This is our favorite recipe from Susan Feniger’s new book, Street Food.  Two of the polo pros at our club are from Jamaica and they can’t get enough of this tasty treat.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate
Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hrs

Servings: makes 18 cups

olive oil spray
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups candied peanuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons chopped fresh curry leaf (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Liberally spray an extra-large mixing bowl (not plastic) with olive oil spray.

Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven, stirring it once or twice, until it is golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool, leaving the oven on.

Put the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the corn kernels, and set over medium-high heat. Cover, and shake the pot occasionally until the popping begins, about 5 minutes. Once the popping starts, shake the pot continuously until the popping slows down dramatically, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, but continue shaking it until the popping stops entirely. Dump the popcorn into the prepared mixing bowl, trying not to let any unpopped kernels fall into the bowl. Add the toasted coconut and the candied peanuts.

Before beginning the caramel process, spray a rubber spatula, a wooden spoon, and 2 cookie sheets liberally with olive oil spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with the oil-sprayed spatula, until the butter is melted. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and being careful not to splatter the hot caramel, until the mixture thickens and a candy thermometer registers 255 degrees, about 7 minutes. (If you do not have a candy thermometer, you will know it is ready when the bubbles of the mixture get noticeably larger and slower.) Remove from the heat. Add the salt, baking soda, curry leaf, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, turmeric, mace, paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon. Stir quickly to incorporate, and then immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture. Stir with the wooden spoon until all of the popcorn is well coated.

Pour the mixture onto the oiled cookie sheets and spread it out evenly. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to keep it from burning.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let the popcorn cool to room temperature. The popcorn will crisp as it cools.

When it is cool, you can serve the popcorn immediately or package it in airtight bags for storage. It will keep well for 4 days.