Corn Mint Chaat
45 Min

Corn Mint Chaat

As we said our final goodbye to Indika, the restaurant I opened in 2001, this past week, I was reminiscing about Corn Mint Chaat, a popular summer salad. Renditions of street food from India, with magical combinations of fresh vegetables and aromatic herb-infused sweet, spicy and savory chutneys with crunchy tidbits in almost any form — and sometimes turned on its head into a salad — bring on tastes that make most of us transplants from India swoon. One of the unusual flavors common to chaat is black salt, a sulfurous salt native to India. It smells funky (imagine boiled egg aroma), appears pink but turns blackish when it hits food or water and is absolutely delicious on chaats. Over the years, I have experimented with dozens of chaat combinations — from using potato or tortilla chips for crunch to grilled kale and basil leaves for herbs — but making one is no easy task. However, here is a take on the corn mint chaat that may be relatively easy to execute at home.
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Cook Time

45 Minutes



Step 1
Whisk the yogurt with lemon juice, honey, and half teaspoon each ground cumin and black salt. Refrigerate the yogurt until ready to use.
Step 2
Over an open fire or outdoor grill, roast the corn on all sides. Alternatively, use an oven to bake the corn or simply boil it. Remove the kernels and toss with a pinch of black salt and chili powder and chill.
Step 3
When ready to assemble the salad, slice or tear the romaine into the bottom of a large salad bowl.
Step 4
Top with alternating layers of seasoned corn kernels, diced mango, sev, mint leaves, and yogurt. Top with remaining ground cumin, black salt, and chili powder. Enjoy immediately.
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
1 teaspoon black salt
3 large ears of corn
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 romaine head or 2 romaine hearts
1 ripe mango, diced into 1/2-inch chunks (roughly 2 cups)
1/2 cup “sev” (crispy chickpea noodles)
1 cup mint leaves

Notes & Variations

  • Black salt is delicious, but any salt in the pantry will work.
  • Sev can be found in most Indian grocery stores, but again, it is not essential to the salad. Substitute with crushed papad (Indian lentil wafers) or potato chips.
  • Be sure to buy the freshest mint — biting into a fragrant mint leaf makes the salad special.
  • Before grinding cumin seeds, toast over a skillet for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant or roast in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Cool before grinding.
45 Min

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