This is definitely not my family recipe. None of us make it at home. I mean, why take the extra effort in making it when you can buy some in less than half the time,right? I must admit that it’s hard to find good Pappadam these days, even in Kannur. Nalla pole pollunna pappadam is a rare sight. They always reminds me of the sadya we ate during the Kerala State Youth Festivals when I was in school. Somehow, eating pappadam with rice on a hot, humid day brings in a lot of memories for me. Today was one such day here in Minneapolis.
I don’t like the Pappadam we get to buy here in stores. They just don’t puff up, even the ones that’s sold by the name Kerala Pappadam. They are like Pappadam polathe Poori, crisp flat discs with some bubbles here and there. I agree, it tastes the same, but to me a Pappadam should puff up dramatically, just like a Poori. Thin, a bit salty and crisp, shatteringly so. Our little ones and Jobin goes ga-ga over them,so I was on the lookout for a good recipe for a while now until I stumbled upon Jinesh’s page. This is the very first time that I am making Pappadam and they couldn’t be more perfect!
It is a breeze to make Pappadam at home. You will need some muscles to pound the dough to make it pliable. That’s the only place where you might be wondering if it’s really worth all the trouble. I would suggest that you hold on to that doubt and wait until you fry your first handrolled, homemade Pappadam. That feeling when you see them puff up, one after another is beyond comparison. I was literally jumping up and down and by the time I fried the second one, Jobin’s Mummy was right next to me. That excitement was contagious to say the least!
HOMEMADE PERFECT PAPPADAM
Makes 28-30 pieces
1 cup whole skinned Urad dal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Approximately 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons oil*
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Powder the urad dal very fine and sieve it into a large bowl. Add the salt, baking soda, water and 1 teaspoon oil. Mix to form a stiff, slightly sticky paste. Add one more teaspoon oil and mix well. By now, the dough would have come together and the sides of the bowl will be almost clean. This shouldn’t take more than a minute.
Transfer the stiff dough onto a clean counter top and pound it down with a pestle, folding the dough and flattening it as you go for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the stiff dough would have become pliable and soft, almost like a chapathi dough. Roll it out into a long log and divide them into 1 inch portions.
On a floured surface, roll out each portion into thin discs, just like storebought ones. Lay them flat on a baking tin, without overlapping and dry them under the sun for 10-15 minutes, flipping once in between. Store them in airtight containers and fry as needed in hot oil.
* The original recipe called for sesame oil, I used vegetable oil.
You can cut them into perfect rounds using a cookie cutter, if you wish to. I did that and fried up the scraps as well. I didn’t bother rolling out the scraps.I flipped the pappadam half way through the drying process because I felt the underside was slightly wet. It should still be soft and pliable after sun drying. Do not make it stick like.
I am assuming that these will stay good for week in a covered container if stored in the fridge. I didn’t get the chance to try that out.
If you were to ask me if it’s a time consuming process, I will have to agree to that. It took me close to a hour from start to finish. It will also depend on how fast you are at rolling them out because the time taken to make the dough would remain the same for all. Will I make it again? 100% yes! Next time, I will try if my Kitchen Aid can help. If it does, I am sure it will cut down on the pounding time.
Try this with your kids but do keep an eye on them because you don’t want the to pound their own tiny fingers!
Now that Onam is around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share with you all! I hope you give it a try because it is so worth it! I must warn you that the fruit of your hard work will vanish in mere minutes once they are fried!!