Thursday, April 22, 2010

Indian food 101: Pappa.. what?

My co-worker is a lovely Hindu vegetarian. I told her about my late afternoon hunger pangs and the next day she gave me a treat!

Meet Pappadum:

It's an Indian version of Asia's prawn or fish crackers! It is completely made of rice flour and flavored with spices (Spice scale of 1 to 10, it's a 6). With a light yet savoury flavour, it's a perfect snack for a hungry girl like me.

My lovely Indian friend made a big batch of Pappadums last Easter long weekend from scratch and she gave me a big Ziploc full of it to keep it in the office for a healthy afternoon snack!

Apparently, it's a looooonnnnnnnggg process to make this yummy treat. She made the dough out of rice flour, spiced it up, shaped them in tortilla sized pieces then left them in a basket to dry. Once it's completely dry, you can fry it (the most popular choice) or bake it in the oven.

But let me tell you how I enjoy fresh Pappadums in the office.

Start with a dried up Pappadum.

Put in the microwave for 30 seconds

Flip it and microwave for another 30 seconds

Then it's ready to eat! No greasy oil, no fats, no dirty dishes!

How about that for an easy, healthy and exotic treat thanks to my good Hindu friend.

Now, I'm not entirely sure how to get more of these Pappadums if you would like to try some. My friend says a lot of Hindu women make it at home and sell them in big bags for a buck or two. If you happen to find any in a store or your local Indian grocer or restaurant, let me know!

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