First of all, don't try to correct our spelling of "papadum." Before we even began this web page, we looked it up in Wikipedia and found that there are at least 21 (count 'em! 21!) variations on the word. And yes, here they are:
papadom, pappad, papparde, pappadom, pappadum, popadam, pompadum, poppadam, poppadom, appadum, appalum, appala, appoll, papari, pamporo, puppodum, pampad, happala, popper, happolum and popardum.That said, what is a papadum? Again from Wikipedia:
"Papadum, papar, or papad is a thin, crisp, disc-shaped food from the Indian subcontinent; typically based on a seasoned dough usually made from peeled black gram flour (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat. Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, or potato can be used. Papadums are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips, and condiments."The papadums that you can buy in US groceries (we often buy ours from Harris Teeter) and Indian groceries come in plain and flavored versions. While papadums are often fire-roasted over a flame such as gas stove, you can also pop (!) them into the microwave for a minute and produce a delightfully crisp and wrinkled cracker. And with just a tiny bit more preparation, you make them any flavor you like.
Plain papadums Oil, melted butter or ghee Your favorite spice mix or rub
Photos and Notes
We use Sharwood's plain papadums that we buy at Harris Teeter. Any Indian grocery will have plain and spiced papadums for sale. We would recommend you avoid buying papadums on Amazon for the simple reason that they all appear to be outrageously priced. Look in the international food section of your grocery or look for an Indian grocery. If you haven't been to an Indian grocery before, maybe it's time to go exploring! For the spice mix, we have used Dizzy Pig "Bombayish" and "Fajitaish" rubs. Use anything you like!
Preparation is as simple as the steps we outlined above. Here are some photos of the unadorned papadums, with a light spray of olive oil, and finally with a sprinkle of rub. We mentioned that you could use ghee. What is ghee? It is similar to clarified butter, but rather than stopping when the water is evaporated and the milk solids are removed, the butter is simmered with the milk solids so that they caramelize, which makes it nutty-tasting and aromatic. Ghee can be bought in any Indian grocery store.
Once you have oiled and rubbed your papadums, simply pop (!) them into the microwave as directed, remove them to cool when done, and voila!
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