Ultimate Guide to Indian Corn on the Cob: Recipes, Preparation Tips, and Serving Ideas

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a perfectly charred corn on the cob, bursting with flavors that transport you straight to the bustling streets of India. Indian corn on the cob, or “bhutta,” is not just a snack; it’s an experience steeped in tradition and rich spices. Vendors skillfully roast these golden cobs over open flames, slathering them with tangy lime juice and aromatic masala.

Ingredients

To recreate the authentic taste of Indian corn on the cob (bhutta), you will need the following ingredients. Gather them and prepare for a culinary journey to the streets of India.

  • 4 ears of fresh corn: Husked and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil: For roasting the corn
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges: To squeeze over roasted corn
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala: A tangy spice mix available in Indian grocery stores
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder: Adjust according to your heat preference
  • Salt, to taste

Optional:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter: For added richness, brush onto hot roasted corn

Ensure all ingredients are prepped and ready before beginning to cook. The combination of these spices and flavors will bring out the best in your bhutta.

Required Tools and Equipment

To recreate the authentic Indian corn on the cob experience, you need a few essential tools and equipment to ensure perfect preparation and grilling:

  • Sharp Knife: For trimming the ends of the corn and cutting lime wedges.
  • Basting Brush: To apply oil or melted butter evenly over the corn.
  • Tongs: Essential for turning the corn while grilling to achieve an even char.
  • Grill or Griddle Pan: A grill imparts a smoky flavor characteristic of street-style bhutta. If you don’t have a grill, a griddle pan works well indoors.
  • Mixing Bowl: To combine spices like chaat masala, red chili powder, and salt.
  • Small Bowls: For holding lime wedges, spice mix, and optional melted butter separately.

Assembling these tools and equipment beforehand, you’ll ensure a smooth cooking process that captures the essence of this beloved Indian street food.

Preparation Steps

Follow these steps to prepare your Indian corn on the cob. Each step will guide you through cleaning and seasoning to bring out the authentic flavors of this beloved street food.

Cleaning the Corn

  1. Remove husks: Peel away the outer green husks from each ear of corn.
  2. Discard silk: Pull off the fine, silky threads clinging to the kernels. Use a vegetable brush if needed.
  3. Rinse thoroughly: Hold each ear under cold running water and rinse well to remove any remaining silk or debris.

Seasoning the Corn

  1. Measure spices: In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon chaat masala, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. Mix well: Stir together until evenly blended.
  3. Optional butter mix: If using melted butter, mix it in with your spice blend for extra richness.

Cooking Instructions

Follow these steps to perfectly cook your Indian corn on the cob and infuse it with delightful flavors.

Roasting the Corn

  1. Preheat Grill or Stovetop: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat or set a stovetop burner to medium flame.
  2. Place Corn on Heat: Place each husked ear of corn directly onto the grill grate or hold it over the flame using tongs if you are working with an open flame.
  3. Rotate Frequently: Rotate the corn every 2-3 minutes to ensure even roasting, aiming for a few char marks on all sides without burning.
  4. Check for Doneness: Roast for about 10-15 minutes until kernels are tender and slightly charred.

Adding Spicy Lime and Masala to Corn

  1. Prepare Lime Wedges: While the corn is still hot, take lime wedges and dip them into chaat masala mixed with red chili powder and salt.
  2. Rub Spices onto Corn: Rub the spiced lime wedges all over the roasted corn, ensuring an even coating of spices.
  3. Optional Butter Application: If desired, brush melted butter over each cob for added richness before applying spices.
  4. Serve Immediately: Serve your spiced Indian corn on the cob hot off the grill or stove for maximum flavor.

Serving Suggestions

When your Indian corn on the cob is perfectly roasted and seasoned, there are several delightful ways you can serve it to enhance your culinary experience:

  1. Street Food Style: Serve the spiced corn straight off the grill or stovetop while it’s still hot. Place each cob on a serving platter, sprinkle with extra chaat masala if desired, and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro for a burst of color and flavor.
  2. Dip Accompaniments: Pair your spiced corn with a variety of dips for added flavor contrast. Popular choices include mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or a tangy yogurt dip. Arrange small bowls of these dips around a central plate holding the corn cobs.
  3. Side Dish Delight: Integrate Indian corn on the cob as a vibrant side dish at your next barbecue or family dinner. It complements grilled meats like chicken tikka or lamb kebabs beautifully and adds an exciting twist to traditional meals.
  4. Salad Topping: If you prefer lighter fare, cut the kernels off the cooked cobs and toss them into salads. They add texture and spice to green salads, quinoa bowls, or even pasta salads.
  5. Party Pleaser: For parties or gatherings, consider cutting each cob into smaller pieces before seasoning them thoroughly with lime juice and spices. This makes it easier for guests to enjoy without committing to an entire ear of corn.
  6. Flavor Variations: Experiment by adding different toppings such as crumbled feta cheese, grated Parmesan, or finely diced red onions for extra layers of taste and texture.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing your Indian corn on the cob ahead of time can save you effort during gatherings and ensure you have a delicious dish ready to go. Here are steps to make it in advance:

Step 1: Clean and Prep the Corn

  1. Husk the Corn: Remove the husks and silks from each ear of corn.
  2. Rinse: Rinse thoroughly under cold water.
  3. Dry: Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Step 2: Pre-Cook the Corn

  1. Boil Water: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Blanching:
  • Add ears of corn to boiling water.
  • Blanch for 3-5 minutes until partially cooked but still firm.
  1. Ice Bath:
  • Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water.
  • Transfer blanched corn immediately into the ice bath to stop cooking.
  1. Drain and Dry:
  • Drain well after cooling in the ice bath.
  • Pat dry each ear thoroughly.

Step 3: Season Ahead

  1. Apply Spices:
  • Rub lime juice over each ear for added flavor.
  • Sprinkle evenly with chaat masala, salt, or your preferred spices.

Step 4: Store Properly

  1. Wrap Individually:
  • Wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to retain moisture and flavor.
  1. Refrigerate or Freeze:
  • For refrigeration, store wrapped cobs in an airtight container for up to 24 hours before final grilling or broiling.
  • For freezing, place wrapped cobs in freezer bags; they can be frozen for up to one month.

Step 5: Reheat

  1. Grill Method (Recommended):
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 375°F).
  • Place pre-seasoned ears directly on grates; grill for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until fully heated through and charred slightly on all sides.
  1. Oven Broil Method:
  • Set oven broiler on high; arrange ears on baking sheet lined with foil.
  • Broil for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through until hot and lightly charred.

Conclusion

Indian corn on the cob isn’t just a tasty treat; it’s a cultural experience you can easily recreate at home. With simple ingredients like lime juice and masala, you can transform ordinary corn into a flavor-packed dish. Whether you’re serving it street food style or using it as a salad topping, your guests will love this vibrant twist on a classic snack.

Preparing Indian corn ahead of time is also straightforward. Clean and season the cobs before grilling or broiling for an effortless addition to any gathering. So next time you’re planning a party or just craving something special, remember that a deliciously spiced bhutta is only steps away.

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