Middle Eastern Grilled Corn with Sauces

By Diane Rossen Worthington | August 10th, 2022

An innovative take on corn from Faith Kramer’s ’52 Shabbats’


Middle Eastern grilled corn from Faith Kramer’s ’52 Shabbats’ recipe book Image

Cooking authority Diane Rossen Worthington shares an innovative take on corn, from Faith Kramer, author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Kramer’s Middle Eastern grilled corn begins with instructions for seasoned corn and several diverse sauces.


Author Faith Kramer has given readers a Middle Eastern tour of delectable sauces for grilled corn in her new book “52 Shabbats.” She has traveled the world and collected corn memories from many lands, including China, Jordan, and Mexico, to name a few. She settled on Middle Eastern ingredients as the foundation for these delicious sauces. I’ve never thought of drizzling anything on my grilled corn, other than butter, so this was a welcome and delicious surprise.

Each of these suggestions has both great flavor and texture, and you can drizzle simple sauces like pomegranate molasses or silan (date syrup). Try one of these sauces below or try them all. It will be so fun to change it up at your next barbecue.

Middle Eastern Grilled Corn

Serves 4 to 8

For the spice mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac

For the grilled corn:

  • 4 large ears fresh corn on the cob with husks
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To finish:

  • Bottled hot sauce, optional
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  1. Make the spice mix in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Prepare any of the following sauce recipes and set aside.
  3. Remove the silk from the corn but leave the outer husks and stem on. Soak the corn in cold water for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a grill to medium-hot. With the husks closed over the corn cobs, grill the corn on all sides until the kernels can be easily pierced and are charred in places. (If a grill is not available, husk the corn and cook as desired.)
  5. Pull down or remove the husks. Leave the stems on if desired. For smaller portions cut each corn cob in half. Brush each corn cob all over with olive oil. Rub the corn all over with the spice mix and place on a plate.
  6. Drizzle the grilled corn with your choice of sauces. Shake on the hot sauce, if desired. Garnish with a sprinkling of feta, cilantro and green onions. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

Tahini Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if desired
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons very cold water, plus more if desired
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

In a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, lemon juice, and water. Stir in the tahini paste with a fork. The mixture may thicken and seize, but keep stirring, until smooth and thick but still pourable. Add cold water 1 teaspoon at a time to reach the desired consistency. Taste and add salt and/or lemon juice, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Yellow Curry Sauce

Makes about 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk plus more if needed

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, curry powder, turmeric, and sugar until smooth. Slowly stir in the milk, adding more, if needed, until the sauce can be drizzled. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Garlic Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a blender, combine the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt; puree on high speed until smooth. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Bring to room temperature before using.

© 2022 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks” and “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.

More cookbook recommendations from Diane Rossen Worthington, including ‘Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch’

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