A wonderfully simple way to infuse powerful herbal healing qualities and a spicy kick into a classic American snack, while still maintaining the popcorn and butter combo loved by so many. Thanks to clinical herbalism student Rohan Jasani for this recipe!
This recipe applies the traditional Indian Ayurvedic cooking technique known as a “chaunk” as it was adapted by first generation Indian-American immigrants to bring the flavors of their culture to their new home. Chaunk is a standard step in Indian Ayurvedic cooking where oil is infused with the flavor and healing qualities of various spices and herbs. It forms the base of almost every vegetable, pulse, grain, and meat dish.
In this recipe, the medicinal herbs turmeric, cayenne, cumin, and coriander are employed. Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory, balancing inflammation via multiple mechanisms across the entire body. Cayenne acts as a circulatory stimulant, optimizing metabolism while facilitating the delivery of the healing compounds found in the herbs to ever wider parts of the body. The cumin and coriander are cooling digestive aids, helping to relieve gas and enhance nutrient absorption, while balancing out the heat produced by the turmeric and cayenne.
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. popcorn salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
- Pop the popcorn in a separate pot or pop a standard bag of popcorn.
- Warm the ghee on medium-low heat until it melts completely and is in a liquid state.
- Remove pot from the heat and stir in the turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander and salt until it is fully mixed into the ghee.
- Place the pot back on the stove at low heat, dump the popcorn into the pot and stir quickly for few minutes quickly until the infused oil coats as much of the popcorn as possible. Most of the popcorn will turn yellow once finished.
Rohan Jasani is a student intern in the clinical herbalism program at MUIH and is currently seeing clients in the Natural Care Center. Reach him at www.rohanjasani.com.