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Prep 5 mins
Cooking 2-10 mins
Serves 2-4

Few things beat the smell of freshly popped popcorn. On the culinary emotive index it has to be pretty close to the top. But it’s not just the feel-good factor that makes popcorn jolly marvelous. As snacks go, it’s a ‘good’ treat, being relatively high in fibre and low in fat too. That’s IF you make it yourself of course, because there is no telling what’s in those pre-packed, pre-sealed microwave popcorn bags, handy though they may be.

Fortunately you can have all the convenience of microwave bag-popped popcorn while being in total control of your portion size and calories to boot. All you need is Cape Herb & Spice’s Spicy Chip Shaker Seasoning, popcorn kernels, the teeniest smidge of oil and… a brown paper bag. It’s foolproof, giving you perfectly popped corn in under three minutes, plus it’s cheap as chips.


  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • ½ tsp vegetable oil
  • Cape Herb & Spice SPICY CHIP
  • medium-sized brown paper bags (the uncoated dull kind)


Add the vegetable oil to the kernels and stir to coat. Shake over a generous amount of Cape Herb & Spice Spicy Chip Seasoning and stir again to ensure all the kernels are coated in spice. Spoon the kernels into brown paper bags. (You need to give it plenty of space to pop. I used paper bags measuring 20cm wide by 26cm long and four level tablespoons were perfect.)

Fold the open end of the bag closed with a 2cm lip. Give it another 2cm fold, then fold this 2cm-wide lip in half down to 1cm and then over one final time – so you are folding it four times in total. Place the bag in your microwave with the folded lip facing down. I have a powerful microwave and it needed just 2½ minutes to pop perfectly. This will of course differ for each microwave, so start at two minutes and then give it bursts of 10-15 seconds at a time. Once the popping starts slowing down, it’s pretty much done. Open the bag carefully, taking care not to burn should there be any steam, give it a final shake of Spicy Chip Shaker Seasoning and tuck in while it’s still warm.

More ideas for this spice:

  1. Season whisked eggs with this spice before you make scrambled eggs or an omelette.
  2. Slice large unpeeled baking potatoes in big wedges, drizzle lightly with olive oil, dust liberally with the spice, tumble onto a baking tray lined with baking paper (to make washing up easier) and roast at 220 degrees Celsius until browned, crispy and cooked through.

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at