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Simple & Delicious Indian Spiced Popcorn

This Indian spiced popcorn takes movie nights to a whole new level, sweet, salty and fragrant with cumin and chilli!

Portrait image of spiced popcorn in a glass bowl with a beer being poured in the background

Spicy Popcorn?

In recent years there has been quite a revolution in the popcorn “world”. A whole host of ideas and flavours have come to the fore.

I have to confess to being resolutely traditional in set in my ways when it comes to popcorn though.

It is my favourite savoury snack and I always go for salted. Well, I did until I came across this idea a book called At home with Madhur Jaffrey.

I have a weakness and deep foodie love of Indian flavours so this HAD to be made!

This spicy popcorn has a mellow bottom end provided by the asafoetida and turmeric. Then the aromatic flavours of cumin and cloves add a high end.

The salt and sugar along with the mustard and sesame seeds add yet more layers of interest!

Can you tell I like this recipe?

Portrait close up image of spiced popcorn in a glass bowl

How to Pop Corn At Home.

There is often an assumption that you need all sorts of gadgets to make homemade popcorn.

You do not, all you need is a large pan with a lid and a hob.

When I say large, I mean BIG, much bigger than any reasonable person would expect. I use a 4.5-litre pan if that helps!

Add some oil or butter to the base of the pan and when it is hot off we go.

I always add a few kernels to the bottom of the pan first. This is to check that it is all hot enough.

Then off you go, I love the sight smell and sound of it all. I find it strangely magical, which of course it isn’t.

When popping your own corn at home be careful.

There is always some that doesn’t pop and munching down on that stuff can mean a trip to the dentist.

As a result, you should pull your corn from the top of the pan and then season it.

Square image of spiced popcorn in a glass bowl with a beer being poured in the background
Yield: 2 Servings

Indian Spiced Popcorn Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Indian flavours really are my "mojo" and this spicy popcorn features all of the greatest hits of Indian food, and NO that does not mean curry!


  • 30 g (2 Tbsp) Ghee (sub for Unsalted Butter)
  • 125 g (2/3 Cup) Popping Corn
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil, Neutral
  • 1/16 Tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1/8 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Sugar


  1. Add the butter to a large saucepan over a medium high heat.
  2. When the butter has melted and no long foaming add a dozen or so kernels of popping corn and cover with a lid.
  3. When the first kernels pop remove from the heat and add the remaining corn
  4. Agitate the corn to coat in the butter and then cover and return to the heat.
  5. Shake periodically to prevent burning.
  6. Whilst the corn is popping add the cooking oil to a frying pan over a medium heat.
  7. When the oil is warm add the asafoetida and stir for 30 seconds.
  8. Then add the turmeric, ground cloves and chilli powder stirring for a further 30 seconds.
  9. Finally, add in the mustard seeds and sesame seeds and cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat.
  10. When the corn has stopped popping remove the corn from the top of the pan leaving any unpopped corn in the saucepan.
  11. Add the seasoning and toss to coat before serving warm.


Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey: At Home With Madhur Jaffrey

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 616Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 2363mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 6g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Brian Jones

Thursday 26th of April 2018

I agree, I sweet popcorn leaves me cold most of the time.


Wednesday 25th of April 2018

Wow! I grew up in India and never tried anything like this! It certainly appeals to me as I love these spices - can't wait to try it!

Brian Jones

Thursday 26th of April 2018

Thanks Nicole, I am not a huge Madhur Jaffrey fan (she is very rude about British Indian food) but this recipe is a piece of crossover food magic. The flavours are glorious!


Wednesday 25th of April 2018

I'll have to check Asafoetida of which I have never heard other than that the spice blend looks delicious and right up my alley! Yay for movie night with your spicy popcorn!!

Brian Jones

Thursday 26th of April 2018

Good luck it is a foundation of many Indian vegetarian dishes, it is incredibly pungent but works to temper an oil... It adds that 'umami' flavour profile and I use it a lot... Try looking for it's other name, hing :)

Brian Jones

Sunday 11th of October 2015

Thanks Lynn, it really did rock my world (sad maybe), I usually struggle and tweak with book recipes but this one was a straight up 11 out of 10, possibly the first I have ever cooked from a book.

Brian Jones

Sunday 11th of October 2015

Thank you so much Claire, the 20th Century Fox thing was already tee'd up on the screen whilst I was making this dish so after a taste test the picture kinda took itself. It is really rare for me to post a pretty straight up and down book recipe but I knew straight away there was no improving this, it blew my mind and has definitely changed the way I eat popcorn ;)

Oh yeah 'Super 8' definitely watch it, took me right back 'mumble' years :D

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