Not sure whether the popcorn eating population is divided into sweet and savoury camps but if that was the case, I would belong to the savoury camp. And that, too, plain salted, not the fancy flavoured varieties.
For me, a trip to the cinema is incomplete without a bag of salty popcorn. A bit like Adam would be incomplete without Eve or Romeo would be incomplete without Juliet! Since the popcorn sold in movie theatres contains an awful lot of calories, it is one of my guilty pleasures.
Not the case with home made popcorn which can be healthy and nutritious since you are in charge as to how to cook it and how much butter or oil to add.
My sister had given me a couple of packets of gourmet popping corn which have been lying around for a good couple of years (she writes sheepishly). They are from this company called Zaramamas. According to their website, “Zaramama is the Incan goddess of grain. Her name means ‘Grain Mother’, and she was sometimes incarnated in fields of corn in a robe and shawl with a silver clasp. Corn effigies of ZaraMama were hung on willow trees then burned, assuring a bountiful crop of corn.”
Yesterday, I fancied a quiet evening in with some red wine and the company of the Sopranos (the episode where Tony buys Carmela sapphire ring for her birthday). Seeing as how all the characters in the series are so fiery, I decided to make some spicy popcorn, to match the mood.
I wasn’t sure how the grains would pop since they were a bit old (I had stored them in my kitchen cupboard). So I was pleasantly surprised when most of them popped, hardly any kernels remaining.
The following is a stovetop method if you want to pop your own corn kernels. It is quick, simple, healthy and inexpensive.
if you don’t like spices, omit the chilli powder and turmeric
And while you are munching on a bowl of homemade popcorn, enjoy these 49 mouth-watering fact about popcorn!
1 Cup popping corn kernels
1 Teaspoon turmeric powder
1 Teaspoon Chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Put the corn kernels in a bowl.
- In another bowl, keep ready the turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.
- Take a wok shaped pan with a dome-like lid.
- Heat the pan till it is very hot.
- Now reduce the heat and add oil.
- Add the spice mixture and stir it for about half a minute.
- Next, add the corn kernels. Mix well for a couple of minutes of high heat.
- Lower the heat, cover and wait patiently. You will start hearing the corns popping after a while.
- Once you hear the pop sound, you know that popcorn is happening. Do not open the lid else popcorn will fly all across your kitchen!
- With the lid firmly closed, toss the pan a few times. It will be hot so you will need a kitchen towel of well padded oven gloves.
- After about 5 to 7 minutes, take the pan off the heat and take out the popcorn.
- Put the pan back on heat and repeat the process for any remaining unpopped kernels.
- Depending on the quality of popcorn, not all kernels will pop so you will have to use your judgement as to when to stop.
- Enjoy warm and store the rest in an airtight container once they have cooled down.
Here, you can see the corn kernels being tossed around in spices before the popping process starts.
This is the stage where you remove the popcorn before repeating the process with unpopped kernels.
A wok like pan with a dome shaped lid will provide enough room for the kernels to play around and pop.
Enjoy a bowl of healthy, delicious homemade popcorn, the stovetop way.