Steal This: Rasika's Spiced Popcorn

I love a good bar snack, something that goes beyond the boring bowl of
mixed nuts. For the third episode of Metrocurean's Steal This series, I
went to the source of one of DC's best bar snacks (and most amazing
Indian food, I might add): Rasika.

you find yourself hanging out at Rasika's bar (preferably with one of
Jason Strich's killer cocktails in hand), the bowls of popcorn seasoned
with Indian spices are a delicious nibble.

Chef Vikram Sunderam
shows me how to make this easy dish, so you can steal it to take home.
It would be perfect fare for a cocktail party.

Rasika's Spiced Popcorn
adapted from Rasika

4 tbsp vegetable oil (I like peanut)

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 tsp whole coriander

1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 tsp asafetida powder*

5-6 curry leaves*

1 small green chile, sliced

1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (adjust for how spicy you want it)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot with a lid over medium-high heat.
Add the popcorn kernels and shake to coat in oil. Put the lid on the pot
and shake frequently until the popcorn begins to pop. Continue shaking
until you hear the popping slow down. Put the popcorn into a large bowl.

a large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high
heat. Add the coriander, fennel, cumin and asafetida, and stir to
combine. The spices may pop (this is good!). Add the curry leaves and
green chile, and stir, cooking for about 30 seconds more. Remove the pan
from the heat and stir in the chili powder and turmeric. Toss the
popcorn in the pan with the spices (in batches if needed). Sprinkle with
sugar and salt and serve.

* Check specialty Indian markets for these ingredients. They can be left out if you can't track them down.