Corn Chaat (Masala Corn) – Cook Republic

Corn Chaat (also known as Masala Corn) is a deliciously tangy Indian street food made with cooked corn, onion, tomato, chilli and coriander. A warm salad of sorts – this dish has mouth-watering sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours. My 10-minute recipe is light, healthy and very addictive!

Corn Chaat (Corn Masala) served in a green plate with a spoon.
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🌽 What is Corn Chaat?

Chaat or chat is an umbrella term used for Indian street food that is also popular in neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Chaat is a collection of savoury snacks served as appetizers or sold at roadside stalls and food carts throughout the region. They are punctuated by their distinctly pungent sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours. They are delicious and finger-licking good – hence the name “chaat” or “chat” which means “to lick/to taste” in Hindi.

Corn Chaat is a popular savoury street snack from India made with freshly shucked cooked corn, onion, tomato, chilli and coriander tossed with spices and served with a dousing of sweet and sour Tamarind Date Chutney and fine chickpea noodles (sev).

There are two versions of Corn Chaat – the authentic street-style warm Corn Chaat and the everyday home-style version that is more like a chopped salad.

Corn Chaat topped with Nylon Sev, Coriander and Onion.

Street Version – Street vendors often have dozens of corn cobs boiling in large pots of constantly simmering water on food carts. Corn cobs are shucked on demand and fried with butter, onion, tomato, coriander, chilli and spices in an iron wok over an open fire. This tangy, warm cooked salad is then topped with “chaat chutney”, “sev” (fried chickpea noodles), grated cheese and extra chilli.

Homemade Version – This version of Corn Chaat involves boiling corn cob, shucking it and adding it to a bowl with onion, tomato, coriander, chilli, lemon juice and mild spices. It is light, easy, delicious and healthier than the street versions. Many homes also use canned corn kernels for a quick fix.

Both are delicious, easy to make and perfect for a satisfying veggie-packed snack. I am sharing a version that is the best of both worlds – light and healthy but with the zing and wow factor of the street version.

📝 Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you will need for this recipe,

Corn Chaat Ingredients measured and labeled.
  1. Corn – Use fresh corn on the cob. If you can’t find any, use canned and drained corn kernels and make sure you drain it for at least 10 minutes so it has minimum to no liquid. If substituting with frozen corn kernels, thaw them quickly by soaking in hot water for 1-2 minutes and draining.
  2. Chilli – I use long green cayenne chilli. This is like Serrano chilli and has a mild heat. I leave the seeds on but if you prefer less spicy, deseed the chilli and rinse it before using.
  3. Tomato & Onion – These are the base salad veggies for most chaat dishes. Red or white onion are perfect. Fresh tomatoes are best. Do not use canned tomatoes.
  4. Coriander – Or cilantro as is known in many parts of the world is the herb of choice for chaats. Substituting with parsley or other herbs doesn’t taste the same.
  5. Chilli powder – Kashmiri red chilli powder has a wonderful aroma and heat. If you find it too spicy or cannot source it, cayenne chilli powder, sweet paprika or Gochugaru are all good substitutes.
  6. Amchur Amchur or amchoor is dried mango powder. It has a savoury, tangy, sweet and sour taste and is the trademark of most chaat dishes. It can be substituted with chaat masala which is readily available in Indian specialty store or at spice merchants.
  7. Garam masala and ground cumin – Both are readily available in most spice sections of supermarkets or Indian stores.
  8. Salt, lemon and oil.
  9. For serving / Nylon Sev or SevThese are fine fried chickpea noodles that are used as a topping for chaat dishes. They are crispy and have a savoury, salty taste. They can be sourced at Indian grocery stores. If you can’t find them, use Chinese fried noodles instead.
  10. For Serving / Tamarind Date Chutney – This is a sweet and sour tangy chutney used to top chaat dishes. You can source this at Indian grocery stores.

🥣 How to make Corn Chaat?

Traditional Corn Chaat recipes involve boiling the corn. Boiling the corn does tend to bring out its natural sweetness but it is also the most nutritionally depleting way to eat corn. When you boil corn, some of its vital nutrients like folate leech into the water. If you then further cook it by grilling or pan-frying, it loses more nutrients.

My preferred way of eating corn is by grilling or flash-frying in a hot pan so that it is as close to its natural state. This means your corn is just cooked and retains a bite. (Steaming and microwaving corn are good alternatives. I use the microwave method in my Feta Corn Salad recipe). For this Corn Chaat recipe below, you won’t need to pre-cook corn. And hence, the dish is ready in under 8 minutes. Super easy!

Shuck the corn cob and remove the kernels in a bowl. Fry onion and chilli in oil in a hot wok.
  1. Strip the husk of the corn and remove the silk. Trim the non-stalk end with a knife and stand the corn on this flat surface. Using a knife, slice the corn kernels and put them in a bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a small wok on high. Add onion and chilli and saute for a few seconds.
Add corn and tomato to the wok. Add all spices and mix well. Saute for a couple of minutes.

3. Add corn and tomato to the wok.

4. Add all spices and mix well. Saute for a couple of minutes.

Squeeze lemon juice on the corn chaat. Scoop onto a serving plate and dress with tamarind date chutney.

5. Squeeze lemon juice on the corn chaat.

6. Scoop onto a serving plate and dress with tamarind date chutney.

Top with chopped onion. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

7. Top with chopped onion.

8. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

Drizzle Sriracha or hot sauce. Sprinkle Nylon Sev (Fried Chickpea Noodles).

9. Drizzle Sriracha or hot sauce.

10. Sprinkle Nylon Sev (Fried Chickpea Noodles).

🍽️ Serving & Storage

Corn Chaat serving in a green plate with a lemon wedge on top.

Corn Chaat is best eaten fresh. Serve it immediately after cooking. If you skip the toppings (raw onion, tamarind date chutney and sev) then you can store the cooked chaat in an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. Dress and add toppings at the time of serving.

Here are some more topping suggestions

  1. Shredded cheese
  2. Chinese Fried Noodles
  3. Toasted Peanuts
  4. Crushed Potato Chips
  5. Green Coriander Chutney

Serve Corn Chaat as a part of a larger Indian Street Style Feast with these recipes

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipes FAQs

How do you pronounce corn chaat?

Corn sounds like “kawn”. Chat or Chaat is an Indian (Hindi) word that sounds like “cha-aa-t” with a long emphasis on “aa” (similar to the “a” sound in “chai”) followed by a short “t”.

Do you boil corn for Corn Chaat?

The traditional method involves boiling corn. This method is used by both street vendors and home cooks. But boiling leeches the corn of good nutrients. So although you can boil corn for this recipe, you don’t have to. Flash-frying in a pan produces the same result with no nutrient loss.

💛 More Corn Recipes

Recipe

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Corn Chaat served in a green plate topped with sev, onion, coriander, sweet date chutney and lemon wedge.
  • Remove the husk on the corn cobs and trim the end with a knife. Place the sweet corn vertically on a chopping board resting on the trimmed end. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice and remove the corn kernels. You should get approximately 2 cups (300g) corn kernels from both corn cobs.

  • Heat oil on high in a small wok.

  • Reserve a tablespoon of onion and set it aside for later. Add the remaining onion to the hot wok and sauté for 15 seconds until it is glazed.

  • Add tomato, corn kernels and green chilli. Mix well. Sauté for a further 15 seconds.

  • Add chilli powder, chaat masala, garam masala, cumin and salt to the wok. Toss and mix well. Cook on high, tossing constantly for approximately 2 minutes until corn kernels are just cooked.

  • Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and mix well.

  • Spoon the corn chaat onto a rimmed serving plate. Drizzle with tamarind and date chutney and Sriracha. Sprinkle with coriander leaves, reserved chopped onion and sev. Serve immediately while still warm.

    • Corn – Use fresh corn on the cob. If you can’t find any, use canned and drained corn kernels and make sure you drain it for at least 10 minutes so it has minimum to no liquid. If substituting with frozen corn kernels, thaw them quickly by soaking in hot water for 1-2 minutes and draining.
    • Chilli – I use long green cayenne chilli. This is like Serrano chilli and has a mild heat. I leave the seeds on but if you prefer less spicy, deseed the chilli and rinse it before using.
    • Tomato & Onion – These are the base salad veggies for most chaat dishes. Red or white onion are perfect. Fresh tomatoes are best. Do not use canned tomatoes.
    • Coriander – Or cilantro as is known in many parts of the world is the herb of choice for chaats. Substituting with parsley or other herbs doesn’t taste the same.
    • Chilli powder – Kashmiri red chilli powder has a wonderful aroma and heat. If you find it too spicy or cannot source it, cayenne chilli powder, sweet paprika or Gochugaru are all good substitutes.
    • Amchur Amchur or amchoor is dried mango powder. It has a savoury, tangy, sweet and sour taste and is the trademark of most chaat dishes. It can be substituted with chaat masala which is readily available in Indian specialty store or at spice merchants.
    • Garam masala and ground cumin – Both are readily available in most spice sections of supermarkets or Indian stores.
    • Nylon Sev or SevThese are fine fried chickpea noodles that are used as a topping for chaat dishes. They are crispy and have a savoury, salty taste. They can be sourced at Indian grocery stores. If you can’t find them, use Chinese fried noodles instead.
    • Tamarind Date Chutney – This is a sweet and sour tangy chutney used to top chaat dishes. You can source this at Indian grocery store.
    • Tamarind Date Chutney Recipe – Bring 1 cup pitted dates, 1.5 cups water, 1/4 cup coconut sugar, 1 tablespoon tamarind paste,1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin,1 teaspoon ginger powder,1 teaspoon fennel powder and ½ teaspoon amchur or chat masala to a gentle boil. Cook for 15 minutes on low heat. Add 1/2 cup water and blend to a smooth pourable consistency. 


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 988IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg



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