Tag Archives: Popcorn

Jaggery, pistachio, sesame, cardamom and chilli crusted popcorn

30 Jan

Jaggery, pistachio, sesame, cardamom and chilli crusted popcorn

 

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!

Jaggery, pistachio, sesame, cardamom and chilli crusted popcorn

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.

 

Ingredients

175g jaggery

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

Method

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the sesame seeds and pistachio and then the popcorn and stir quickly before it sets into clumps. Try and get an even coverage.
  5. Tip the popcorn out onto a large plate, letting it cool.
  6. When the popcorn is cool separate any clumps.

 

 

 

Masala Popcorn

30 Aug

Image

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. 
 
 
 
 
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