Crispy and addictive, papadums are an Indian snack that is also the perfect complement to any meal. They're delicious when eaten alone, with chutneys, or with other dipping sauces. Learn how to make them from scratch at home.
Course Breads and wraps, DIY Pantry Foods, Side dishes, snacks
Mix together the flour, salt, optional powdered spices, and water until the ingredients just come together. Add the water little by little while mixing together, until you end up with a stiff dough. Feel free to adjust the salt and spices to taste. (Garlic powder and pepper are optional additions.)
Knead and pound on the dough for several minutes. At first the dough will be sticky, but as you knead and pound on it, it will start to come together. You can grease your hands and counter to help keep everything from sticking. I've used both coconut oil and olive oil and both work well. (Any vegetable oil shoud work.)
Take sections of the dough and roll them out on the countertop thinly, around 2mm thin. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circular-shaped papadums and then use a rolling pin to roll the disks out it even thinner.
Optionally sprinkle whole cumin seeds or other spices over the disks and use a rolling pin to gently press them into the papadums.
Spread the poppadum disks over parchment paper to allow them to dry. Flip the disks ocassionally throughout the drying process. (You can speed up the process by drying them in the sun, a dehydrator, or an oven at its lowest temperature.)
Dried papadums can be stored in an airtight container for later, or cooked for immediate serving.
Cooking the papadums
Papadums can be broiled in the oven, puffed in the microwave, or deep-fried. My favorite method is to deep fry or pan fry the papadums in a small amount of oil. Papadums made in this way crisp up instantly in the hot oil. Broiled and microwaved papadums also crisp up quickly but aren't as light and flaky as the deep-fried ones.
Making urid flour from scratch
Papadums are most easily made if you can obtain urid flour. If you have a flour mill, though, or a high potency food processor, you can grind your own flour from the legumes. For best results, use peeled urad dal. If you can only find the unpeeled legumes, you can soak them and peel them too, but it's a time-intensive job.
Papadums can be eaten on their own as a snack. They make a great side to curries and other main dishes. Just like tortilla chips, they can be served with dips or salsas.
While most papadums are made with urid flour, you can try making papadums with other flours, especially other legume flours. While they won't taste or look exactly the same, you can make tasty cracker-like snacks in the same way.