Papadums

 poppadom

Papadums are the fragrant, spicy, chickpea crisps that people happily call Happala in Karnataka.The seasonings mentioned here are mere suggestions. All manner of finely ground spice blends may be added to the dough, from diverse pepper powders and seasoned salts, to sundry curry spice blends and Garam Masalas.

  • 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,coriander powder, dried fennel powder, ginger powder, turmeric and white pepper.
  • Grapeseed, Peanut, or Avocado Oil for frying

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

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes by hand until quite smooth. Now shape the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches thick and 6 inches long. Cut the cylinder into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Place each slice on a lightly oiled cutting board. Lightly oil the top of the slice and roll it out into a thin circle of dough about 6 or 7 inches in diameter. Keep in mind that Papadums must be rolled quite thin, no more than 1/16 inch. If the dough sticks to your rolling pin, just gently pull it off. If it sticks to the board, use a metal spatula to loosen the edges from the rolling surface.

Place the rounds of rolled-out dough onto a large floured baking sheet and season them with a spice-mix of your preference.Place the baking sheet into a warm oven (less than 200F) for an hour or two, turning them occasionally as they dry until they are just barely flexible. If properly dried in this manner the uncooked Papadums can be stacked flat in an airtight container, stored, and used for several months.

When you are ready to prepare them, simply heat 1/8th of an inch of oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, slide each Papadum, one at a time into the hot oil. Be attentive and turn each Papadum over carefully with a pair of tongs or with a slotted spoon as it begins to curl up at the edges. Once turned, continue frying for just a minute or two more, removing the Papadum from the oil before its edges turn from golden to brown. Remove any excess oil with a towel and serve warm.