Vaghareli makai

Spiced corn salad


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

The beautiful Mexican street snack, elotes, are grilled corn cobs, spiced with chilli and smeared with mayonnaise. Here is the Indian version, turned into a salad — so simple and tasty, not to mention healthy. Serve it as a side, pack it for a picnic, or serve it in a cup during kids’ parties.

Preparation 40 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes


  • 2 fresh corn cobs
  • 2 cm (¾ inch) knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated, or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
  • ¼ bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • ¼ bunch mint, leaves removed and torn
  • ½ teaspoon Chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup Kara boondi (optional)

Smashed Corn

  • 3 fresh corn cobs
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 2 French or red Asian shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste


For the smashed corn, cut the kernels from the three cobs of corn using a sharp knife. Put half the kernels through a juicer.

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2–5 minutes, or until translucent; you don’t want them to colour.

Stir in the corn juice, remaining corn kernels and the coconut water, ensuring the kernels are covered in liquid. Cover and cook for 5–7 minutes, until the corn is tender. Taste the corn and season with a little sugar, depending on the sweetness of the corn.

Transfer to a blender and briefly blitz so that some corn kernels are broken, and others remain whole.

To make the salad, cut the kernels from the remaining two cobs of corn and place in a saucepan. Add the turmeric, a pinch of salt, and enough water to just cover the corn. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until tender.

Drain the corn, leave to cool, then place in a bowl. Add the smashed corn, onion, chilli, herbs, spices and lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and mix well.

Just before serving, add the kara boondi for extra texture and crunch, if using.