Spicy sugar-free popcorn

Two things inspired this post – the health-kick that everyone, including myself, has been on since a particularly indulgent end of 2016 (it was a terrible year so it needed to go out in a fit of gluttony). The other reason is that I have this batch of sumac that I just can’t stop using.

The finished result

I’ve moved to a new floor of the office where the sugar-free diet seems to reign supreme (not over me, not ever). The canteen has low-fat snacks, laden with sugar, so I decided to help the girls out and made a batch of this fiery popcorn to ease their dieting woes.

It takes less than 5 mins and has no real measurements… these are gauged by the size of your pan

Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ by Shirley & Company


  • Vegetable oil (no olive oil – you need heat for this)
  • Popping corn
  • Sumac
  • Salt
  • Optional lemon zest


  • Put your pan on a high heat and cover the bottom with a thin veneer of oil. (Pictures below)
  • Sprinkle with sumac powder – again enough to create a fine layer over the corn. you should add your lemon zest here if you have it.
  • Place enough popcorn to cover the pan in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Pop the lid on and shake the pan continuously.
  • Once the corn starts popping, keep the pan shaking as this stops the corn burning. Once the popping subsides, (eg there’s a good five seconds silence) remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl,
  • Sprinkle with a tiny bit more sumac and season with salt.

Serve with the lowest-sugar drink of all… a vodka martini

A little bit of oil, just enough corn and the right amount of sumac

Give it room to grow…

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