what is papad? easy receipe at home &health facts


Exploring the Crunchy Delight: What is Papad?

Papad, a quintessential accompaniment to Indian meals, has a unique place in the world of cuisine. This thin, crispy, and flavorful disc has been a part of Indian culinary traditions for centuries. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of papad, uncovering its origins, diverse varieties, preparation methods, and its role in modern gastronomy.

The Origins of Papad

Papad, also known as papadum, has a rich history dating back to ancient India. It finds its mention in various historical texts, including the Ayurvedic scriptures. The term ‘papad’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘papara,’ which means a thin, flat, and round disc. It was initially crafted as a method of preserving lentils and legumes during the scorching Indian summers. Over time, papad evolved from being just a preservation technique to becoming a beloved snack and accompaniment.

The Diverse Varieties of Papad

Papad comes in an astonishing array of varieties, each with its own unique flavors and ingredients. Here are some popular types of papad you might encounter:

1. Urad Papad

  • Made from black gram (urad dal), urad papad is known for its earthy flavor and dark color. It’s often seasoned with spices like cumin and asafoetida, lending it a distinctive taste.

2. Moong Dal Papad

  • Moong dal papad, crafted from green gram (moong dal), is lighter in texture and color compared to urad papad. It has a milder taste and is often seasoned with black pepper.

3. Sabudana Papad

  • Sabudana papad is a popular choice during fasting periods. It’s made from tapioca pearls and is seasoned with rock salt. These papads are translucent when raw and turn crispy when fried.

4. Rice Papad

  • As the name suggests, rice papad is prepared from rice flour. It is a gluten-free option and is often spiced with red chili powder and other aromatic spices.

5. Potato Papad

  • Potato papad offers a unique twist to the traditional papad. Sliced potatoes are used to create a crunchy, flavorful snack that’s loved by many.

The Art of Papad Making

Crafting papad is an art passed down through generations in India. The process involves several meticulous steps:

  1. Ingredient Preparation: The key ingredient, be it urad dal, moong dal, or any other base, is cleaned, soaked, and ground to form a dough.

  2. Seasoning: Spices and flavorings like salt, asafoetida, black pepper, and cumin are added to the dough to create the desired taste.

  3. Rolling: The dough is divided into small portions and rolled into thin, round discs. This requires skill and precision to achieve the right thickness.

  4. Drying: The papads are laid out in the sun to dry. This step can take a few days, during which the papads gain their characteristic crispiness.

  5. Frying: Once dried, the papads are ready to be fried. They are quickly deep-fried or roasted until they puff up and turn golden brown.

The Role of Papad in Modern Gastronomy

Papad has transcended its humble origins and has found its place in modern cuisine. Here are some contemporary uses of papad:

  • Appetizer: Papad is often served as an appetizer in Indian restaurants, accompanied by various chutneys and dips.

  • Crunchy Sidekick: It complements main courses, adding a delightful crunch to the meal.

  • Creative Fusion: Innovative chefs have incorporated papad into fusion dishes, such as papad tacos and papad pizzas.

  • Healthier Options: Baked or air-fried papads cater to health-conscious individuals, offering a guilt-free indulgence.


In conclusion, papad is not just a crunchy snack; it’s a culinary gem with a rich history and diverse varieties. Its versatility in Indian cuisine and its ability to adapt to modern tastes make it a beloved accompaniment to meals worldwide. Whether you enjoy it as a crunchy appetizer or a creative fusion dish, papad’s flavorful presence is undeniable, making it a delightful addition to any dining experience. So, the next time you savor this crispy delight, remember the centuries of tradition and innovation that have made papad an integral part of Indian gastronomy.


here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make papad at home:


  • 1 cup urad dal (black gram)
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for soaking
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Rolling pin
  • Plastic sheets or parchment paper
  • Kitchen towels
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap


  1. Soaking the Urad Dal:

    • Start by washing the urad dal thoroughly under running water. Then, soak it in enough water for about 4-5 hours or until it becomes soft and swells up.
  2. Draining and Grinding:

    • After soaking, drain the water from the urad dal. Transfer the soaked dal to a blender or food processor.
    • Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, and a pinch of salt to the dal.
    • Grind the mixture into a smooth paste. Add a little water if needed, but avoid making it too watery. The consistency should be like a thick dough.
  3. Preparing the Papad Dough:

    • Transfer the ground mixture to a large mixing bowl.
    • Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. If it’s too sticky, you can add a bit of rice flour to help with the consistency.
  4. Rolling the Papads:

    • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a small ball.
    • Place a plastic sheet or parchment paper on your kitchen counter and grease it lightly with oil.
    • Flatten the ball of dough on the sheet, then cover it with another greased sheet. You can also use your hands to gently flatten the dough.
  5. Drying the Papads:

    • Place the rolled papads in a sunny spot to dry. Allow them to dry for a day or until they become completely dry and hard. You can also dry them indoors, but it might take longer.
  6. Deep Frying:

    • Heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat.
    • Once the oil is hot, carefully slide in the papads one at a time.
    • Fry until they puff up and turn golden brown. This should only take a few seconds for each papad.
    • Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and place them on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
  7. Cooling and Storing:

    • Allow the fried papads to cool completely before storing them.
    • Once cool, store them in an airtight container to maintain their crispiness.

Now you have homemade papads ready to enjoy with your favorite meals or as a crunchy snack. Homemade papads are not only delicious but also free from preservatives and additives, making them a healthier choice.

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