One of the most beloved street foods in India is also one of the simplest: corn on the cob, slow roasted over hot coals, over which you squeeze juicy lime wedges and sprinkle salt, cayenne pepper and whatever else the wallah has up his sleeve. It bears a striking resemblance to Mexican elote, which adds some salty, creamy cotija to the mix. Here's a salad inspired by this beloved street food! Feel free to add some cotija if you like. I keep this dairy-free for my dairy-free husband.
- 3 large ears corn, husks and silk removed
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Big pinch ground cardamom
- Big pinch chaat masala
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup halved cherry or sugarplum tomatoes
- 1 or 2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves thinly sliced
- Small handful fresh cilantro, leaves and soft stems rustically ripped into bite-size pieces
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and heat until just beginning to smoke.
Rub the corn with olive oil, then carefully lay into the pan. Cook until charred in patches all the way around and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.
For the dressing: Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, cumin, cayenne, cardamom, chaat masala and salt and black pepper to taste.
Slice the kernels off the cobs and tumble into a big bowl. Add the tomatoes, mint and cilantro. Toss with the dressing, and taste for seasoning. Serve!