Spicy Popcorn

For a piquant bar snack, serve easy-to-make spicy popcorn in festive cones made of rolled corn husks.

  • Yield: Makes 48 cups

Photography: Schiller,Charles

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2005


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons firmly packed lightbrown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for tossing
  • 2 cups unpopped popcorn
  • Coarse salt (optional)


  1. Toast cumin seeds and cloves in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, swirling pan, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet; let cool completely. Finely grind in a spice grinder. Stir in paprika, chile powder, pepper, cayenne, and brown sugar. Spice mixture can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large stockpot over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1/2 cup popcorn, and cover. Shake pot back and forth over burner until kernels are popped, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil; season with 1 1/2 tablespoons spice mixture, and salt, if desired. Toss well. Repeat in 3 batches.


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