Garam Masala Popcorn

Garam Masala Popcorn

By Feed Me Phoebe

Brainstorming pun-y Oscar party food is one of my favorite food-related past times. This year I decided to fill in a few holes in the Feed Me Phoebe recipe archive by adding a couple new Best Picture themed dishes to the mix.

According to Wikapedia, the resource for all of my obscure cuisine queries, Somali cuisine is a melting pot of surrounding areas, including dishes from India, Turkey and Ethiopia. The only thing the pirates in Captain Phillips consumed was copious amounts of the hallucinogenic leaf drug khat. But that proved very difficult to source as a popcorn topping, so I decided to go with some of the traditional spices: cardamom, cumin, and cloves.

Making homemade popcorn is very easy and quick. I used the basic popcorn instructions from Simply Recipes, and then made a little flavored butter with garam masala, an Indian spice mix that includes many of these Somali staples. I made the butter in the microwave and then drizzled it over the freshly popped corn in a mixing bowl. But you can easily remove the popcorn and make the butter mixture in the pot over the stove.


  • 2 Tbsp coconut or vegetable oil

  • ⅓ cup organic popcorn kernels

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add a few corn kernels and cover. When the kernels start popping, add the remaining corn, cover, and remove from the heat. Allow to rest in the pot for 30 seconds (you may hear some popping during this time), then return to medium heat. Continue to cook with the lid slightly ajar, shaking the pan occasionally, until the popping begins to slow down (there will be a few second intervals between the pops), about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to a bowl.

  3. Add the butter, salt, garam masala, and cayenne to the pot. Swirl until the butter is melted. Add the popcorn back to the pot and toss until fully coated in the butter and spices. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or spice as necessary. Serve immediately.

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