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.
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.
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.
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???
"TELL ME NOW YOU SCENE STEALING CORN GRILLING GODDESS."
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.
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.
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.
- 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ Tablespoons paprika
- ¾ teaspoon of hot Indian red chili powder or to taste
- 1 Tablespoon garam masala
- 1 ½ 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.
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←
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.
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?
Sure, just roast it in a cast iron skillet! ~ karen
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.
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
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.
Does India commonly eat corn on the cob? Never knew that? (Don't see corn in Indian recipes often, either.)
Where did you find the super cool basket??
Hi Paula. I made it. :) https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/a-tisket-a-tasket-make-a-supercool-basketcopycatting-country-living-magazine/ ~ karen!
I didn’t know what a peach basket was so I am glad you showed photos. I know it as a bushel basket. Is it for decorative use only? Any idea of the weight capacity?
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.
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!
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.
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!
*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!
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!
Maybe next time you should add some curry powder to the mix and give it a real flavor pop
Does this make the corn spicy hot? Like cumin or pepper flakes would.
No, I wouldn't call it hot. I'd just call it flavourful. But then again, I have a fairly good capacity for eating spicy foods. I've never noticed it having a lot of heat though ~ karen!
Tried this last night. So delicious.
I'm officially addicted. I want to go home and make more now.
We had it with grilled chicken thighs skewers and naan. Did the corn first as it could sit while grilling the chicken.
For people having a hard time finding ghee, got it from Walmart in the section with Indian food. It's in a jar.
Try putting the spice mix on popcorn! Best popcorn ever.
Several years ago while on a long weekend getaway with my husband's family we decided to do a whole family potluck dinner. The hubs wanted me to bring Mexican street corn so I asked my brother in law if there would be room on the grill for 15 ears of corn. He kind of disdainfully replied "you know most people just boil corn". So I grilled the corn in the broiler of the gas stove. That same brother in law kept saying he didn't know why we were making such a big deal about the something-something corn. Then he tasted it. And then he BEGGED me for the recipe. I laughed and laughed, while everyone toasted me and my corn. Your Indian corn sounds like it would be just as good as the Mexican style!
Got to try this one; my go to BBQ corn fav lately has been slathered with good O.O. then sprinkled with smoked chipolte pepper & cumin, cilantro, squeeze of lime & S&P.
I try to get good old fashioned yellow corn like we had as kids, not this wishy washy peaches & cream stuff.
I also dry roast & grind my cumin ( pestle & mortar ) always have a container of this on hand as cumin goes with just about everything, great in tuna sandwiches with dried cranberries etc.
but trying your corn recipe next. summer is short. Thks!