Stir-Fried Corn with Basil, Leeks and Cumin

Adapted from Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn by Chitra Agrawal

*For those looking for a more substantial dish, this tastes great with the addition of some lentils (the sturdier type like French, Puy, or black beluga are best, but commonly available brown lentils also work) or cooked green mung beans. If adding legumes, increase the seasonings accordingly.


1 tablespoon ghee, unsalted butter, or oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small leek, finely chopped, or half an onion
Kernels cut from 3-4 ears of corn (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves


*An easy method to shave corn off cob is described in this article.

Heat ghee or oil under medium-high heat in a frying pan or wok.  Add in cumin seeds.  When the seeds start to brown (should only take a few seconds), turn the heat to medium and add in the leeks. 

Cook the leeks and onions until wilted down (approximately 3-5 minutes).

At this point, turn the heat to medium low, add in the corn kernels, black pepper, and salt to taste. Sauté the corn for a few minutes (doesn’t take long to cook and the fresher the corn, the less cooking needed). Turn the heat off. 

 Squeeze lemon juice and mix in the chopped basil.  Add salt to taste.