Today was the last working day in my daughter’s school for this calendar year. In addition to dressing up the little ones in Christmas colours, the parents were also asked to provide a small quantity of vegetarian snacks for children to share among themselves for their Christmas party. One part of my brain was listing down the various ways of productively engaging a curious active kindergartener for one full month. Another part of it was trying to answer the question at hand - what snack to send for the Christmas party! I was looking for a mess-free simple home-made snack which children would readily dig into and enjoy. And the first image that came to my mind was that of cute little hands reaching out for popcorn. I set about making just this.
So, with this recipe in hand, I set about making a batch of beautiful popped corn. Needless to say, the simple stove-top version (made in my pressure pan) tasted way better than the packaged versions of the thing I had been so used to. This left me wondering, why I had never tried this earlier!! All that was needed was just a wide pan, dried corn, oil and some salt! This recipe makes enough popcorn to fill a container that can hold 2L or water.
- Dried corn: ½ cup
- Sunflower oil or butter: 2 tbsp (or 3 tbsp if you want it buttery)
- Salt: to taste (I used about ½ tsp in all)
- Wide pressure pan or a cooking pot or any flat-bottomed vessel (with a lid)
- Clean a wide bottomed vessel (I used my aluminium large pressure cooker). Wipe dry.
- Do not switch on the flame.
- Now introduce the half a cup of corn into the pan.
- Next add the oil/butter.
- Next sprinkle some of the salt. The remaining salt can be sprinkled after the corn has popped.
- Ensure the corn is not in a pile and is evenly spread out on the surface in one layer. This is to ensure that all the corn kernels would get the same exposure to heat, resulting in better popcorn.
- Now switch on the flame to medium heat.
- Once in 30 seconds, shake the pan and toss the contents slightly.
- After about 1.5 – 2 minutes, the butter would melt and the contents would slightly start sizzling.
- In another minute or so, the sizzle would get really strong.
- This is the time for the first corn kernel to pop. This also means that you should be ready with the lid.
- As the corn starts to pop, immediately fix the lid on the pan providing for a small vent (away from you).
- The popping would intensify and an amazingly irresistible aroma would attack you..
- In a while, the sound of corn popping would come down.
- When the popping reaches to 1 – 2 pops per 5 seconds, switch off the flame and take the pan off the hot burner.
- Leave the pan closed for just another ten seconds.
- Open and add salt and shake vigorously so that the salt gets evenly spread.
- Absolutely yummy popcorn is ready.