Recipes/ Snack

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe

All the spicy flavour of African Berbere spices made for salted popcorn. This gluten-free Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe is a MUST HAVE movie snack. Easy to make, super moreish, and suitable for vegans and vegetarians too.

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com

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Hey guys! We received this Classic Blue Serving Bowl with Felt from Uncommon Goods for review purposes, but all opinions are our own. If you’re looking for handcrafted kitchen tools or  quirky gifts from talented artists around the world, head over and check out the awesome range at Uncommon Goods.

If you haven’t heard of Uncommon Goods, they’re all about helping emerging designers to sell their unique wares, and we’re all about supporting these guys too. Not to mention, they look fantastic with our unique recipes. 😛

So as I sit here and type, this lovely big bowl of Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn is poking its head up from behind my laptop.

Staring at me.

Begging me to munch it all in one fell swoop.

Because as you know with popcorn, one bite is all it takes. And trust me. One little morsel of freshly popped corn dusted in aromatic berbere spices, and you’ll be totally hooked.

ethiopian-style-spicy-popcorn-recipe-1

 

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A couple of years ago we had an amazing meal at this Ethiopian restaurant in Adelaide, one of the most flavourful and satisfying we’ve ever had.

It wasn’t necessarily the food that made it so memorable though (although it was very good).

No, it was the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony afterwards that taught us a little more about this incredible African culture.

With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Click To Tweet

 

Dressed in full ceremonial clothing beside a brazier of hot coals, the restaurant’s owner beckoned us over to watch as she roasted fresh coffee beans from bright green to a dusky toasted brown. Next they were ground into a fine powder before being brewed in a traditional Ethiopian coffee pot called a jebena.

The ceremony is steeped in rituals (pardon the pun) covering everything from how the coffee is brewed and poured to how it is served. So, alongside the three ceremonial cups of coffee, she also presented us with a massive bowl of popcorn, which as it turns out is a customary Ethiopian coffee snack.

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com

Now, this might sound like an odd combination, but let me tell you, it totally works.

Popcorn is usually served plain or salted during the ceremony, which I guess is probably so it doesn’t clash with the deep, rich flavours of the coffee.

But since we’re trying to cut down on caffeine anyway this week, (nothing to do with a sneaky little glass of Vietnamese iced coffee that had us bouncing off the walls earlier this morning) we decided we’d experiment a little. See what kind of spicy flavours we could bring to this old-fashioned snack.

The end result was an Ethiopian Style Spiced Popcorn Recipe that’ll knock your socks off.

If we say so ourselves. 😛

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe

The secret to this Ethiopian Style Spiced Popcorn Recipe is our very own homemade version of berbere, one of Ethiopia’s most loved spice blends.

It’s the secret spice you’ll find in punchy Ethiopian curries like Doro Wat, giving the dish it’s distinctive spicy kick.

To make berbere perfect for our spicy popcorn recipe we changed the usual spice ratios a bit, adding in a little more salt and just a subtle chilli tingle, so you can munch away to your heart’s content. Scatter THIS mix across your fresh hot popcorn and you’re in for a seriously good time.

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com

Don’t forget to serve up your spicy popcorn in a nice big bowl for ease of munching. This gorgeous handcrafted bowl from Uncommon Goods did the job very nicely, and even came wrapped in its own felt cosy for extra snugness.

Created by Melissa Schooley, a ceramic artist based in Ontario, Canada, this bowl would be perfect for serving big dishes like homemade spaghetti bolognese, nourishing winter soups or hearty stews.

Or a massive bowl of popcorn for your next movie night of course!

Uncommon Goods makes it super easy to purchase these amazing creations from talented artists all around the world.

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com

So what do you think guys? Will you be cranking out your very own Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe at your next movie night? We think the flavour of berbere is quite similar to quite similar to Egyptian baharat, so if you’re loving on these savoury spicy flavours, be sure to check out our Egyptian Koshary too.

Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com
5 from 3 votes
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Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe

All the spicy flavour of African Berbere spices made for salted popcorn. This Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe is a MUST HAVE movie snack. Easy to make, super moreish, and suitable for vegans and vegetarians too.
Recipe Type Snack
Cuisine Wandercooks Creations
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Wandercooks

Ingredients

For the Popcorn:

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil we used soyabean oil

For the Spicy Berbere Seasoning

  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 heaped tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 heaped tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground chilli powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place all your spice ingredients in a small bowl and mix to blend into your spicy berbere mix. Pop aside.
  2. Place 1/2 cup popcorn kernels in a large saucepan. Make sure they're spread out in a thin layer in the pan, because they need plenty of room to pop nicely.
  3. Add in your vegetable oil and bring the pan up to a medium heat.
  4. One the popcorn starts popping, pick up your pan carefully (no burns please!) and shake gently to keep those kernels moving as they pop. They'll pop more evenly this way, with no annoying burns and untasty spots.
  5. Keep the pan over the heat until the pops slow down to every 2-3 seconds. Now your popcorn is done!
  6. Remove from the pan and place in a nice big bowl. Sprinkle generously with your berbere seasoning and toss to cover easily. Tasty popcorn all round!
Ethiopian Style Spicy Popcorn Recipe - With all the flavour of Berbere made for salted popcorn. This is a MUST HAVE movie snack. So easy and moreish! Vegetarian and Vegan. | wandercooks.com

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  • Christine Turner
    21/07/2016 at 6:48 pm

    My second attempt was much better than my first as I cooked the popcorn in vegetable oil as was suggested and not butter. The blend of spices was delicious (I omitted the cardamom) with just the right amount of heat from the chilli. The popcorn stayed fresh in a plastic zip lock bag and the left overs were still fresh the next day.

    • Wandercooks
      22/07/2016 at 11:23 am

      Oh that’s great to hear Christine, glad you enjoyed and thanks for the tip about storing any leftovers in zip lock bags. Interesting to hear about the difference between cooking in butter vs vegetable oil too – good to know! 🙂

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    23/06/2016 at 8:45 pm

    We really enjoy popcorn! Wish we would make it more often and we love spicy. This certainly would hit the spot!!

    • Wandercooks
      28/06/2016 at 8:08 am

      Homemade popcorn is such a rare treat for us too, needless to say this one barely lasted long enough for photos. 😛

  • Amanda Mason
    23/06/2016 at 3:17 pm

    Ok – recipe looks super yum so thank you for sharing that! I enjoyed looking at some of the unique dishes and bowls on uncommon goods! Loved a lot of their stuff! Thanks again for sharing!

    • Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Amanda, glad you enjoyed! There really is some awesome and quirky stuff available on Uncommon Goods. We love that they support emerging artists and designers, the little guys that need a boost to get their amazing creations in front of the public eye.

  • Priya
    23/06/2016 at 2:02 pm

    I have never tried Ethiopian cuisine. I guess time to explore more as the bowl of spicy popcorn looks so tempting!

    • Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 3:09 pm

      Oh you must! Ethiopian cuisine is amazing, with lots of different flavours. We love a serving of dora wat curry with the soft and fluffy injera bread. We’ve never (yet) tried cooking that at home but it was nice to experiment with some of the flavours on this popcorn!

  • Ludmilla
    23/06/2016 at 12:46 pm

    I love this Ethiopian flair!! Looks delicious! I know that the predominant red pepper powder of Ethiopian cooking is pungent and one time I made popcorn using this spice.

    • Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 1:19 pm

      Oh that’s fantastic to hear, how good is it!? 😀 This was the first time we’d experimented with combining these flavours with popcorn and I don’t think either of us will be able to eat plain popcorn again haha. 😛

  • Renz
    23/06/2016 at 12:45 pm

    Ooh thinks for the lesson. Def never knew about the process. Love the idea of the spicy popcorn. I love Ethiopian food but never have had that experience at the restaurants here. Sounds amazing!!

    • Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 1:18 pm

      It was such a lovely surprise for us, we didn’t even know they offered the coffee ceremony there. But it was such a great opportunity to chat and learn more about Ethiopian culture and customs. We just love how food (and coffee haha) brings people together the way nothing else can. Thanks for stopping by Renz, hope you enjoy the popcorn!

  • Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    23/06/2016 at 12:26 pm

    Mmmm…that popcorn looks so good! I can just about smell the spices from here and you can’t go wrong with a cool pottery bowl to put it in.

    • Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 1:15 pm

      Haha thanks Annemarie, it’s definitely an addictive spice blend. Mix them all together and the aroma just fills the room completely. Add to that the smell of fresh popcorn and your house will be ready for an epic movie night! 😛

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