The Street Food Project: Grilled corn-on-the-cob {bhutta}

bhutta

A snack from Northern part of India and one of my favorites — bhutta or a grilled corn-on-the-cob. It is so yummy and healthy. It costs Rs. 20 (roughly 35 Cents) and is ready in under five minutes. The vendor removes the husk from the corn in front of you and then roasts it on charcoal, turning it for a uniform color while fanning with a piece of cardboard to keep the coal hot. The corn gets this really nice char from the coal which compliments its sweetness really well. It is then rubbed with a small wedge of lemon that has salt mixed with a mild spice mix stuck onto its surface – the rubbing transfers the juice of the lemon through the salt and the spices making the corn smell and taste delicious. He serves it in a corn peel which is a pretty green practice and also hygienic. You will see many vendors selling bhutta in Delhi & Gurgaon area during the months of winter.

This dish is mostly seen during the start and the entire duration of winters – that’s when the corn is sweetest and most tender. It just literally melts in your mouth. Thinking of it makes my mouth water! In the winters its so comforting to have a warm corn on the cob all sweet and spicy!

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You can make this at home by placing the corn directly on the flame of your burner or on a BBQ grill. The regular coil stove tops and hot plates unfortunately wont work for this. Use tongs to flip it so that you don’t burn yourself – these bhutta guys turn the corn with their bare hands but none of us want to be that brave – so please use tongs! Once you have a uniform color and the corn pops at a few places, it is ready to be rubbed with the lemon and the spices. For the spice mix you can either use a BBQ rub or cajun spice mix (anything that has a smokey flavor) mixed with salt. Or even just plain salt mixed with some ground red chili or paprika will taste pretty great as well. Just place a small wedge of a lemon (cut side down) in the spice & salt mix and rub the corn with it, add more spice mix if needed. Serve warm!

bhutta

bhutta