How to: Cook Papads
See also: papad, appadam, pampad, poppadom, appalam. Whatever you might call them, nothing quite beats their crunchy, crispy texture - and believe us, we know a good papadum when we see one.
Papadums are traditionally made from black gram flour (or urid flour if you want to impress your friends) mixed with a selection of different spices and a small amount of vegetable oil. Once this has been kneaded into a nice dough, it is then portioned up and flattened into paper-thin rounds and dried.
Now you know how they're made, let's take a look at the best ways to cook your papadums:
Over a Flame
This is a very traditional cooking method in India. Roast your papadums over a medium flame, keeping them moving all the time to avoid burning. You want a lightly-charred, brown colour for the best flavour.
Simply place one or two papadums under a preheated grill for a few seconds, turning if required. Caution: it is very easy to burn them under a grill so always keep an eye on them.
Place papadums in the microwave and cook on full power for 30 seconds. Check to see how well they are cooked, you may need to move them around. Continue until fully cooked. This method will give slightly different results but does save on using oil. Practice is required as all microwaves differ.
In a Pan
Heat about 250ml vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or wok until it is hot. Slide a papadum into the pan and, with the assistance of two spatulas, gently press the edges down to retain the shape. The papadum should cook in seconds. When done, remove it from the pan using both spatulas and stand them on absorbent paper. Prepare these 1 hour prior to serving as this will help to drain the oil.