I needed a bright, flavorful vegan snack on this snowy day, and my good ol' sea salt and olive oil stovetop popcorn standby didn't fit the bill. Luckily, when the weather outside is frightful, I get a few hours to myself in my home kitchen, and admiring a cabinet full of spices is often my idea of a good time (what can I say?). While doing a little peeking through various containers with hand-scribbled labels, I found a beautiful curry spice mix that I purchased some months back at an Indian market in New Jersey. An exciting trip, to say the least, resulting in a bountiful haul and a few funny exchanges where my handsome Italian-Puerto Rican husband was mistaken for Indian and did his best with context clues to nod yeses or noes at the register while being spoken to in Hindi.
Anyhoo, popcorn! What better crunchy, light, snacky vehicle for a vibrant blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, cardamom and pepper? This curry-spiced popcorn took about 10 minutes to make, from start to finish, and is extremely hands-on the whole time. In fact, it's pretty hands-on to eat, too, because, well, it's messy. So put whatever you're doing away (lest you like your laptop keyboard to be spicy and sticky), make this popcorn (go on!) and spend some time giving it all of your attention.
Stovetop Curry Popcorn - Serves 2-4, depending on your snacking desires
- 1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 1 heaping TBSP coconut oil, not melted (unrefined will result in a coconut-y taste; refined is mild)
- 1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt, plus 1 pinch if desired
- 1.5-2 teaspoons curry spice, depending on your tastes
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar (told you this would get sticky)
- optional dash of sriracha
What to do:
Place the kernels, coconut oil and teaspoon of salt in a medium sauce pot and cover tightly with lid or a sheet of aluminum foil that you create a little seal with to avoid popcorn shooting everywhere. Bring the burner up to medium heat. Every 15-20 seconds or so, give the pot a gentle shake. After 1-2 minutes, you'll hear the kernels begin to pop. At this point, continuously shake the pot/slide it back and forth over the burner to evenly distribute heat and avoid burning. When the popping slows down significantly, turn off the burner and REMOVE THE POT FROM THE HEAT. That last part is in shout-y letters because the pieces of popcorn on the bottom of the pot will continue to cook and will burn quickly.
Once removed from heat, transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, combine the optional pinch of salt, curry powder, agave nectar and optional sriracha. Pour this mixture over the popcorn and use your hands or a large spoon to coat evenly.
Enjoy fresh, and keep any leftovers in a ziplock bag at room temperature for an additional day.
- Arrowhead Mills organic popcorn
- Whole Foods organic refined coconut oil