Papad is an Indian appetizer or snack. This food's name is derived from the word papaddum. It is a type of flatbread or wafer. Round in shape, papad may be heated or prepared in a variety of ways. Papad can be made from a variety of base ingredients, which are generally starches.
Though internationally esteemed, these wafers or Indian flatbreads are particularly popular in northern India. The term for the cuisine was shortened to “papad” in this region. It is one of the most basic and significant elements in South Asian gastronomy.
Papad is made of one or a combination of the following: rice, flour, lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, or black gram. Black gram, otherwise known as urad or black lentil, is not a true lentil. It is actually a bean. When ground into a paste, the texture or black gram is ideal for papad.
In northern India, these crackers are often made from lentils. A lentil is a legume originating in India, like the black gram. Whatever carbohydrate is being used, it is typically ground or mashed and mixed with other ingredients. Salt and peanut oil are typically added, regardless of what else is in the dough. It is generally a protein- and fiber-rich dish.
This Indian treat is very aromatic. It may be seasoned with many spices, which emit a great deal of fragrance. Black pepper is a popular choice, as is chili and cumin, which give it a smoky flavor. Garlic is often used, as well. The combination of these spices and those similar are often referred to collectively as Indian spices.
After made into dough using salt and peanut oil, the snack is usually fried or roasted. It may also be dried naturally, toasted, or even microwaved. They are crispiest when deep fried, and are most often served this way at Americanized Indian restaurants.
Papad is formed into a circular shape, though it’s never perfectly round. It may be small or large. When served as small wafers, papad may be eaten like a chip. If made into larger, softer wafers, it may be used as a wrap to hold other fillings. In this case, it’s more like a flatbread.
The Indian wafers may be dipped into or spread with a variety of toppings or dips. Chutney is a popular choice. A chunky dip made with contents such as fruits, vegetables, spices, and yogurt, chutney is often served with papad as an appetizer before an Indian meal. It may also be topped with basic chopped veggies or condiments.
Papaddum is spelled and articulated quite differently across the world. There are at least ten spellings and as many pronunciations of the moniker's base word. In many regions, it is pronounced "pah-pur" instead of "pah-pad."