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3-Minute Masala Corn

This masala corn recipe makes a super quick tasty Indian snack with tender buttery spiced corn kernels. You can make it in minutes and I used to always munch on it in the cinema when I was living in India!

A small black cardboard cup with buttered spiced corn and a lemon and herbs in the background.

Why you’ll love it:

  • It’s a super quick snack.
  • Buttery sweet corn with tasty Indian flavors in just a few minutes!
  • It makes a great alternative to popcorn when you’re watching movies!
  • It’s easy to personalize according to your taste.
  • It’s vegetarian and can be vegan if you use vegan butter or margarine.

If you love quick Indian-style dishes, take a look at this five-minute onion tomato raita, or this five-minute peanut chaat.

Ingredients and substitutions

With just eight ingredients there aren’t too many substitutions you can make. Check out the photo below to make sure you have the correct ingredients or scroll down below to see suggested substitutes.

Labelled ingredients for masala corn including butter, cilantro and corn.

Butter: Use high-quality salted butter. Kerrygold is my favorite. If you can’t get salted butter don’t worry, you can just adjust the seasoning to taste at the end. If you’re vegan or avoiding dairy, use a tasty vegan butter or margarine, like Earth Balance or Flora.

Cilantro: Freshly chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) is pretty key in this dish. Don’t make it without it, unless you’re one of those people who hate cilantro as it tastes weird and soapy to them, then you can substitute it with half the amount of finely chopped parsley.

Black pepper: Use preground black pepper (powder) here, not freshly ground black pepper.

Black salt: Also called Kala Namak, it’s an amazingly tasty finely ground mined in the Himalayas. If you don’t have it you can use regular fine ground table salt but try to get it.

Corn: I use canned corn for speed and the microwave for speed, but you can also use frozen corn or any cooked corn you have to hand. Just make sure it’s cooked through first on the stovetop in a pan or boil it.

Cayenne pepper: About an eighth of a teaspoon here will give a very mild bite – think child friendly – or a quarter will make it quite spicy but feel free to adjust the amount up or down. Don’t substitute with chili flakes or sauces. A nice red chilli powder like Lal mirch is a great substitute (not the spice mix for making chili con carne).mas

Chaat masala: This is an amazing addictive spice mix (key to my 5-minute masala vegetable sandwich). My favorite is MDH Chunky Chat Masala but you can use any brand’s version, or make your own.

Lemon juice: Use fresh lemon juice and adjust to taste.

A small black coffee cup with buttered corn topped with cilantro.

Optional add-ins

If you love masala corn but would prefer to make a more filling recipe like corn chaat, add a quarter cup of finely chopped red onion, a quarter cup of finely chopped seeded tomatoes, and over the top, you can sprinkle some (or all) of these:

  • Crumbled paneer
  • Crumbled feta
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Some bhujia (so tasty) or unsweetened puffed rice.

How to make it

This is one of the easiest recipes ever to make but I’ve included more detailed steps and photos here in case you have any doubts.

First, rinse the canned corn and drain well. Add to a microwave-safe bowl and add the butter on top (see image one below).

A bowl with corn and butter in it on the left, and mixed up on the right.

Microwave for between one and a half to two minutes, stirring every thirty seconds until the butter has melted and the corn is warm. Mix the corn well with the melted butter so that every kernel is coated with some (image two above).

If you don’t have a microwave you can just add the sweetcorn and butter to a non-stick saucepan and heat on medium on the stovetop instead until the butter has melted and the corn has heated up.

Finely chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl along with all the other ingredients (chaat masala, black pepper, cayenne, black salt, and lemon juice) as in image three below.

A glass bowl with corn and toppings on the left and mixed up on the right.

Mix well and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. Ladle into small bowls or paper cups and serve hot with small spoons. Enjoy!


What to do with leftover masala corn?

Cover and refrigerate for up to four days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Just remember the cilantro will wilt slightly. I don’t recommend freezing masala corn.

What can I substitute for chat masala?

Nothing really, not in this recipe. I recommend buying it or making your own. If you really must, you can try it with half the amount of garam masala and add it to taste.

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Yield: 4

Corn chaat/Masala corn

A small black coffee cup with buttered corn topped with cilantro.

Easy quick spiced buttery masala corn, vegan or vegetarian, and ready in just a few minutes!

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes


  • 2 cups cooked sweetcorn kernels (325g, I use canned)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (or vegan butter/spread)
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro (fresh coriander), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • A pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon black salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice


  1. If using canned corn, rinse and drain well. Add to a microwave-safe bowl with the butter. Cook on high for between one and a half to two minutes, stirring every thirty seconds until the butter is melted and the corn is heated.
  2. Mix the sweetcorn and butter well.
  3. Finely chop the cilantro and add. Add all the other ingredients (chat masala, cayenne, black pepper, black salt, lemon juice) and mix well.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve in small bowls or paper cups with spoons. About half a cup is one serving.


If you don't have a microwave, heat the butter and corn in a small nonstick saucepan on the stovetop on medium heat until the butter has melted.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

Half a cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 100Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 8mgSodium 89mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 3g

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