I’m going to begin with a true story of something that happened in my kitchen when I was making this popcorn. I was heating the coconut oil. I figured it was close to being ready so I dropped in a single kernel and it didn’t pop. And it didn’t pop. I shook the pan a bit and it didn’t pop. So, fine, the oil wasn’t ready. This is why we send in a single kernel to take one for the team. Then it popped, shot out of the pan, and scared me SO BAD that I jumped and spilled the ⅓ cup of popcorn kernels that I was holding in my hand, waiting to pour in the pot. All I do is win, basically.
While you’re picturing those antics, I want to tell you about Ras el hanout. Ras el hanout is a spice mix from North Africa. It roughly translates to “head of the shop,” which gives you a clue as to how it is made. It’s known as a blend of the best spices a proprietor has to offer. This means, it also varies a ton: from shop to shop, even from person to person. Pretty poetic, right? It has one name, Ras el hanout, because language is imperfect and fails us daily (real talk!), but there are infinite Ras el hanouts, as many as there are folks that make it. I think that’s pretty wonderful. Maybe you didn’t hear, but I’m considering renaming this blog “Spice rack deep thoughts.” Oh, and it’s fantastic on popcorn.
If you’re a curry popcorn sort of person, this is right up your alley. It has the same warmth and depth as curry, but has floral notes too and turmeric plays less of a starring role. It has a lot going on, in a good way. Plus, if you use unrefined coconut oil like I did, there’s a nice hint of coconut flavor in the finished product as well.
- 3 tablespoons liquid coconut oil + more for drizzling
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 tablespoon ras el hanout
- salt to taste
- Heat the coconut oil over medium until a kernel dropped in the pot pops.
- Add the popcorn, cover, and carefully lift and shake the pan with the lid on to evenly distribute the oil over the kernels.
- Heat over medium until the popcorn begins to pop vigorously. Then, lift and shake the pot every 20 or so seconds to prevent burning until the popping slows.
- As soon as the popping slows to a few seconds between pops, turn off the heat, remove the lid, and pour the popcorn into a large heatproof bowl.
- Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons more liquid coconut oil (optional, but delicious), sprinkle the ras el hanout over the surface, and stir to combine.
- Add salt to taste and serve warm.
- Adapted from Simply Recipes.