This recipe, like the homemade cutlet, is from a walk down the memory lane. While growing up, summer vacations always involved spending a few weeks at our grandparents’ place. This meant getting to play from dawn to dusk with our cousins, running around the fields, cycling, fishing, playing on a swing under a mango tree and cricket. Those days, the only thing that we had to worry about was cricket balls going missing in the fields! Summer vacations were also about great food. Even before we reach, my gramma would stock her store room with varieties of snacks for us to munch on during our stay. This included pickles, made with seasonal ingredients like raw mangoes, lubica (Indian plum), or bilimbi; and many crisps like banana chips, jack fruit chips, and pappada vada; and this recipe is about that modest snack – pappada vada.
The main ingredient, papadam, known by various names, poppodum, papadam, appalam, or papad, is a thin flat dough-based food that needs no introduction. Made with a handful of ingredients, pappada vada is a crispy snack, ideal for your evening tea.
Mix the ingredients, make a batter, dip, and fry the papadams – it takes only a few minutes. You’ll be surprised at how the papadam transforms into a signature snack.
Pappada Vada – it’s a crispy affair!
Papada vada (batter fried papad/popadum/appalam)
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- a pinch asafoetida
- 2 cups coconut oil
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients (except the papadams) by adding water, a little at a time. Notice that there is no salt in this recipe. Papadam is already salted, so add more salt only if you have to.
- The batter shouldn't be runny. It should be thick enough to stick to the papadam.
- Heat oil in a deep, thick-bottom pan. We have to deep fry the papadams. So ensure that you have enough oil depending on the size and shape of the pan. Note: For an authentic taste, use the traditional ingredients - coconut oil, and Kerala papadum. Compared to other papads, Kerala papadum puffs up and gives bigger air bubbles when fried. I haven't tried using other papad variants. I guess they'll work just fine.
- Drop a little batter in the oil to test if it's hot enough. Fold a papadam along the middle, dip in the batter, shake of the excess batter, and slowly slide into the hot oil. If you are using less oil, or if the pan is not deep enough, fry without folding. You can even cut the papadam into halves or quarters, and fry.
- Let it fry for a few seconds, use a slotted spoon, turn over, and fry for a few more seconds.
- Fry till the papadam is golden brown on both sides. Press down the papadum with the spoon to ensure that it's fried and crispy.
- Drain the excess oil by placing them on a paper towel. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea.