Masala Spiced “Bollywood” Popcorn (Trader Joe’s Clone)

Indian-spiced popcorn recipe inspired by the popular Trader Joe’s Bollywood popcorn.
Masala Spiced Bollywood Popcorn Trader Joes clone

Masala Spiced “Bollywood” Popcorn

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

I have a thing for Trader Joe’s Bollywood popcorn. I don’t actually keep it next to me at night sitting on my pillow, but we are close. Very close. And yeah, you know what? Why is it that Trader Joe’s have to be on the other side of town (if you are lucky enough to have one at all?) So inevitably, the time will come (if indeed, it has not come already) when you are jonesing for some Bollywood, and not a bag is in sight. And it’s raining or some other reason you just don’t feel like switching out of your comfy jammies to go out and purchase it. These kind of things always happen to me. And I really don’t think I am suffering with that all by myself.

It’s a good thing then,  that I keep a very well stocked spice cabinet. I cook just about everything, so I need that wide selection. And being the adventurous spirit that I am, I took preemptive action when I had the bag of popcorn at home (along with a wealth of Indian type spices) and set out to clone this thing for myself. And long story short, I did. I seem to either have a very lucky talent for discerning the particular flavors in a food, or at the very least, some very lucky guesses. And while I add a little at a time to guide me down reverse-engineering road, at one point in the middle of development I stopped dead in my tracks and said to myself (This is not it, exactly- close, very close. But you know what? I want to stop here because this is actually tastier than their spice mix.) I wasn’t quite so baffled about it really. When tasting after each spice, something else would always whisper “Go this way and add a bit of this”…and you will notice when you look at the bag from Trader Joe’s it says it is vegan.

And my apologies to all the vegans out there from straying from that culinary ethic, but I was led outside of vegan ingredients. My spice mix is at least vegetarian, but it cried out for the little bit of dairy the ranch mix and buttermilk were calling for. Not quite cheesy (cheese would have been too much) but that kind of yogurt nature that is lended to any type of tandoori (the chicken or other ingredients are typically marinated in yogurt mixed with tandoori spice). You won’t find any chicken flavor here, but the sauce is all there, the kind of sauce flavor you might find on chicken tikka masala. Minus the chicken.

And so here we are with a mix that I think of as my crack seasoning. I have come to crave this more than any other type of popcorn. And I like it so much I will be using it as a base spice in even more recipes so look for those to come. And while I don’t usually want to specify brands, I do think you will do best to stick with Hidden Valley and also the Rajah. I don’t use any other brand of tandoori masala spice besides Rajah. I also use their brand of garam masala. I get it at a local Pakistani-Indian grocer but I  know you can buy these online. It’s just easier for me to buy those and stir it up into yogurt and pop into a bag with chicken drumsticks when I make tandoori chicken, and both of their blends are better than any I have tasted by other companies or even homemade. Not saying you *have to* use their brand, but I give it a big thumbs up.

Anyway, enjoy. Until next time-


Masala Spiced Bollywood Popcorn Trader Joes clone

Masala Spiced Bollywood Popcorn

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Masala Spiced Bollywood Popcorn Trader Joes clone
Spice flavors 10-12 batches of popcorn


  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori masala spice (I prefer Rajah brand)
  • 4 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala


  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter | 2 tablespoons seasoning (to flavor popcorn)


  1. Mix spices and store in an airtight container until needed.
  2. To make a batch of popcorn, use 1/3 cup kernels with 3 tbsp. coconut oil (this type oil has the flavor profile you want) and pop on the stove top.
  3. When popcorn is ready, drizzle with the butter and seasoning, tossing to mix. You may use more butter if you like.

From the kitchen of

Masala Spiced Bollywood Popcorn Trader Joes clone

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