This spiced popcorn is easy and fun and requires only pantry essentials—oil, popcorn kernels, butter, salt, along with whatever spices strike your fancy—to glam up the ordinary. Movie night, anyone?
Popcorn has its moods. A movie-watching must. A nostalgic nosh. A little low-calorie something to satisfy. And, at times, a sexy little something to knock back with cocktails as a pre-dinner party teaser. This spiced popcorn recipe suits them all. Whether low-key or a little glam. And it’s done, start to finish, in less than 5 minutes. And if all you want from your popcorn is the perfect popping technique, no adornment necessary, this recipe offers that as well.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 10 M
- Makes 8 cups
- For the popcorn
- 3 tablespoons coconut, peanut, or mild vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup high-quality popcorn kernels
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 ounce), or as needed (optional)
- Salt to taste
- For the sweet and spicy chili peanut popcorn
- 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/2 cup toasted salted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- For the chaat masala popcorn
- 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon chaat masala spice
- 1 tablespoon coconut, peanut or mild vegetable oil
- Handful toasted salted peanuts
- 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
- For the garlic mint pepper popcorn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or pounded
- 10 whole mint leaves, torn or chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Make the popcorn
- 1. In a 3-quart (2.7-l) heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat, warm the oil.
- 2. Toss 3 or 4 popcorn kernels in the oil and cover. When you hear those kernels pop, add the remaining kernels in an even layer. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and wait 1 minute. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn will pop. Once you hear the popping, shake the pan carefully, cracking the lid 1 inch (2.5 cm) to release the steam. Continue to gently shake until you hear the popping stop, 60 to 90 seconds or so. Immediately remove from the heat and dump the popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with salt or add one of the desired flavorings.
- Make the spiced popcorn
- 3. To make the sweet and spicy chili peanut popcorn, set a small saucepan over medium heat and combine the oil, chili powder, peanuts, and sugar. Cook for a minute and then drizzle the mixture evenly over the popcorn and toss to combine.
To make the chaat masala popcorn, set a small saucepan over medium heat and combine the chaat masala, oil, peanuts, and turmeric. Cook for a minute and then drizzle the mixture evenly over the popcorn and toss to combine.
To make the garlic mint pepper popcorn, use a mortar and pestle to gently mash the garlic, mint, and pepper together. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic mixture and cook until slightly softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour over the popcorn and toss to combine.