Masala corn salad is the best to use for summer products
Controversial Opinion Warning: I Decided Not a cob on a cob fan. In the summer when I was growing up, dinner was often as simple as my mother’s masala bhutta, aka corn masala. It’s prepared like street corn, with the cobs roasted over the open fire of the kitchen. The filling is toasted before being buttered and topped with chaat masala. By the way, it’s one of my favorite flavor combinations in the world.
But unlike my brother, who lives for corn in the cob, I prefer to cut my seeds. And so, recently, thanks to a craving for my mom’s no-recipe recipe for corn masala, I started crafting those cobs again as a salad—no cobs at all.
While it looks impressive (re: complicated), it’s one of the easiest recipes to follow. Plus, it all comes together tightly thanks to a flavor-packed ingredient list. Get ready for a new favorite way to use up your summer corn.
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The secret to a delicious Masala corn salad
And by goodof course i mean yummy. Thankfully, the answer is simple: it starts with really good corn! Because corn is the base of this salad, starting with a solid foundation just makes everything else in this corn masala tastier. Fresh market-bought corn has the strongest flavor and is easiest to bake over an open flame, but you can also use frozen corn in a pinch.
If you are using frozen corn, defrost it in the microwave or at room temperature for an hour. Drying the corn is the trick to get the corn to burn completely on the pan. Place corn on paper or kitchen towel and pat dry after defrosting, removing excess water when defrosting. Then put in a large saucepan over high heat with a little oil and leave the corn for a while until the pieces are nicely browned.
With the corn on the cob fresh and in season, I bake it over the open flame of the stove and let the fire roast the grains until they darken and have a delicious smoky flavor that makes the corn so much tastier.
How to remove corn kernels (without creating a mess!)
For visual learners, I came across this simple trick a few years ago and it changed the game in terms of cleaning corn kernels. The trick is to get your knife as close to the cob as possible without getting tough bits of cob in your food. These days, they make specific cob peelers, but who needs another tool when you have professional knife skills with you?
What seasoning do I use for this corn masala salad?
I use two spice blends and an additional spice to take this corn masala salad to the next level: garam masala, chaat masala, and red chili powder.
You can find garam masala mix at most grocery stores. The best way to get the most intense flavor is to activate the spices with a little heat. This is why I add that garam masala to the melted butter that melts the entire salad—it allows the spices to become fragrant and flavorful. I also use red chili powder for extra heat, but this is optional if the jalapeños are spicy enough for you!
To complete the dish, I sprinkled on my absolute favorite: chaat masala. My mother always served roasted vegetables with chaat masala or used it to season some sliced fruit — no dinner was simpler or more delicious. You’ll have to venture to the Indian grocery store or order it online, but I always keep chaat masala on hand because of its signature nutty and wonderful flavor.
Tips for Serving and Storing This Masala Corn Salad
You can always omit the butter if desired, and using pickled onions instead of shallots makes a delicious side dish. I also think it would be nice to use queso or feta cheese on a salad, but you can leave it vegan. Toss salad with your favorite pasta for a flavorful pasta salad or over greens for something lighter.
Store leftover corn salad (if you have one!) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Personally, I think this salad will get better over time as all the spices and flavors come together, but it only tastes good when eaten at room temperature or warm.