Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pappads

The Potato chips and Lays that are the American child's best friend would get a run for their money if Pappads ever got a fair chance here. Granted, they don't come ready to eat (I don't think) and bring up the spectre of hot oil to anyone who's had to make them...BUT, wow, what a tasty treat! Typically served as part of the meal in most South Indian culinary traditions, Pappads (Appalum or Pappadum depending on where in India you're from) are round wafers made from rice and lentils.

In the '80s, my mother and I would drive out to Mylapore, one of the old areas of Madras (now Chennai, India) to the tiny little Ambika Appalam store about once every month or so. She's buy a pack of 500 pappads. We'd fry about 20 of them for each lunch or dinner, and they always vanished. They were deep-fried, and I'm guessing that we weren't being too calorie conscious. However, since the main meal was rather well balanced (some rice, a lentil-based curry, copious amounts of vegetables, fish, etc.), the pappads less positive effect must have been nullified....

I bought a bundle of papads at Edison last week, and the kids got some with their rice and puzhuku. They loved it. A healthy option would be to buy one of the flavored pappads (pepper or cummin, for example), heat an over to around 170, and roast the pappad till lightly browned OR till it puffs up in patches. The time needed will depend on the size and thinckness of the pappad. My sister has figured out a way to zap pappads in the michrowave - more on that soon.



3 comments:

TBC said...

First time here. you have annice space here.

I too microwave pappadams. It's one of the few things I use my MW for besides making rice.:-)

Roopa Unnikrishnan said...

Cool - any insights on what to do to not just land up burning them?

Deepa said...

I MW papads/appalams too. After a few disastrous tries, I found what I call my perfect technique.

1. Make sure that the surface of the glass plate in the MW is dry.
2. Brush a few drops of oil on the papad (both sides if you want an 'almost-fried' appearance and taste)
3. Pop into the MW in high power for 45-50 seconds.
4. If you place several papads together, make sure their sides dont touch each other. This causes the burning, I have noticed.