Monsoons bring a vivid picture to all those who have experienced it. Each one with different memories and mostly about food. I remember one day, returning to the office (I was working in marketing just after college) on my moped. I was at on the street my office was on, could almost see it at the end of the road. It started raining; I was sure I could make it to the office in a minute or so and therefore did not stop at a shelter. The skies opened up and I was soaked to the bone. I literally had to squeeze the water from my clothes. The experience of soaking wet or standing under a tree or under a bus stop shelter, trying to keep dry; umbrellas flying in the wind; a chaiwalla at the corner of a street selling chai; a person frying hot pakodas and bhajjis (fritters); a person selling grilled corn at the street corner.
Grilled Corn- The thought of it makes my mouth water, the spicy chilli and the tangy lime and the green chutney. The cart would have a small charcoal grill (a metal bowl filled with coal). The person would grill the corn, embers flying; you standing close to the grill to stay warm but trying to avoid the embers. Once he grills the corn, he would ask you if you want chutney on it. It is a green liquid in a bottle with a brush. If you are brave (not worrying whether the water is filtered or not), you would say yes. He would then brush the corn with the chutney and put it back on the coal. He would then dip a piece of lime in a mixture of salt and chilli powder and rub it on the corn. Taking the first bite, there would be a rush of flavours; the dry spices sticking to your lips, the mixture of herbs and spices and the charred grill corn.
This is really easy to make and after you eat this, you will not want to eat plain grilled corn. In Mexico, I saw them grilling corn on teh roadside and added spices and sprinkled some cheese on it. I have grilled corn and sprinkled mexican spices (tajin) and the taste is very similar.
- 4 corn on the cob, cleaned
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chat masala or garam masala (optional)
- 1 lime, cut in half
- green chutney- grind 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, salt to taste and 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper to a paste with 1/4 cup water (optional)
- Clean corn- remove husk and silk. Brush oil over it
- Heat a coal or gas grill
- In a bowl, make a mixture of salt, chilli powder and chat masala
- If using, grind ingredients for green chutney and set aside
- Place corn and roast on all sides. Keep turning to uniformly roast.
- Take off heat and brush chutney all over the corn and put it back on the grill for a minute. Turn. Be careful not to burn
- Take off heat
- Dip lemon slice into the salt chilli powder mixture and rub on all sides of the corn.