nigella’s party popcorn: pimp it up

slightly sweet, salty and spicy

Since I have been making popcorn like this, I don’t want it any other way, which is a bit of a pity as its not that healthy. I try and rationalise that its still better than fried chips, and that its loaded with antioxidants and fibre. It’s also opened up the inspiration flood gates to try various other flavours.

This is Nigella’s party popcorn recipe form her book “Express”, I have made it in the past without cumin and it was also very nice.  I do add more butter than her recipe.

This is what you need:

  • 200gms popcorn kernels (makes quite a lot, about 3 litres)
  • 2Tbs sunflower oil
  • 100g butter (her recipe is with 50g but I feel this is not enough for the amount of popcorn)
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1- 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp salt (free flow table salt is better) (the original recipe is with 4 t salt which I find far too salty)

Melt the butter and all the spices in a small pot.

Make the popcorn as you would.  This is can be delicate skill to crack.  I was taught many years ago by my older sister who is a master popcorn maker.  I like to use my Bauer pan with glass lid.  The big surface area works, well and I love to see the popcorn popping away. The critical part of the process  is knowing when its “time’.  You don’t want to get any burnt, but you want to get it all popped.  I’d rather have a few kernels unpopped and zero burn.  Its a fantastic sense of satisfaction when you pop them all perfectly. I heat the oil on high with the kernels in, shaking the pan around a bit to get them in one layer. As soon as they start popping I turn to low. I wait until there is a pause of around 3 seconds between the last pops then I remove from the heat.

You need a really big plastic bag like a clean shopping bag.  Put the popcorn in the bag.  Make a well and then pour over the warm butter and spices.  Seal the bag properly and then shake around and shmush the popcorn together.  This butter sauce has a tendency to clump, so you want really rub it around the bag to get an even coat.

Be warned: very moreish. The sweet and the salty, the warmth of the cumin and cinnamon, and the heat from the paprika all working so nicely together.

Here’s the article that talks about the health benefits of popcorn in case you are needing convincing – here.

PS: Please let me know if you have done anything exciting with popcorn?

nigella’s party popcorn


  1. The perfect snuggle-on-the-couch food!

  2. Oh I love Nigella! Have four of her books (including Express). I’ve gone past the recipe a few times, but as my lovely man is not a huge popcorn fan, it always seems like so much for one person!

  3. Oh, this is a good combination of spices! I usually make spicy popcorn seasonings, will have to do a post to share them with you 🙂

    I also make caramel popcorn, my very favourite and decadent way of eating popcorn – not so good for the figure though!

    Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  4. Yowza, this looks FAB Samlet! I will for sure be trying this over the weekend, I’m sure C will just love it! xx

  5. Candice, this recipe will revolutionise how you eat popcorn in the future

  6. Ally, make this popcorn, its seriously awesome. You wont want to eat popcorn any other way in the future.

  7. This Nigellas party popcorn is actually great and impressive. Thanks for sharing this one out.

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