Seductively spicy, my curried kettle corn creation (lovely alliteration) started earlier in the week when I made an afternoon popcorn snack. The snack coincided with my recent fascination with Anjum Anand and Indian cookery. I wondered whether I could apply the curry flavors to my popcorn.
I love popcorn and could easily eat it for every meal — actually, in grad school I did eat it for nearly every meal. It’s inexpensive, flavorful and has that delightful crunch that I often crave. Doesn’t matter whether it’s air-popped or oil-popped, buttered, sweetened, seasoned, or just plain — I love it all.
In thinking through the spices I intended to use, I decided it would be best to pair them with kettle corn. The added sweetness would counteract any potential bitterness from the spices and would add a nice contrast to the savoriness. I also imagined that the use of turmeric would stain the corn with a beautifully rich yellow color for extra visual appeal.
The result turned out to be delicious. I used *alot* of spices in this and might streamline a bit next time. I didn’t use any garlic or garlic powder, but might consider this as well. As I had hoped, the turmeric lent a nice color to the corn and the sugar make a crispy sweet/savory coating.
Curry Kettle Corn
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popping corn
3 Tablespoons sugar
Whole spices – combine into bowl #1
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Ground spices – combine into bowl #2
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
salt to taste
Quite a few ingredients, eh? Make sure to pre-measure the spices into the two separate bowls as noted.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, corn, sugar, and whole spices. When corn begins to sizzle, sprinkle with ground spices mixture evenly over the top. Cover pot and shake. As corn begins to pop, shake pot over the burner to keep the corn moving or it will burn.
When popping begins to slow down (do not wait until it has stopped or it will burn), remove pot from heat and pour into a large bowl to cool. The sugary coating will be molten hot at this point, so whatever you do … do not touch the corn! (yes, I touched the corn)
Allow popcorn to cool for a few minutes before nibbling. Toss with chopped cilantro and salt just before serving.
The popcorn will be a lovely yellowish shade and your kitchen will be filled with a wonderfully fragrant scent. The sugar forms the crispy and sweet coating, while the spices blend into a delightful curry flavor.
The mixture is spicy and the bright taste of cilantro helps to cool the mouth. For most palates, this will be on the spicier end of the scale so reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes as desired.
I could not stop eating this. I seriously love popcorn and this flavor combo worked for me.