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Popcorn with Indian Spices

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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This is adapted from the wonderful book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey. It makes a great appetizer to serve with drinks, a prelude to an Indian meal, or an afternoon snack. Go easy on the cayenne, adjusting as you go, to avoid sending your guests into coughing fits. Though the seeds fall to the bottom of the bowl, they add a nice flavor to the popcorn (and are yummy to scoop up as you get to the bottom).


  1. 4 Tbsp. coconut oil
  2. ½ cup popcorn
  3. 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  4. 2 Tbsp. unhulled sesame seeds
  5. ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  6. 1 tsp. salt, plus extra to taste
  7. 1 tsp. sugar
  8. Dash each of ground cloves, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid. When you hear the corn popping, give the pan a shake, and continue to cook and shake until the kernels have popped (you won't hear any more popping sounds). Remove from the heat and pour the popped corn into a large bowl.
  2. Put the remaining coconut oil in the pot and turn the heat back to medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, then the sesame seeds. As soon as the seeds start to pop, remove the pan from the heat, and add the turmeric. Give the seasoned oil a stir, then pour it over the popcorn.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, and remaining spices to the popcorn. Toss thoroughly and taste; season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.