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.
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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.
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Small mixing bowl
- Large Saucepan
- Large snacking bowl 😉
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
- Place all your spice ingredients in a small bowl and mix to blend into your spicy berbere mix. Set aside.
- 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.
- Add in your vegetable oil and bring the pan up to a medium heat.
- 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.
- Keep the pan over the heat until the pops slow down to every 2-3 seconds. Now your popcorn is done!
- Remove from the pan and place in a nice big bowl. Sprinkle generously with your berbere seasoning and toss to cover. Tasty popcorn all round!
- For the best results, spread your popcorn kernels in an even layer across the bottom of the pan. They need lots of room to pop! One the popcorn starts popping, pick up your pan carefully and shake gently to keep the kernels moving as they pop. They'll pop more evenly this way, with no annoying burns and un-tasty spots.