indian cuisine
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Indian Cuisines

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Appalam

The papadum (for alternative names see box) is a thin South Asian wafer, sometimes described as a cracker or flatbread.

An important part of Sindhi cuisine, recipes vary from region to region and family to family, but typically it is made from lentil, chickpea, black gram or rice flour. In North India, the lentil variety is more popular and is usually called 'papad'. Salt and peanut oil are added to make a dough, which can be flavored with seasonings such as, for example, chili, cumin, garlic or black pepper. Sometimes baking soda is also added. The dough is shaped into a thin, round flat bread and then dried (traditionally in the sun) and can be cooked by deep-frying, roasting over an open flame, toasting, or microwaving, depending on the desired texture.

Papadums are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in South India or at the end of it in North India. It is also eaten as an appetizer or a snack and can be eaten topped with various toppings such as chopped onions, chutney or other dips and condiments. In certain parts of India, raw papadum (dried but unroasted) are used in curries and vegetable preparations. Papadums are made in different sizes. The smaller ones can be eaten like a snack chip and the larger ones can be used to make wraps.

Papad is often associated with the empowerment of women in India. Many individual and organized business run by women produce papad, pickles, and other snacks. This provides them regular income from minimal financial investments. Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is an organization solely run by women that produces large quantities of poppadams on the open market that started tiny, failed business in the late 1950s, and now has an annual income of over Rs 315 crore, or just under $80 million US dollars

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