An award-winning actress, model, philanthropist, former UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, investor—is there anything Priyanka Chopra can't do? The answer is a resounding no, and Chopra has once again proven this with her latest collaboration. Partnering with Rob's Backstage Popcorn (Chopra's husband Nick Jonas co-founded the brand), Chopra launched Mumbai Nights, a new Indian-inspired flavor of popcorn. "I'm a definite snacker and me and my husband love popcorn. It comes out at all of our parties, so it was just very organic for us to want to share what we love with people who know us," Chopra tells W+G.
After just one kernel of Mumbai Nights, you'll never go back to just salt and butter popcorn ever again—guaranteed.
Okay first, why popcorn?
Rob's Backstage Popcorn was founded by Rob Garbowsky and the Jonas Brothers. Years ago, Garbowsky, a former bass-guitarist and current member of the Jonas Brothers' management team, whipped up batches of his unique popcorn recipe. After a rainy concert in 2011, Nick Jonas went to Garbowsky's house and Garbowsky made a batch of flavorful kernels for Nick. It tasted so good that Nick eventually brought it backstage (where the popcorn gets its name) while the brothers were rehearsing. It quickly became a "backstage" staple. Since then, Rob and the Jonas Brothers collaborated to bring the tasty popcorn to the rest of the world.
But there's always room for more variety—which is where Chopra comes in. When Chopra was on the Jonas Brothers' Happiness Tour, Priyanka suggested to Rob that Rob's Backstage Popcorn should have a flavor inspired by Indian cuisine. "There are so many amazing spices, and it's so diverse as a country when it comes to food, we could pick whatever we wanted," Chopra told Rob. Convinced, Rob, Chopra, and Nick quickly got to work and concepted the ingredients and name of the popcorn. Over a dinner discussion, Mumbai Nights was born.
The popcorn gets its name after Mumbai, a city that Priyanka called home for 15 years. "It's Indian spices, so it has a little bit of kick, but this reminds me of humid Mumbai nights, when you're driving to go out with friends or watching a movie," Chopra says. Not only is every bite appetizing (seriously, you won't put the bag down), the blend of turmeric, onion, and garlic powder will transport you to the streets of Mumbai to experience the city's electrifying energy and flavorful dishes it offers.
After seeing a gap in the market for healthy popcorns with a variety of flavors, Chopra knew she wanted to develop her own line of popcorn while sharing her Indian roots with the rest of world, especially the Western part. "It gives me tremendous joy to be able to share with people that know me or put out there in the market, something that is authentic to how I grew up," says Chopra. If you're looking for an anti-inflammatory and spiced bite, look no further than Mumbai Nights, which can be found on the shelves of Rob's Backstage Popcorn, Albertsons, Walmart, and Sam's Club. Trust us, you won't put the bag down.
The benefits of adding turmeric to your popcorn
The flavor-rich popcorn is packed with flavors like onion powder, garlic powder, and sunflower oil, delivering a spiced and savory kick with each popped kernel. For a little bit of kick, Chopra added turmeric, the anti-inflammatory hero that dietitians rave about. "It's rich in antioxidants, which help your body from damaging cells that cause damage or can cause infection to healthy cells in the body," says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and adjunct professor at Virginia Tech.
What makes turmeric great on popcorn especially is that it's not exposed to heat during the cooking process. Curcuminoids, which is the main ingredient of turmeric, can degrade quickly, says Ehsani. "Therefore, it's best to add it to already cooked food like popcorn, rather than adding it to a soup and letting it cook for hours."
Chopra wanted turmeric incorporated into the popcorn's flavor profile not only because of its health benefits, but because she wanted spices that were "synonymous with some of my favorite flavors in Indian food." As previously told by Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York-based internist and gastroenterologist, turmeric is a popular spice in Indian cooking and can be found in many Indian dishes. In curry, turmeric is often blended with cardamom, coriander, clove, saffron, and cumin.
Order a bag of Mumbai Nights and you'll get what the hype is about. Trust us—we've already eaten several.
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