Papadams

Papadams

By
From
The Curry Guy

Almost everyone loves a papadam or two while eagerly awaiting their curry dinner. Most good Indian restaurants fry their own as they are much better than those pre-packed papadams found at supermarkets. If you happen upon a restaurant that doesn’t fry their own in-house, it is a good sign that you should make a quick exit.

The great news is that papadams aren’t difficult to prepare. Many supermarkets and Asian food shops sell papads, which are flat lentil discs that when fried turn into lovely papadams. You could also purchase papad flour and make your own. I did once and won’t again. Ready-made papads are the way to go.

Papads are available plain or with whole spices – I love cumin papads, black pepper papads and chilli papads. If you can find these, be sure to give them a try.

Use a pan that is at least 4cm wider in diameter than the papads you are using as they do expand.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
rapeseed oil, for deep-frying
papads (1–2 per person)

Method

  1. Heat 10cm of oil in a large pan or wok until hot. When a piece of papad puffs up quite quickly when dropped into the oil, it’s ready. Papads are usually cooked in pairs, which speeds the process up and also helps keep them uniformly flat. Drop the papads in the oil. They will very quickly expand into full-sized papadams. Be careful not to overcook or burn the papadams. They will quickly begin to turn brown, so remove them from the oil before this happens. It only takes seconds to overcook papadams, so be ready to get them out of that oil. Remove from the oil with tongs or a wire mesh spoon and place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
  2. You can leave them to cool flat, or fold them into your own preferred shapes while they are still hot. Serve or store in an airtight container.

Tip:

  • When I am planning a curry night in with friends, I cook papadams earlier in the day so that I can check them off the to-do list. This is what they do at busy restaurants too, often making enough for 3 or more days in one go.
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