Local Heart, Global Soul

June 16, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: How to Cook Perfect Papadam/Pappadum’s Without a Single Drop of Oil…

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I love papadams but because I can’t exercise easily due to my foot injury/ recovery process, am trying to eat extra healthily instead.

Therefore I  have shied away from papadams because they are fried in oil.

Wikipedia tells me:

“Papadam, (also known as “Papad” in Northern India, “Appadam” in Telugu and “Pappadum” in the rest of south India; spellings vary) is a thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food typically based on a seasoned dough made from black gram (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat.

Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, or potato, can be used. Papadams are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips and condiments. In North India, the lentil variety is more popular and is usually called ‘papad’.

Papad is often associated with the feminist empowerment of women in India. Many individual and organized businesses run by women produce papad, pickles, and other snacks. This provides them regular income from minimal financial investments.

Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is an organization owned and run solely by women that produces large quantities of papadums on the open market which started as a small business in the late 1950s, with an annual income in 2005 of about Rs.3.15 billion, or US$80 million.”

You can imagine my delight when I discovered at the Indian cooking class that papadams don’t need to be cooked in oil at all.All you need to do is to set an uncooked papadam on a paper towel in your microwave and cook on high power for 1 minute.

Edited to add: I made some for a family party today and after 1 minute some of them started to burn, whereas the ones I made earlier were perfect with one  minute… 35 seconds were all today’s lot took, so experiment with your own microwave to find the perfect time.  I found I could do three at one time for 35 seconds too. My kids watched with amazement as they watched them puff up, they think doing these in the microwave is “way cool!”” LOL.

Result: one perfect papadam, with not a drop of oil! No fuss, no mess and a tasty treat to serve with pickles or any of the Indian dishes I have been learning.  How Seriously easy is that?  For me at least it’s complete and utter Magic!

When Himself went to the Indian specialist shop the staff gave him a different brand of papadum to the one our teacher had. I tried it out and after 1 minute in the microwave it was perfect too!!!  (the first 30 seconds it kind of explodes and gets bigger, but I checked and it’s a little tough, raw looking, too much the same texture as the “before”version: the last 30 seconds finished off the cooking process).


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My package of papadums,  and how one of them looks before and after 1 minute in the microwave…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. There are many different varieties of papads. It is the ‘madras poppadum’ that need frying. However, many urad dal based papads can be simply roasted on an open flame and that is how the majority of Indians eat them. 🙂

    Comment by Aruna Panangipally — June 16, 2013 @ 1:23 am | Reply

    • Welcome to my blog Aruna,
      The only open flame I have is the gas burner on the stove top so this might be a *very* interesting experiment ! It’s interesting to hear more about the different sorts of papads… I love learning things about new foods, Thank You 🙂

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 21, 2013 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

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