Did you know that Papadums are called as happala in Karnataka. Repeat that three times when life beats you down. Here’s a basic recipe. The spices mentioned below are really just suggestions, as any number of ground spices can be added to the dough to suit your taste.
- 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. Try: cayenne pepper, white pepper, coriander, dried fennel and turmeric.)
- Oil for frying
Stir together the flour, pepper, ground cumin seeds, 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.
Now coat the tops of each Papadum with a dusting of spices of your choice. Use a metal spatula to loosen the edges from the rolling surface and carefully place the rolled-out slices on a large baking sheet.
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 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 months and when you are ready to prepare them simply heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, slide the Papadums, one at a time, gently into the hot oil.* Turn the Papadums over once they begin to curl at the edges and remove them before they change their hue from gold to brown. Cool and drain on towels and serve immediately.
* A good temperature test for optimal frying temperature involves a drop of water flicked onto the skillet that sizzles out of existence almost immediately.