Mangoes out, monsoons in. Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob (bhutta), the perfect monsoon companion.

It’s pouring cats and dogs right now while I am writing this post. Like many Indians, I love monsoons as well. Monsoons mean the much needed relief from the crazy summer heat, the start of a new school year and new beginnings, colorful raincoats, the bottom of your pants soaked dead in water and charcoal roasted Bhuttas!

Bhutta- pronounced bhoo-ttah is hindi for corn. Roadside ‘bhuttas’ roasted over charcoal furnaces are extremely popular in India.Roadside food in India can be tricky, but roasted bhutta is pretty safe to consume as there is no water involved in the cooking. Raw corn ear is roasted over a charcoal furnace and rubbed with salt, pepper, lime juice, butter and is eaten while still hot.

This is a recipe for home cooked bhutta. In my house we roast corn cobs over the stove, the way we roast roti fulkas. I wish we could own a grill but the apartments in Bombay are so tiny that there is no place to keep one, hence stove is a substitute.

Ingredients and preparation

  • Strip the husks, fibres away from the top of the cob to the base. Discard the husks.
  • Roast the corn over an open flame or charcoal furnace till the corn ears look like in the photographs underneath.
  • Rub a 1/2 teaspoon butter, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and some lemon on the hot corn.
  • Sprinkle cilantro for garnish (optional) and serve hot.

How to check whether the raw corn is fresh.

Pierce one or two kernels on the cob. They should pierce easy and almost feel like a tiny burst of moisture. And the juice coming out of the corn should ideally be milky. The silk fibers at the top of a fresh corn are usually golden brown and slightly sticky. The stem of fresh corn is usually creamish yellow in color with no bruises. Hope this helps :)

All Images © Neha Deshmukh






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