Spiced Corn on the Cob

Spiced corn on the cob is a perfect summer side dish that takes the sweetness of fresh corn and adds coconut milk, cumin, cilantro, mustard seeds, and a squeeze of lemon. A riff on roasted north Indian corn, often sold by street vendors, for a tasty afternoon snack.

A white with 6 slices of corn on the cob, covered with coconut milk and a mixture of spices.

Adapted from Mridula Baljekar | Indian Vegan & Vegetarian | Lorenz Books, 2021

Corn on the cob, roasted over live charcoal, fills the air with delicious aromas in the streets of north India. The vendors brush the cobs with melted butter and sprinkle them with black salt, chiles, and other spices. In this recipe, I’ve chosen to simmer it instead but you still get the same great flavors as the vendor corn that I love.

Fresh corn is usually used for this vegan treat, but you can use frozen if you wish-–just make sure you thaw the cobs slightly before slicing them.–Mridula Baljekar

Spiced Corn on the Cob

A white with 6 slices of corn on the cob, covered with coconut milk and a mixture of spices.

Fresh corn is simmered in a coconut milk mixture, filled with cumin, chiles, and cilantro, giving it a classic north India flavor.

Mridula Baljekar

Prep 15 mins

Cook 20 mins

Total 35 mins

  • Slice corn cobs into 1/2-inch (1cm) rounds and place in a large skillet. Add coconut milk, red chiles, salt, and water.
  • Set the skillet over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the corn is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

  • Just before the end of the cooking time, in a small skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the mustard seeds, followed by the cumin seeds. Let them pop for 5 to 10 seconds then pour the contents of the skillet over the corn.

  • Add the green chiles, fresh cilantro, and lemon juice. Stir, uncovered, until all the liquid evaporates and the coconut sauce coats the corn, 4 to 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve immediately.

*What’s the easiest way to cut through a cob of corn?

Let’s face it, hacking through a cob of corn isn’t an easy kitchen task unless you have a decent vegetable cleaver, but we have a few suggestions for you. First, if you want to halve your cobs, they’re usually easier to snap with your hands, rather than sawing away at them. 
If you’re looking for those cute little slices, however, that can still be done. Take this advice from our testers–younger, thinner cobs of corn will be more tender and easier to cut through than mature ones. As well, a serrated knife will work like a charm–a bread knife is perfect for this.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 222kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 20g (7%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 13g (81%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 678mg (29%)Potassium: 341mg (10%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 194IU (4%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 14mg (1%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published August 24, 2021

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