This popcorn, which we offer with drinks in Rasika's cocktail lounge, is a take on the Indian snack chiwda, a sweet and savory mix often made with fried poha (puffed rice), dried fruit, nuts, spices, and herbs. There are many ways to make it and people add whatever they like—maybe corn flakes, coconut chips, chana dal. It's a mainstay during Diwali, much like you'd have Chex Mix during the American holiday season.
If you don’t want to use the microwave popcorn, make it the old-fashioned way, following directions on the package of kernels to make 6 cups of popcorn.


  • 1 (3.2-ounce) bag microwave popcorn, (movie-theater butter flavor or plain and salted, popped according to package directions)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh Thai green chile
  • 10 (1-1/2 inch) fresh curry leaves, (more if smaller), whole or cut crosswise into thin strips
  • ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • teaspoon asafetida
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Place the popcorn in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds and let them crackle. Stir in the green chile, curry leaves, Kashmiri chile powder, turmeric, and asafetida. Pour the mixture over the popcorn. Add the sugar and salt and stir or toss to coat evenly. (Keep tossing as you eat it to distribute the spice.)




Vikram Sunderam


6 cups




Asian : Southern : Indian