My baby boy turns two today.
We went to buy his cake today and he, completely unprompted thanked the staff. In the supermarket he now walks with me, for quick shops only (rather than sitting in the trolley or pram) and natters the whole way; busses, music, birds, cars. He scoots straight past all the dolls and pink crafts and goes straight to monster trucks, robots and aeroplanes. He knows to hold my hand at all times. When we got home he refused to let me cook dinner and swung from my leg until I carried him whilst cooking so that he could stir. After dinner he told me that wanted cuddles with mumma and whimpered until I sat down with him and he hurriedly made conversation, becoming breathless in fact…just in case I would get up and move away from talking about favourite vehicles, animals, planets or dinosaurs.
He still feels a part of me, an extension. Not everyone will see this. I have learned an incredible amount about life through my boy in the last two years.
I eat more popcorn now than I have for many years, because he likes it. I used to be a definite salted girl, but somewhere along the lines, things changed. Apart from when it comes to masala popcorn, of course!
For this recipe I have used jaggery. Jaggery is a molasses like block, deep and smooth and is a product of date, cane juice or palm sap without the separation of molasses and crystals and can vary from light to dark brown in colour. Jaggery is typically combined with other ingredients such as nuts, coconut or condensed milk to make sweet delicacies. I am using jaggery because it has got to be better than using caramel and also, because I love the deep tones of jaggery. I know that jaggery has been used for Ayurveda as it contains minerals that aren’t found in sugar. I had added sesame seeds and peanuts, which make the popcorn taste quite festive when combined with jaggery. There is an aromatic hint of cardamom and a kick of heat. Give it a go.
Please be careful, melted jaggery is very hot and can burn you. Please don’t lick it for a taste test when hot.
3 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
75g toasted and coarsely chopped pistachio
1/3rd cup of popcorn kernels
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. chilli powder
- Start by making the popcorn. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and allow the popcorn kernels to pop and then cool the popcorn
- Heat the jaggery on a medium to low flame in a non-stick pan. Be patient and let the jaggery melt. Cut it into smaller pieces to speed it up.
- Once the jaggery is smooth, turn the heat to a very low flicker and quickly stir in the spices, blending them through evenly. Turn off the heat and let the jaggery cool until it is warm, but not piping hot.
- Add the sesame seeds and pistachio and then the popcorn and stir quickly before it sets into clumps. Try and get an even coverage.
- Tip the popcorn out onto a large plate, letting it cool.
- When the popcorn is cool separate any clumps.