Did you know Papadums are called Happala in Karnataka? Here’s a basic Papadum recipe. The spices are only suggestions. Any variety of ground spices can be added to the dough ranging from various pepper powders and seasoned salts to Garam Masala.

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp.ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt   
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon water  
  • Ground spices for dusting. such as: cayenne, white pepper, coriander, dried fennel powder, and turmeric.
  • Oil for frying

Stir together the flour, spices and salt in a large bowl. Add the garlic and mix well. Add enough of the water to form a dough that will hold together in a cohesive ball. The dough should be fairly stiff and dry; if it is too wet, it will not roll well.

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes by hand; the dough should be quite smooth. Now with your hands, shape the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches thick and 6 inches long. With a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Place each slice of dough on a lightly oiled surface. Lightly oil the top of each slice and then roll it out into a very thin circle about 6 or 7 inches in diameter. Papadums must be rolled quite thin, no more than 1/16 inch. If the dough sticks to your rolling pin, gently pull it off. If it sticks to the board, use a metal spatula to loosen the edges from the rolling surface and carefully place the rolled-out slices on a large baking sheet. Now coat the tops of each Papadum with a light dusting of the spices of your choice.

Allow the Papadums to dry by placing them in a very low oven (less than 200F) for 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally, until they are still just slightly flexible. At this point they may be stacked flat and stored in an airtight container until needed. If stored in this manner they will keep for several months.

When you are ready to prepare them simply heat about 1/8th of an inch of oil in a large skillet. Then, when the oil is hot, but not smoking, slide the Papadums, one at a time, under the oil. Watch carefully, and turn the Papadums over with a slotted spoon once they begin to curl at the edges.

Remove them from the pan before they change their hue from gold to brown. Cool and drain on towels and serve immediately.