Tag Archives: nibbles

Masala Popcorn

30 Aug

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Masala popcorn 

 
1991 Porbander, Gujarat, India 
 
The walls of the cinema hall were stained deep red with pan (stuffed  betel leafs that apparently freshen then breath) spittle.  Gross.  I sat there wondering why they seemed to find joy in squirting from the mouth and how they got away with it.  Gobfuls of red juices we ejected casually onto the walls and remained there, forever.  
I was feeling put off already and angrily bewildered as to why my dad held such fond memories of this cinema. He seemed so excited when he decided to cure my boredom by bringing me to the cinema of his youth.  Maybe he used to blow  those wolf whistles too as a teenager, like the ones ringing in my ears from behind me. How to escape?
Dad sensed my bubbling frustration…I was a pre teen with strong views and spitting was plain disgusting. Anyway,  he took me to find treats…I spotted malt biscuits, melting chocolate, nuts and masala popcorn packed un generously into small food bags.  Masala popcorn. No way! It tasted like every child’s favourite potato curry on popcorn. Winner. Smiles returned.
 
2001 Leicester
 
My brother and I were both away at university and when we visited my folks we would let the oldies go to bed whilst we watched  channel four game shows or American comedies.  We’d join in the judging whilst watching ‘your face or mine’ back to back for hours.  Intermittently, we’d catch up on each others lives.  Gorging at 2am was obviously necessary.  Sometimes it would be indulgent spaghetti dishes, slathered with loads of cheese. Always, there would be popcorn, because my brother is somewhat fond of the stuff. To be honest, it seemed like he just needed to multi task; banter, telly, munch.   For me, I needed variety in popcorn…I like a kick.
 
2007 Friday night, london
 
The exhilarating Friday feeling; the hair pins came off and hair was unleashed.  My face was stripped of glasses and contact lenses came in.  I never socialised in glasses, it was the rule.  Trousers were swapped for skirts or dresses and the pumps flew into the hallway and the heels we finally on.  I felt liberated.
Friday nights were about impromptu meet-ups in london, discovering new restaurants, lots of giggles and late nights.  I’d return home surprisingly peckish. I couldn’t just go to sleep, I needed to unwind, catch up on the Bollywood soap masala action with popcorn in skirted lap, heel tucked under bum. 
 
2013 Friday night London
 
Too tired to talk. Baby asleep after teething related moaning and much cajoling and cuddling. Exhausted. Time for a movie? No. Ok, tv and popcorn? Make it masala popcorn.
 
Recipe 
 
40g popped popcorn 
20g butter 
A splash of oil 
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander power
Salt to taste 
1/4tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
1/4 Tsp black pepper 
Chilli powder to taste 
 
Method 
 
1. Melt the butter and add the oil 
2. Stir in the spices and seasoning and stir for less than a minute. Don’t let them brown.
3. Stir in the popcorn and coat thoroughly in the sunny coloured mixture
 
Serving suggestion 
 
Masala popcorn looks lovely in white containers or in paper cones. 
 
 
 
 

Social Grazing; Masala Peanuts

13 Nov

Most people I talk to these days reckon I should put my (swollen) feet up and chill (despite my internal combustion system) out, eat and watch movies etc. and let the (busy-at-work-due-to Christmas) husband indulge me.  Thinking about it is relaxing, but those who know me, know that I never stop!

So, my thinking has been that I want to pack in as much as I can before the baby arrives so that I feel upbeat and productive…a great mood to welcome a new little person with. Funnily enough I have been doing a lot of entertaining, chatting and late nights too (the baby websites express how naughty that is, after all, people in my ‘condition’ need the rest.)  This weekend for instance has been filled with the laughter of people in three different cities and multiple cuisines. I am generating and storing memories and bonds…the stuff of smiles.

Besides, I feel so blessed that well-wishers want to see me for adult-chat before the baby arrives and they want to see and track the development of the ever-growing bump.

This is a joyful time and you know that all of my happy times have a strong association with food and it’s usually me doing the cooking, of course. I have enjoyed treating my friends and family as guinea-pigs and seeing as I struggle with big meals, there has been grazing-a-plenty! 

I love this recipe…you can’t go wrong with crunchy, spicy nuts with a light sour kick.  A bowl full of these won’t last very long…but I love them for filling the gaps between courses, or simply for nibbling on whilst giggling, laughing crunching.

Masala Peanuts

Ingredients

3/4 cup shelled peanuts

3/4 cup gram flour

1/4 cup rice flour

The spices; 1 tbsp. coriander powder, ½ tbsp. cumin powder, ½ tsp. dried mango powder, ½ tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. ground black pepper, 1 tsp. red chilli powder, ¼ tsp. dried ginger powder

Up to 1 cup Water as needed

Oil to fry

Method

  1. In a hot, non-stick pan, lightly roast the peanuts until they have slightly browned, then leave them to cool
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients and then add the water and the peanuts to form a batter and ensure all of the peanuts are covered evenly.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan to fry the peanuts, the oil should be a couple of inches depth.
  4. Fry the peanuts until they are golden brown, but make sure that they are separate and don’t clog together when frying.  Remove them onto kitchen paper and allow them to cool.  You can devour them just as they are.
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