Swaad 'Anu'saar

Published on January 21st, 2014

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A corny picture party

Most of our movie-time snacks are made of corn. If you’re watching movies at home, make these fantastic corn snacks.
anurita guptaby Anurita Gupta

“Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!” If that be your state of mind, then I am sure you are not just thinking movies but movie snacks, too. While going to a movie hall in Mumbai can set you back by a 1000 bucks or so, here are some movie hall recipes that will surely enhance your at-home ‘picture party’ with friends!

After all, this ‘movie going’ is clearly a corny business! Look at the number of movie snacks that are made from corn. Be it popcorn, nachos (that are actually corn chips), or even boiled sweet corn, everything finds first preference in a movie buff’s list. Let’s make them…now!

Cheese popcorn: Movie and popcorn always go hand in hand. While butter popcorn is delicious, the tricky ones are its cheese and caramel counterparts. For cheese popcorn, the trick is to NOT put processed cheese on the popcorn. Yes, most people make this mistake and land up with a messy goop instead of a crackling pot of pop.

Here’s how you do it – these days, you get microwave or cooker pre-mixes of popcorn in the market. Just make the popcorn as per the directions on the packet. The secret ingredient is the pre-processed cheese powder that you can easily get in the ready to eat mac-n-cheese packet. Unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to find the cheese powder as a stand-alone product in the market, but then I’ve told you what to do instead.

Caramel popcorn: Movie or not, sweet, crunchy caramel popcorn is a sure shot hit at any party. The tough part is to keep yourself from eating the entire batch while making it. Once you put all the ingredients together, it is fairly simply to make.

Once the corn kernels have popped (say three big bowls), you have to make the caramel sauce. The ingredients are 3/4th cup (or one-and-half sticks) unsalted butter, 1 cup packed caramel popcornbrown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and mix in the sugar till it is completely soaked in the butter. Now increase the heat and bring it to a boil for 3 to 4 minutes along with vigorous stirring using a wooden spatula. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, salt and baking soda. Please note that now the caramel sauce will bubble up fiercely. But once the bubbles settle, you will have an amber caramel sauce that should now be slowly poured over the popcorn, coating them uniformly. Once done, spread the popcorn equally on two baking trays and bake for half an hour, keeping a watch every 10 minutes or so. Let it cool. Serve immediately or store in an airtight jar for up to 10 days.

Boiled sweet corn: This one is fairly simple but a true favourite with the weight watcher gang that visits the cinema frequently. All you need is a 250 gram frozen packet of sweetcorn and some chaat masala and lemon juice. Toss the packet in the microwave for 5 minutes. It will come out steaming and crunchy. Now add your choice of masala or dash of butter along with a spritz of lemon juice and mix. Serve in disposable glasses for no-mess movie viewing.

Nachos with salsaDost ghar aayein toh hum saara time kitchen mein bitayein? Kabhi nahin! That is why I am not going to give you a recipe for nachos (which you can and should conveniently buy packets and packets of) but that of the salsa dip.

nachos with salsaThere are two reasons why you should have this recipe. One, nachos can only be a lot of fun with salsa sauce. Two, ready-made bottled salsa sauce can burn a hole in your pocket. So here goes: you need 2 large, finely-chopped tomatoes, 1 small, finely-chopped onion, 4 big cloves of garlic, 5 to 6 small pieces of jalapenos, 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 1 big cup chopped coriander, salt to taste, ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder, 1 teaspoon lime juice and some black pepper. Now, to a food processor add tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapenos, and whizz to make a coarse mixture. Open and add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is mixed well. Cool and serve with nachos. Enjoy!

Here’s hoping that you and your friends manage to squeeze in at least some bit of the movie in between all the tasty munching! Happy picture party! 

Anurita Gupta is a media professional who is passionate about two things – food and radio. Her love for all things food makes her a foodie with a cause.

(Pictures courtesy canadacheeseman.wordpress.com, www.fatandhappyblog.com, parentedge.in)

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