This corn kadai masala is SO tasty! It’s a really simple stir-fry made with my onion masala and the perfect blend of spices. It’s tangy, sweet, spicy, and will absolutely be the star of your meal.
This corn kadai masala is the kind of dish that’ll have you licking your lips and wondering how the heck something so simple can be so darn good. Also known as corn and capsicum masala, this is a dry-ish dish made with sweet corn and bell peppers coated in a flavorful chatpata (tangy) masala sauce.
Before I tell you about how great this dish is – all you really need to know is that its silly simple to make. As in, you literally mix everything together.
Who says cooking Indian food is hard? This is TOO easy. Thanks to my onion masala.
What’s in this corn kadai masala?
Sweet corn, of course. And diced bell peppers. But it’s honestly the spices that make this dish what it is.
There’s amchur (dried green mango powder), which gives the dish a great tangy chatpata flavor and then there’s roasted cumin powder, which gives the dish kind of a street-food-like quality (in the best way) and then cayenne for heat and cardamom for the perfect hint of sweetness. There’s also kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), which gives the dish dimension – it has the best aroma and is also a little bitter in a weird but really delicious kind of way – trust me, it’s a must.
Basically, the spice combination in this recipe is lit. Did I use that word correctly? Why I think I did. I am such a cool mom. 💁🏽♀️
While this recipe calls for a few ingredients, know that they’re all important to getting the best flavor – so please don’t leave things out or go and substitute spices all willy nilly. (I think the phrase willy nilly negates the word lit – so maybe not as cool of a mom as I thought? 🤓) For example, make sure to use roasted cumin powder and not regular cumin. Don’t have dried fenugreek leaves? Go to the store to buy some – it’ll be worth it. There’s really no substitute for any of the spices in this dish.
So here’s the thing. I’m kinda (read: super duper) particular about spice blends, which is why I rarely use store-bought blends in my recipes (garam masala being the exception). If you want to use a store-bought spice blend in this dish, I suppose you can – but if you want to make sure it’s going to rock your tastebuds, try it my way by using the individual spices listed.
That said, as a now mom of two, I vow never to ask you to do extra work unless absolutely necessary. You do not need to freshly grind all the spices in this dish the way most kadai recipes have you do (and tbh, the way I’ve asked you to in the past – see my kadai chicken). I use pre-ground spices in this corn dish. I try to buy small jars or packets of spices – that way, I know the spices are relatively fresh (unlike those huge bags of ground spices from the Indian store that take forever to finish). As long as the ground spices you are using aren’t super old – this dish will be awesome.
This corn kadai is inspired by a dish I ate at Rasika a few weeks ago. If you haven’t been there yet, you should 100 percent visit if you’re in DC – everything there is SO good. I’ve only been twice, but I hope to go back again when we visit the area later this year. Anyway, while we were all eating the corn kadai, I excitedly told Roby (like ten times) that I could make something similar at home using my onion masala. I was so excited to try, and you guys, I did (obviously, lol)! This stir-fry dish is just as flavorful and delicious as what we ate there, and it takes minutes to make! If you want to make it extra decadent/more restaurant-like, you can always add butter and salt! Pretty sure that’s the secret to making everything taste better.
Having my pre-made onion masala makes this SO easy!
All you need to do is mix everything together. That’s it.
You need to have my pre-made onion masala ready to go – so I guess that’s the catch? Putting in a bit of effort one day will have you eating great food for weeks to come. You can find all of my onion masala recipes here.
I hope you guys love this recipe for corn kadai! Serve it with basmati rice or jeera rice or an Indian flatbread.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup onion masala
- 1 16 ounce package frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup diced bell pepper I like red and green for presentation
- 2 teaspoons kasoori methi dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 teaspoon amchur powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder*
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Heat oil in a pan or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and once they begin to brown, add the onion masala and the corn and mix well, until the onion masala coats the corn (this will take a few extra minutes if starting with frozen onion masala).
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until the bell pepper softens a bit.