We all love popcorn. Don't you? Actually snacking on it while watching a movie is what I like. It is a healthy and nutritious snack.
Have you ever made popcorn on the stove? Do you know how popcorn was traditionally made?
Well these days you have machines for that.
But traditionally popcorn in India was made and still being made in villages and little towns in two ways. One is no oil and the other is with oil method.
No oil method:
In earlier days, some farmers in the village used to puff up the grains like wheat, rice, corn etc and sell them. They use hot sand for this. This method is also used to roast peanuts, chickpeas, peas etc. The veranda or the room in the front serves as a shop for them.
Even today some people are dependent on this as occupation. They either use their own grain, in which case they charge for the entire thing. We can also give them the grain and get it puffed up. They charge some meager amount for this.
In this method, a big iron wok is kept on a stove made of bricks and plastered with soil and cow dung mixture. Now they are using iron stoves. Wood is used as fuel. Other things like, coal, husk, wood shavings, saw dust, bagasse(the remains of sugar cane after the juice is extracted), or other agri waste like dried wheat/rice/grain stalks after harvesting may also be used.
The wok is filled with fine sand. Once the stove is lighted, the sand is left to heat up. Then they add the maize kernels(corn seeds), on to the sand and close it with a lid. When the kernels pop out, they are removed and sieved to remove any sand. In order to make it salty, the corn kernels are put into salted water for sometime and then dried.
You can watch it here:
Popcorn making the Indian way
Unlike what people think, sand does not stick to it. So it is quite safe to eat. This is healthy as there is no oil is used for making the popcorn. My grandmother and my mother too used to make this way. Even I use this method it some times.
This was most popular before the machines came into the market. Here is how I often make simple popcorn.
Simple Salty Popcorn
Maize kernels(corn seeds) 1/4 cup
Oil 1 Tbsp or Butter 1+1/2 Tbsp butter
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt To taste
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. I use my cooker.
- Once oil(butter) is hot, reduce the flame to minimum, add turmeric, salt and the kernels.
- Just stir it once so that turmeric and salt get coated onto the kernels and close with a lid.
- Let it sit for a while. The kernels start popping. Wait until the popping stops.
- Switch off the stove.
- Now it is ready to eat.
This is very easy to make, healthy, hygeinic and less costly. It can be prepared in just 10 minutes. Goes well with afternoon tea too.