Papadums ( happily called Happala in Karnataka) are fragrant, spicy, chickpea crisps. Below you’ll find a basic (but hopefully not ho-hum) Papadum recipe. The spices mentioned are merely modest suggestions. All manner of finely ground spice blends may be added to the dough, ranging from pepper powders; smoked and seasoned salts, to full on Five Spice Blends, sundry Curry Powders, or miscellaneous 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, white pepper, coriander powder, dried fennel powder, ginger powder, turmeric and white pepper.
  • Grapeseed or Aocado Oil Oil for frying

Stir together the flour, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Add the garlic and mix well. Add just enough of water sufficient to form a cohesive ball. The dough 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 tries to 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.

Slide the seasoned rounds on 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 now to turn over each Papadum with your pair of tongs or a slotted spoon just as it begins to curl up at the edges. Once turned, continue frying and then remove the Papadum from the pan before tits golden hues go brown. Blot away any excess oil and serve warm.