Friday, January 21, 2011

Kettle Corn. Everthing except the name makes sense.

A keeps calling my kettle corn "caramel popcorn". We've been hoodwinked into thinking the plastic container of half-hearted popcorn that retails at Escape/Sathyam for Rs.85/Rs.65 (respectively) under the name of Caramel popcorn is actually the original thing.

It isn't.

It's pretty good (pricey, maybe, but still good), but the quality keeps going downhill (Which is a rarity for Sathyam, because it's one of the places that just keeps getting better and better).

There's this fantastic recipe I have for caramel popcorn. Excuse me for a minute whilst I fantasize about it. Each popped kernel gets coated with a hot, salty caramel, all stuck to each other and crispy at the same time. Mmm. Golden, luscious caramel.

 It's addictive, and I'm talking narcotics/benzodiazepines addictive. So I don't make it often. I don't like my clothes leaving patterns on me, which they do as they get tighter. However. Life has its crests and troughs, though, and I ride them with caramel corn. Watch this space, that recipe will be up soon.

Back to my Kettle Corn.

It's what I make when I can't afford caramel corn (both financially and BodyMassIndex-wise). It takes roughly 7-10 minutes to rustle up. It's perfect 6:30-in-the-evening food. It's got that gorgeously mild sweetness with a hint (is-there-or-isn't-there?) of salt.

I'm in love with it, the sweet-salt thing. Don't think KrackJack. Think french fries, eaten between gulps of thick chocolate milkshake. Sigh. I wish I could go back to the time when a calorie was the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of water by one degree celsius or whatever. It was a simpler time.

Without further ado, I give you....

Kettle corn:


Corn kernels, unpopped: 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil :1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons (I used half of it)
Sugar (I used fine granulated): 3 tablespoons
Salt: 1/2 tsp, or to taste.


1)Take a dry, clean pressure cooker and place it on a med-high flame. Heat the oil. Once you can intelligently guess that it is warm, carefully(key word) add the corn kernels.

Standard amount of oil one adds.

The amount of oil I used, and it was passably decent, nonetheless.

Corn kernels are extremely cheap, and available at any grocery. They keep for a while too, You cannot use Act-II. No flavour can be used. I thought Golden Sizzle could be substituted. Definitely a mistake that goes into my personal Hall of Shame. Masala-kettle corn will never catch on. And next time, I'll spend the three seconds it takes to read the Ingredients on the back of the pouch.

2)Coat the kernels with oil and then sprinkle sugar evenly over the top. Swish it about, with a firm grip on the handle of the pressure cooker. Do not use a spoon to mix, because the hot sugar will crystallize in the manner of boiled sweets.

3)Close the pressure cooker tightly with a lid. (Do not put the "weight" on, because steam needs to escape).

4)As it keeps popping, keep tossing the kernels with the lid closed, so that the bottom does not get burnt.

5)When the popping slows down (Don't wait until it stops completely), open up the pressure cooker. If you feel 90% is done, STOP. Otherwise, close the lid again and continue for a little bit.

6)Empty the corn into a big bowl. It'll be hot, and not crisp. As it cools, it'll get less sticky. Break the stuck bits with a spoon. 

7)Sprinkle salt in a manner that ensures that all the corn gets coated. Taste it; if you feel it needs more, knock yourself out.

Source: adapted from (hardly) Joy the Baker.

Best eaten with a friend while you get ready for an evening out. You might want to delay slicking on lipgloss until at least half the bowl is over. Cautionary tale.

1 comment:

  1. If you're having a food blog,, you shouldn't be talking about calories.

    Also, calories is still the amount of energy reqd. to raise the temp. of water by H2O. :-p The definition never changed.