply say… i like you very much. Also i’ve never left a comment anywhere before. Also we’re friends now.

    Anyhoo, thanks so much for sharing this! I recently developed an interest in spicing corn because i found a cheap-ish brand of soft, sweet imported corn (btw im from Jamaica, our typical fresh out the husk, not imported or unicorn breed u hunted down in the mountains, corn is very tough and starchy… the great grandfather of the corn elsewhere in the world i suppose).

    I’m trying this recipe TODAY. But may i suggest something i made once and now my friends want to bathe in it? Corn (microwaved or steamed), salted butter, then a heaping helping of cayenne powder and garlic powder. Its so simple but its great! sometimes i pre mix the powders in the butter and just keep it in the fridge to throw on anything.

    Ok nice to meet you. Bye!

    • Karen says:

      Vanessa! Bestie!! I know that corn well. :) I garden with a lot of people from Zimbabwe and that tough, starchy corn is their corn of choice. They haven’t quite convinced me to like it yet but I do like it for making omelettes because I’m not a fan of sweet corn with eggs. I’ll give the cayenne and garlic a try. ~ karen!

  2. Kelli says:

    Oh man. This is twice now. I have a coworker from Mexico and we were JUST discussing the awesomeness of street corn (she said in Mexico they also sprinkle on a type of Mexican “feta” cheese on their street corn). And now here you are with your fancy street corn recipe. I recently bought some Indian cumin, and I even have some garam masala, so I think my future is a bit ‘corny’! :-) Thanks for the yummy soon to be in my tummy!

  3. Lynn says:

    I believe that is a must try.
    Here is two ways we do corn on the cob. We soak the corn in the husk in cold water for at least 1 hr. Then we remove the silk at the top on husk an toss them on the BBQ turning every 15 or so minutes so they cook even ( shutting the BBQ in between), we find doing this with good corn you don’t even need to add butter it’s so yummy. Second way is behusk put corn in water for 15 min then wrap in tinfoil add a free drops of extra water and a small drizzle of raspberries vinaigrette wrap them up put again on top rack of bbq and turn ever 15 minutes or so for 35 to 1 hr depends on Your bbq. We all ways get asked about our corn either way we cook it they want to know the details. So I figured I would give you a couple more ways to enhance your corn eating.

  4. Melissa says:

    I’ve recently started grilling my corn with savoury garlic oil, salt & pepper and have been lecturing everyone at cook outs that if you’re not grilling your corn- you’re not living. Definitely going to try this spice blend!

  5. Tracy says:

    I made a Mexican street corn salad (I can’t eat corn off the cob) for America’s birthday. I’m starting to regret my choice of spiced charred corn goodness….though Mexican street corn also uses cumin.

  6. Paula says:

    Where did you find the super cool basket??

  7. Antonio D'Souza says:

    Wow, this brought back heavenly memories of street food while growing up in Bombay.
    Shortcut method : Have your spice mix blend in a little plate and limes and lemons cut up in halves.Once you get the corn off the grill ,take a half of lime, dab it into the spice mic and gently rub and squeeze it over the corn, turning and squeezing as you go
    Karen if you are fond of this ask your friend to show you how to make Bhel. It is an explosion of flavours. Another favourite is Chana Chaat .A chickpea sweet and tangy salad
    The Bhel would be better with a little demo but the Chaat could be done with a recipe
    I would gladly share it if you like.If you live around Pickering Ontario and like foreign flavours, I would be more than happy to come and demo a few amazing treats.

    • Leslie says:

      Does India commonly eat corn on the cob? Never knew that? (Don’t see corn in Indian recipes often, either.)

  8. Neeta says:

    These corn looks so yumm! & so heavenly!! I remember the early monsoon days before I moved to the US, me & my husband used to stop by the street vendor at one corner of a busy streets of Bangalore to eat these delicious BBQ corns…yeah, this was almost our routine while returning from office. Initially, I used to urge him to apply more masala & a big squeeze of lemon as a greedy person; as we became regular customers for him, he was quite generous to brush more masala & served us with his big smile..Thanks Karen for reminding me of my golden days :)

    Note: Tender peanuts can be roasted on charcoal / cast iron skillet. When nearly charred, sprinkle salt water evenly to get crispy, tangy snack..yumm..this is another street snack in India.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Neeta! It’s my favourite way to do corn now! This year when we had our street party, she brought did the corn again, plus some type of potato/curry concoction that was also delicious! ~ karen

  9. UrbanFarmKidMarti says:

    Lots of interest. Zero access to grill. (Yeah, sucks, but life goes on.)

    Can I get some / most of the fabled flavor without a grill? Or totally screwed?

  10. Cussot says:

    Hey, your homemade corn basket is aging well – it looks fantastic. For anyone who doesn’t know (and isn’t an obsessive, read-every-post, longterm reader of her blog), Karen MADE THAT THING.

  11. Janet says:

    Now that I’ve tried this I don’t think I’ll ever eat corn the old way (butter, s+p). SO good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Sounds yummy except the cilantro..I am one of those people who can not eat cilantro…tastes like soap to me…the rest sounds wonderful!

  13. Kelli says:

    Dangit Karen. I literally just had 2 Wendy’s burgers (worked late, boo), and I would STILL murder about 3 of them thar corn cobs (or as my friend calls it: “cob on the knob”). It looks divine, and I bet it tastes even diviner!

    Here in Texas, we have something similar, taken from Mexican street food (elote) : grilled corn on the cob, squirted with lime, then covered in mayo, sprinkled with powdered smoked chili, cheese, salt, pepper, cilantro, and…cumin. Yummy.

  14. Amanda says:

    Hmm, we do these too but they’re called elotes. all the vendors in mexico sell them, but of course the spice blend is slightly different and they tend to add mayo and cojito cheese

  15. Manisha says:

    I just want to stress that the corn should be charred a bit. That’s very important to the flavor. I had the best street corn while going to school in the Himalaya mountains. Dang! I might need to make done this weekend. Thanks for the reminder Karen!

  16. Ev Wilcox says:

    Please thank your heroic neighbor for sharing this recipe. She made a lot of people happy!
    Totally unrelated: Holey Moley-Saw the newest Star Trek Saturday. What they did to our boy friend Idris–tsk tsk….

  17. Renee says:

    butter, chili powder & lime juice & zest makes a good one too – then you can sprinkle cojita or another Mexican cheese on it

  18. Renee says:

    soften butter, add some paprika, S & P, fresh parsley & as much horseradish as you like – slather on corn. mmmmm

  19. sera says:

    Ok, ok. But, is there a particular garam masala that I should be using? Because all the food magazines and blogs say that the garam masala changes depending where and who you get it from. My friend gets it from her mom who brings it back from India with about another 20 different kinds of spices that I’ve never heard of and are really good. So I never buy garam masala because I feel like I’m not getting what I’m supposed to be getting. What do I buy???

    • Renee says:

      Sera – McCormick makes a pretty decent one with a lot cumin. Some of them seem bland, but this one is nicely flavorful

    • Manisha says:

      I have more trouble finding a good curry powder than some Garam masala. You should ask your friend for some of hers. In my experience Indian moms bring back way more than needed. Not complaining about the moms, just sayin!

  20. Cred says:

    Omgawd. That looks amazing- must try this.
    Question for serving a crowd- did she make just a few at a time? Or did she grill them all and adorn and plate them?
    We’re having a corn roast at the end of August and think I will do some cobs just like this.

  21. Madeline says:

    Hi i Karen: a chef friend wraps her corn in parchment paper and then tin foil to roast it on the BBQ. You get the BBQ effect and flavour, but the corn stays moist and juicy. Sooo goood.

  22. Elaine says:

    You take the very BEST photographs, Karen (I could taste that corn!) and I love the “curtained” area below your kitchen sink. I’ve always thought that decor idea so charming and just last week, was wondering how it would suit my condo kitchen but figured that, perhaps, it was out of style. Seeing yours, I may just give it a try!

  23. Sabina says:

    Thanks for another great recipe Karen! And are you obsessed with collecting all 19 crimes from the 19 Crimes wine corks too???

  24. Flash says:

    will be giving it a try sounds yummy

  25. S Buck says:

    I will definitely try it. Here’s another one for you, grilled Mexican street corn called “Elotes.” It’s delicious and sold by street vendors here in Los Angeles. Just Google it and you will find plenty of recipes. Absolutely delicious!

  26. Mindy says:

    Diggin the wine choice on the counter.
    I’m making a grilled corn salad for a big taco grill party we’re hosting tomorrow night. You’re tempting me to do this instead. Alas, I shall save the recipe for a regular dinner night, when I won’t have to share with so many people. ;)

  27. Gaeyl Kanter says:

    Thanks so much for this recipie. I love Mexican grilled corn slathered with mayonnaise , Parmesan cheese , sprinkled with fresh ground pepper salt & sprinkled with cojito cheese. I always enjoy the Carmellized kernels. The Indian spices just kick it up a notch. Penzys is where I purchase all my spices they are a Wisconsin U S A business also does mail order . in most spices I purchase the smallest quantity to retain freshness since no one loves a dead spice.

  28. Carswell says:

    Oh – and for the initiated – ghee is clarified butter. The milk solids are removed so you can fry in it without burning the butter.

    If you don’t already have some in your pantry, just melt regular butter. If you’re a real purist, skim the milk solids off.

  29. Carswell says:

    LOL – there just isn’t enough corn in the world to have with all the delicious things you can put on it. Lately my corn dressings of choice are:

    1. Smoked hot paprika mixed with dijon mustard and butter.

    2. Wasabi mixed with some dijon mustard and butter.

    Both of the above are enhanced with a generous squirt of lime. (The dijon adds a bit more heat and some tartness to the mix as well as some body, helping the mix to stay on the corn rather than just slide off.)

    I will definitely give this one a whirl – just gotta get the Indian chili powder.

    Mmmmmmm. Corn.

  30. Clara W. says:

    There’s a typo in your recipe…first line of the instructions.

  31. Linda Baker says:

    OMG….this looks stunning!!
    I best start planning on what to bring to the street party….the bar has been set!

  32. Eileen says:

    yum…technical question: when I grill corn I usually pull the husks down to remove the silk, but then pull the husks back over the ears, soak it in some water for a bit (so they don’t immediately turn into corn torches)…would this work if it was slathered on under the husk? I guess you wouldn’t get as much of the char (you do get some)….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eileen. You really need to remove the husks. I used to grill with the husks on too, but removing the entire husk makes the corn SOOOO much better. Give it a shot. :) ~ karen!

  33. Ayla says:

    Que apetecibles se ven esas mazorcas de maíz, hummm, ya mordería una ahora mismito, jejeje. Lo he de probar :P

  34. Karin in NC says:

    And to top off such a feast you are drinking 19 Crimes – my most favorite wine EVER. Can’t wait to try this corn. Tonight.

  35. Jillian says:


  36. Leslie in Hampton says:

    Wow that sounds so good. I have to try this Karen.

  37. A guy says:

    Nice corn and gams.

  38. Lez says:

    Looks yummy! Just wondering, there is no salt added. Does it not need it? I can’t imagine corn on the cob without salt! Maybe you just added it after?

  39. Madhu Ramakrishnan says:

    Hi, I am so amazed to see this post. May be because of being an Indian. And these corn are super tempting especially in rains and winter. And yes Indian spices are a must. They’ll be perfect if you roast them a little more to golden brown.

    Just a tip: If Indian spices are not available. Then simply apply salt, butter and lemon.

    • Karen says:

      Here’s a funny story Madhu. My BBQ ran out of gas while I was roasting these for the picture, lol. Normally I’d grill them longer. :) ~ karen!

  40. Brandy Ballard says:

    Oh that looks divine, and I happen to have some fresh corn on the cob. Now to figure out where to buy garam masala! And ghee…had to look that one up. Probably need to go to a specialty food shop

    • Karen says:

      Just use melted butter Brandy. No big whoop. And most largeish grocery stores should carry garam Marsala. ? ~ k!

    • TeresaP says:

      You might not even need a specialty food shop…my chain grocery now has a pretty decent ethnic food section and garam masala is there….also you can order it from Amazon.
      In NYC, the street fairs generally have roasted corn and I have been known to eat an ear at the beginning….walk several blocks and at the turnaround of the street fair, get another ear for the walk back. They dont spice it with the good stuff but they will dunk the ear in melted butter as you watch….decadent and delicious and worth every bit of the mess and dental flossing required!

    • Toronto Guy says:

      Brandy, if you reside in Canada you can find ghee in your local grocery store such as Freshco or Loblaws. If not, try your local mom and pop Indian grocery store. Ghee is a common ingredient in Indian food

  41. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says:

    Oh this looks soooooooo delicious!
    I have another treat for you. Head over to Pioneer Womans blog and look up her Cauliflower Sriracha. OMG it is flippin delicious!!!!! My hubs and I are simply hooked to death. So simple. I am on WW and when I just want a simple-something, I whip me up a batch of cauliflower. So satisfying.
    Try it and see if you love it.

  42. Kathleen says:

    What a brilliant twist on corn on the cob. Can’t wait to wow my peeps too. But we’re going to have to wait a month or 4 – it’s not the season here just yet! Damn!

    • Karen says:

      Lemme guess … New Zealand? I’ll remind you in 4 months. ;) ~ karen!

      • Kathleen says:

        No, but close… South Africa.
        Not to be outdone, I went and bought a bag of frozen corn, let it defrost in a colander to drain any excess water and then ‘fried’ it in the butter and spices. This is how we’ll eat it until we can experience your ‘off the cob’ gastronomical bliss. :)

  43. gloria says:

    I read the whole post waiting to hear the details about the main ingredient, the Indian corn, which you obviously use for this recipe and have to have to make street corn. Until I finally got it. I’m tired.

  44. Mark says:

    Hey Karen,
    Can you please move to my street and make the corn for our street party?

    • Brenda says:

      Ima gonna try to tell our neighbourhood peeps to make their own / I’m just going to tell them to check out the blog and say I’ll bring the corn and spices … I think we’ll be having someone (wo)manning the BBQ for everyone … I need to keep clean for the sash and photo op

    • Karen says:

      Sure, yes, absolutely. Where are you and how long will it take me to walk there? (I’m on a health kick) ~ karen!

      • Mark says:

        That’s great! I’m in Ottawa, so if you walk 20 miles a day, I’ll see you in August. :) I guess I would owe you a new pair of runners too.

  45. Brenda says:

    OMG – our neighbourhood FB group just posted a call for people to volunteer to help organize a BBQ and I might be able to steer them to your blog about this and I a might be my neighbourhoods goddess OMG … meeEEEEeeeee! because of youuuuu … because of whats’er name!!! OMG

  46. Ardith says:

    Try as I might, it just doesn’t taste as good as it looks on the screen. Perhaps that is because I’m trying to eat it through the screen. Hope you had a great weekend, Ardith

  47. Mike says:

    I’ve been contemplating a career change. Having just devoured your post, perhaps I’ll buy a food truck outfitted for grilling and selling the world’s most delicious Indian Street Corn.

    Free toothpicks with every purchase.


  48. Barbie says:

    HONESTLY! The very first thought in my head when I looked at your picture today on this blog… my very words were “OMG” “LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL CORN” “JUST LOOK AT IT” Wow Karen is the bomb! I totally want to make this! I want to show off and pretend “I” thought of it! Your neighbor is a food goddess! What gorgeous colors! I want to make it just so I can photograph it! LOL Thanks for this one my foodie friend. AND I do love to look at your food pictures!

  49. Sue says:

    And, I thought slathering it with butter and rolling it in grated Parmesan was adventurous!

  50. Melissa says:

    It’s 11:00 p.m. and now I’m craving corn. Thanks, thanks a lot. ?

    • Karen says:

      My job here is done. :) ~ karen! (Well … until Wednesday’s post that is. Then it will begin all over again.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen