Traditional chaat, an Indian street-food snack, throws every addictive flavor and texture together, from crunchy and fried to cool and creamy, tangy to sweet and fiery. Chef Biju Thomas uses grilled fresh corn for his summertime version. The chutney does much of the work here—tart, sweet, and layered with aromatic ginger and spices. Slideshow:More Corn Recipes
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 dried red chiles (such as chiles de árbol)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
2 whole cloves
6 plum tomatoes (1 1/4 pounds), cored and chopped
1/2 cup packed jaggery or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
CORN CHAAT :
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted corn snacks (such as Corn Nuts), divided
1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
How to Make It
Make the chutney: Heat grapeseed oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add ginger, chiles, peppercorns, and cloves; cook, stirring often, until ginger is soft and spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar, tamarind paste, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until cold.
Make the corn chaat: Preheat a grill to high (450°F to 550°F). Whisk together yogurt, cumin, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
Brush corn with grapeseed oil. Place corn on grates, and grill, uncovered, turning often, until kernels are charred, 10 to 12 minutes. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels from corn into a large bowl; discard cobs. (If using thawed frozen corn, heat a cast-iron skillet over high until smoking. Add corn in an even layer, and cook, without moving, until kernels are charred and begin to release from skillet, about 4 minutes.) Add coconut oil, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to bowl; stir to combine. Add cilantro, mint, scallions, serrano chile, and 1/2 cup toasted corn snacks; toss to combine.
Divide corn mixture evenly among 4 serving bowls; top with chutney and yogurt mixture. Stir together curry powder and remaining 1/4 cup toasted corn snacks, and sprinkle over corn mixture.
Chutney can be made up to 1 week ahead.
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