Indian Corn On The Cob

Summer is around the corner and that means it’s time to enjoy some corn!

Corn on the cob seasoned with chili powder and lime is a classic combination and is easy as it gets.

However, like most of my recipes, I wanted an Indian twist so I added some turmeric and red chili powder as well.

Indian Chili Powder

Indian red chili powder is made with only one ingredient: dried chilies. It’s similar to cayenne pepper, though redder and spicier.

Technically it should be spelled “chile” but for some reason it’s often labeled as “chili” or “chilly” on Indian packages and in recipes.

It is different than American chili powder which usually contains other spices like cumin or garlic powder. So when Indian recipes say “red chili powder,” it is most likely referring to the Indian version or cayenne pepper.

Also, different chili powders have different heat levels. For example, Kashmiri chili powder is milder than others.

For this recipe, 1 teaspoon of chili powder is the perfect amount of spice for me. However, my husband who likes spicer foods could probably handle 2 teaspoons. Adjust the amount based on your heat tolerance or the brand of red chili powder you have.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob

When cooking the corn there are many ways to do it: boiling, broiling, grilling, microwaving, or the Instant Pot.

I used the Instant Pot because it is super quick. You can also boil or microwave the corn and finish it off on the grill or under the broiler.

How to make chili oil

As for using spices in Indian cooking, we normally don’t add in spices raw. They need to be heated or sautéed first.

Therefore, instead of simply sprinkling the corn with chili powder and turmeric, I heated them in coconut oil to help them bloom and remove the raw taste.

Then I brushed the cooked corn with the chili oil, followed by a squeeze of lime juice and some salt.

Whichever way you choose to prepare it, you will get an insanely sweet corn that is complimented by the heat from the chili and the tartness from the lime. The coconut oil and turmeric also add a subtle Indian flavor to this summer favorite!

What My Kids Say:
10 year old: “It has a sweet burst of flavor.”
8 year old: “It’s sweet and salty.”

Here are some other indian Vegetable Sides

Indian Green Beans
Mildly spiced Kerala style green beans with mustard seeds, chili, and caramelized onions and garlic.
Check out this recipe
Closeup skillet with Indian green beans, curry leaves, chili pepper.
Indian Corn on the Cob
Sweet corn with a spicy and tangy kick!
Check out this recipe
Plate of 2 corn on the cob withs spices, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Kabocha Curry with Black Eyed Peas
A savory and sweet Kerala curry made with kabocha, black-eyed peas, coconut, chilies, and spices.
Check out this recipe
Bowl of kabocha curry with black eyed peas, cilantro.

Plate of 2 corn on the cob withs spices, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Indian Corn on the Cob

Joby’s Test Kitchen
Sweet corn with a spicy and tangy kick!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsps red chili powder substitute with some paprika for less heat
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1-2 small limes, sliced
  • sea salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnish optional


Chili Oil

  • Place small saucepan over medium-low heat and warm up the oil, chili powder, and turmeric. Cook for 30-60 seconds or until aromatic. Take off heat and set aside.
  • Make corn by grilling, boiling, or using the Instant Pot method below.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Place a trivet in the pot, and lay the ears of corn inside. Pour enough water into the bottom of the pot to reach up about ¼ of an inch. Close the lid and seal. Set the timer to Manual and then 3 minutes. When done, do a quick release and carefully remove the corn. Season and serve as is or place under the broiler to give it a little char.
  • Once cooked, brush on some of the chili oil. Either serve as is or place on a grill or under broiler to char it a bit.
  • Squeeze on some lime juice and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Garnish with cilantro and more chili oil if desired.


Spice Level: 1 teaspoon of chili powder is the perfect amount of spice for me. For even spicer, increase to 1½-2 teaspoons or based on your heat tolerance or brand of red chili powder you have.
Keyword chili powder, corn, Indian, lime, turmeric

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