Poppadams

“Pappads”

I am a bit in love with almost anything Indian. But let’s face it, no matter where it’s from, any food that takes one minute to cook, costs a few cents, and is ultimately satisfying, is great.

I am a huge fan of potato chips, even the unflavored ones in bags, and poppadams, having that quality of “moreness” in common with potato chips, are a bit dangerous that way. A big bowl of huge delicate poppadams, with their crisp texture and seductive flavors, in the middle of a table at the drinks hour cannot fail to excite and please most guests.

Poppadams are made from lentil (dhal or arhad dhal) flour and are purely vegetarian. Buy a package of the plain, the cumin-flavored, the black pepper-flavored, or others. Then prepare them up to four hours before serving. If the air is humid, make them to order. Just deep-fry them one at a time (in 2 inches of peanut or vegetable oil) for about 30 seconds, until they puff up. Alternately, put them on a griddle (pushing them down with a spatula), or grill them over a fire.

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Method

Little Pappads

Whereas the large pappads are 6 to 8 inches in diameter, the small ones are only 1 inch across, making them perfect little platforms for holding bite-sized portions of food.

Deep-fry these ten at a time in shallow oil, then drain and hold until needed. Top with any of the following:

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