What are the origins of poppadams

Poppadams are like extra-large crisps and are an accompaniment for Asian foods (see Fig. 32). Alternative names are papadams, puppodums, appalan and papad. Papads are roughly round, the dimensions varying according to where the papad is manufactured. Most fall within the following dimensions: diameter 10-18 cm; thickness 0.5-1.5 mm; weight 4-24 g. A typical papad is about 16 cm in diameter, 1 mm thick and weighs about 15 g. The colour of the papads depends on the type and quality of flour and other ingredients used. The colour can be yellowish white to yellowish brown.

Papads are eaten with any type of meal or as a snack. One or two per meal per person is usual but as with many foods it depends on personal taste.

Papads are eaten after frying for a few seconds in oil, or grilling or microwaving. When fried in oil they expand by about 30-40%. After the heating process the papad becomes crisp and brittle. A basic recipe is:

100 parts blackgram flour 45 parts water (variable) 8 parts salt

1 part sodium carbonate or 1.0-1.5 parts sodium bicarbonate

The flour is obtained by milling a pulse (bean) Phaseolus mungo or known more commonly as blackgram. Each pod contains between 5 and 15 oblong-shaped seeds, 3-4 mm long and 2-3 mm wide. The pods are dried under the sun, the

Fig. 32 Flat breads.

seeds taken out, their husks removed and the bean milled. Other types of flour are sometimes mixed with the blackgram flour to produce different varieties of papads.

The carbonate additions are essential as they improve the colour of the dried papad, prevent formation of brown patches during frying and to mellow the 'pulsy' flavour of blackgram. Salt is added to give flavour, improve the rolling properties of the dough and increase expansion during frying. Papads may be spiced by adding chilli, white pepper, black pepper, garlic or jira as desired.

The dough is made by an all-in method (the carbonates being dissolved in some water). When made, the dough is tough and sticky. It is rested for approximately 30 min, then divided into small balls about 4-6 cm diameter and 18-20 g in weight. The balls are then rolled out into thin circular discs of about 1 mm thickness and 15-17 cm diameter. Oil or corn flour is used as an aid during rolling.

Traditionally the rolled out papad is dried under the sun to reduce the moisture content to 14-15%. The papads are then ready for consumption. For storage, which should not be for long, the papads can be put in airtight containers or sealed in moisture-impermeable film.

Continue reading here: What is kebab bread

Was this article helpful?

0 0