Most good Indian restaurant chefs make their own homemade papadams.
There’s really no point going to all the trouble of cooking great British Indian restaurant (BIR) style food at home, just to settle for those pre-made stale papadams that are sold in the shops. Either forget the papadams all together or make them yourself.
Homemade papadams are so much better. It’s the only way you can get the true BIR papadam experience.
The great news is that it isn’t difficult to make them yourself. Many supermarkets and fine food shops now sell papads. Papads are flat lentil disks that when fried turn into lovely papadams. Of course you will find them in almost every Indian shop.
If you’re watching the calories, you could also plop these discs in the microwave for about 30 seconds but the end result isn’t as good.
But for true papadams like you find in the curry house, you’re going to need some vegetable oil.
You are going to need a wire rack, paper towels and a slotted spoon.
Serving size – one to two papadams per person.
Papads (1 to 2 per person)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Heat the oil in a large wok.
When a piece of papad puffs up quite quickly in the oil, it is hot enough to get started.
I usually cook two papads at a time to speed things up a bit.
When you drop the papads in the oil, they will very quickly become full sized papadams. Remove them from the oil when this happens with a slotted spoon.
Don’t be tempted to let them turn a light brown as they will burn. The papadams continue cooking when removed from the oil.
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Place the cooked papadams on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil and then store on a wire rack.
Serve immediately with a selection of pickles and chutneys or store in a very low oven until ready to eat.