This Indian masala popcorn is spicy, tangy, and oh-so addictive. It gets its bold flavor from the homemade masala or spice blend that features chaat masala, fennel seeds, and chili powder. It can be made on the stovetop or with microwave popcorn for a delicious late night movie snack.
Popcorn Seasoning or Masala Ingredients
- Fennel seeds
- Chaat masala
- Amchur powder (dried mango powder)
- Kashmiri chili powder
- Sea salt
Stovetop Popcorn Ingredients (or you can use microwavable popcorn)
- Popcorn kernels
- Ghee or neutral oil
Use ghee or oil, not butter, to make popcorn
It's very important to use ghee or a neutral oil like vegetable oil when making popcorn and not to use butter because butter can burn easily. Ghee is a clarified butter which means that the milk solids in the butter, which burn easily, are filtered out. This makes ghee a great fat to use for popcorn while imparting the butter taste. Vegetable oil is also a great alternative that keeps this popcorn vegan!
Grinding the spice blend is key for coverage
Whether you are making plain salted popcorn or this masala popcorn, it is important to grind your spices/salt. When the spices are in more of a powered form it easily sticks onto and coats the popcorn instead of falling right to the bottom of the bowl.
Stovetop popcorn tips
- Use ghee or neutral oil for popping popcorn.
- Add turmeric to oil for a yellow movie popcorn look.
- Use a deep pot with a lid. Popcorn expands drastically so make sure to have a deep pot and a lid to trap the high-flying kernels.
- Use enough fat to ensure popcorn doesn't burn. The biggest mistake is skimping on oil in the pan. Remember that popcorn doubles in volume and needs a bit of fat to prevent the bottom from burning.
- Make sure popcorn kernels are not expired. Popcorn kernels do not last forever. If you have really old kernels they can fail to pop.
- Shake pot with oven mitt on. Shaking the pot with the kernels helps rotate the kernels to ensure that one side of the kernel doesn't get burned. Wearing the oven mitt with the hand resting on top of the lid is important because the steam that is created during popping can be hot!
- Use an extra large bowl. A large bowl helps you easily toss and cover the popcorn in seasoning.
- Season with popcorn seasoning from a high height. Seasoning from a high height ensures that as the spices fall, they cover a larger surface area. So conversely, seasoning right above the bowl results in a small number of popcorn kernels getting the seasoning.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you make your own stovetop popcorn and use vegetable oil then this recipe is vegan!
Add turmeric to the pot with oil before adding the kernels to dye the popcorn kernels yellow.
Chaat masala is an Indian spice blend that is tangy, spicy, and sweet. You can read more about this spice blend and where to source it in this detailed blog post.
Kashmiri chili powder is a vibrant red chili powder that isn't too spicy! Use ½ of what is called for in the recipe if using generic chili powder. You can read more about this chili powder and where to source it in this detailed blog post.
Yes! After a certain period of time, popcorn can fail to pop. Look on the package for best by date.