Hello! Welcome to This Spicy Life…

Corn, beautiful corn. I just love it when the markets start selling those dark green husks of goodness. When I have fresh corn-on-the-cob, I love to make this curry recipe from my Sister-In-Law. It’s so different from the corn I ate as a kid growing up in Nebraska. Every summer we would get our overdose of delicious boiled corn with butter and salt. Besides the recipe below, corn can be made in so many ways. It can be grilled in the husk with only lemon and salt (and maybe some chili powder) squeezed over the steaming and charred cobs or as a salad sautéed with spices, just to name a few.

This recipe could also be adapted to a Mexican or Italian menu by substituting herbs and/or spices from those regions. You can easily simmer the corn cobs in a nice tomato salsa or a hearty pasta sauce to suit your menu.

The tomato sauce originates with my Mother-In-Law. A few summers ago she was visiting and I had a bumper crop of tomatoes from the garden. We made a huge batch of this sauce and put it in the freezer for future use. It’s a delicious, simple sauce that can be used as a base for many types of curry. It’s best made with fresh tomatoes, but I often make it in the winter using canned tomatoes. 

Corn-on-the-Cob with Spicy Tomato Curry

  • 3 ears of corn (white or yellow)
  • 2+ tsp oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup of onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional or to taste)
  • 3 cups of tomatoes, finely chopped (fresh preferred or canned)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped (or to taste)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. (You can use a deep saute pan or a saucepan, but the corn must fit in the pan in a single layer.)
  2. Add the cumin seeds and allow to cook for about 30 seconds until they start to turn just a little darker brown.
  3. Stir in the onions and allow to cook until they become translucent and start to brown on the edges.
  4. Add the turmeric powder and chili powder and stir. Allow to cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tomatoes and salt and turn heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally while allowing to cook down. This could take anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes. Canned tomatoes will probably take slightly longer. If the tomato mixture becomes too dry before it’s cooked down, add about 1/4 cup of water at a time. Cook until the mixture is relatively smooth. There isn’t a lot of oil in this recipe so you won’t see the oil separate.
  6. While the tomato sauce is simmering, strip the corn cobs of their husks, removing all of the silks. You can wash under running water to help remove the silks but it’s okay if a few remain. Break the cobs into 2 or 3 pieces. Set aside.
  7. Taste the tomato sauce to see if you have added enough salt and adjust if necessary.
  8. Stir in the fresh ginger and enough water to make the sauce slightly thin, similar to a thick soup consistency.
  9. Add the corn pieces and stir to cover with the sauce. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. The corn won’t sink in the sauce so you will need to turn the pieces every few minutes to make sure all sides are cooked. You can also add a bit of water as needed to the sauce if it becomes too thick before the corn is cooked through. At the end of cooking, however, the sauce should be cooked down to a thick curry, so be careful of adding too much water or adding water too late.
  10. When the corn is cooked through, remove from the heat. If the sauce is too thin (see step above), take the corn out of the sauce and cook the sauce down to a thicker consistency. Then put the corn pieces back in the sauce before serving.
  11. Serve with rice or as a side dish.  

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