9 Jul 2015

Palomitas de Cúrcuma

Serves 2
Preparation: a few seconds!
Cooking: approx. 7 mins 

Weary of the savoury junk snacks from the shops, I had been contemplating for a while the idea of making savoury popcorn as an appetiser for Summer alfresco apéritifs. Yet I didn't want it plain and was looking to devise a tropical version of popcorn: jazzed up and with a kick to it. I improvised a healthy veg(etari)an recipe out of the blue, using only four simple ingredients: organic popping corn, olive oil, sea salt and turmeric powder. It came out wonderful! The hints of olive and turmeric give it a light sunny taste and hue, with the salt bringing out the flavours.

I had to give this recipe a Spanish name because Palomitas de Cúrcuma sounds so much more mellifluous, moreish and tropical than plain Turmeric Popcorn, don't you think? It just rolls off the tongue in a twist and is a lovely echo to our recent Santa Fe excursion! The Spanish language beautifully captures the sunny undertones of this recipe. And "palomitas" is one of my favourite Spanish words - together with "pastel" (cake) and "estrella" (star).

Please note that I do not have a special popcorn pan. I make my popcorn using a standard medium-sized saucepan and lid. I find it easier therefore to make small batches of popcorn at a time, rather than one big portion in one go. That's why this recipe is for two servings.
  • Half a cup organic popping corn
  • Enough olive oil to generously coat the entire surface of the pan and the maize kernels (i.e. approx 4-5 tablespoons oil)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Pour the olive oil into the pan, then add the turmeric and a good pinch of salt. Tilt the pan and swoosh around to ensure its bottom surface is evenly and generously coated. Add more olive oil if necessary. Then add the popping corn, place a lid securely onto the pan and swoosh some more. Heat up on medium heat, keeping an eye on the stove. Shake the pan regularly to prevent the kernels from sticking, and keep the lid firmly onto the pan while doing so.

After a few minutes, you will start hearing the kernels pop. Carry on shaking the pan, keeping the lid on. Then when the popping noises have started subsiding, carefully lift the lid and check. Take the pan off the heat, pour its contents into a serving bowl. Add another good pinch of salt and roughly stir with a wooden spoon (or just run your fingers through). Et voilà! The palomitas are a perfect accompaniment to soft drinks, long drinks and shorts. Let's get the party started, amigos!

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