Friday, May 30, 2014

Making the perfect buttery popcorn

I have grown up on popcorn. Plain, with salt, at 3 in the afternoon, almost every day. I just loved it!

I still do. As a matter of fact, it is one of my standard midnight snack (the other is kuttu ki puri). That is the snack for lazy people, easier than the 5 minutes walk to the shop to get chips and much healthier, besides filling you with not much density so it is easily digestible and it won't hurt your waistline.

I have a little secret here.

If you tried to make popcorn with butter before you know how disappointing it can be to burn your last corn and having all the shops closed or far away. Making popcorn with vegetable oil and making it soggy with butter is not really fun.

My secret ingredient is ghee.  That is clarified butter, or butter fat. The butter is simmereed until the solids separate. I will post a recipe in the future, but I need to make it again (I only post tried and tested recipes and for me it was so long ago that I don't even remember anymore). In the Indian or Asian shops you can find it sometimes cheaper than butter itself, in cans, and since it can be stored at room temperature (as far as the tradition goes, and that is how I do) like olive oil and the like, since it has no water it lasts longer. Make sure you read well the package and that you are buying butter ghee, as they sell shortening as vegetable ghee.

Butter popcorn

Yield: 1 quart/1 liter
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Pot with fitting lid
  • Bowl (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the ghee almost on maximum (wait 2 minutes)
  2. Add 3 popcorn kernels
  3. Put on lid
  4. Wait for them to start popping
  5. If they don't after 2 minutes and burn add other 3 kernels, they will pop
  6. When they do add the other kernels, spreading them around so that they are in an even layer
  7. Let them start to pop
  8. If you want to keep them on the pot to save you dishes fill the sink or a heat resistant bowl half as deep as your pot with cold water
  9. If not just sit and enjoy the show
  10. Shake them every two minutes
  11. When there are several (ten to fifteen) seconds between pops add the popcorn to a bowl or pot the pan into the bowl with water.
  12. If you put it in a bowl, enjoy
  13. If you keep it in the pan, wait five to ten minutes and enjoy!
  14. It also works with coconut oil
It's quite easy, and you will probably notice that the ghee will yeld you bigger, airier popcorn. I have tried several oils  (coconut, butter, olive, peanut, sunflower, soya, grapeseed - be careful with refined oils because they carry hexane residues but that is a talk for another post) and ghee deserves by far the first place, and secondly coconut.

I usually make the double for me alone because it is just so good, and it's also great for a picnic in a sunny day (just let it cool down a bit before putting the lid on the container or use a big paper bag after making a couple of small holes in it for thee crunchiest results).

Have fun,


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