By Priya Das Updated: Nov 09, 2023
In Indian cuisine, papad—also referred to as papadam or papadum—has cultural and culinary significance. Indian cuisine has frequently featured papad, which has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a reflection of Indian food’s long history. Meals made with papad have a crispy, crunchy texture. It can be plain or flavoured with different spices, depending on the variety, which improves the whole eating experience. Papad is considered by many Indians to help with digestion. It is frequently eaten as an appetiser at the start of a meal to help get the digestive system ready for the main course.
A vast array of papads is offered, each made with a different combination of ingredients like potatoes, rice, lentils, or chickpeas. They offer a wide variety of flavours because they can be seasoned with different herbs and spices. The preparation of papad varies by region in India and is influenced by the regional flavours and culinary customs.
Some popular varieties of papads in Indian cooking are as follows:
1. Moong Dal Papad: Moong Dal Papad—also called Moong Dal Khichiya—is a kind of papad prepared with flour from split green grammes, or moong dal, and a variety of spices. Moong Dal Papad is a multipurpose food item that can be eaten as a snack, side dish, or appetiser. It adds a distinct texture and flavour to a variety of Indian dishes. Moong Dal Papad is a food item that is easy to carry when travelling because it is compact and lightweight. It makes a filling and crunchy on-the-go snack because it stays fresh for a long time. Moong Dal Papad can be included in daily meals or served during festivals and other special occasions.
2. Urad Dal Papad: Traditional craftsmanship is frequently used in the preparation of urad dal papad. Papads can be made by hand by families or regional artisans, maintaining traditional methods and abilities. India’s various regions may have their own takes on urad dal papad, incorporating distinctive spices and flavours that are a reflection of the regional culinary customs and preferences. A good source of fibre, protein, and other important nutrients is urad dal. Urad dal papad is a nutritious addition to a balanced diet, though the exact recipe and preparation technique may have an impact on its nutritional value.
3. Sabudana Papad: In India, Sabudana Papad is a culturally significant fasting dish that is eaten on special occasions and during religious observances. It is a traditional and satisfying option that fits within the dietary restrictions of fasting periods because of its distinct flavours and texture. It serves as a tasty and crunchy snack during moments of religious devotion and symbolises the culinary and cultural legacy of India. Many herbs and spices can be used to season sabudana papad, creating a wide range of flavours. There may be regional and community-specific variations and special recipes for Sabudana Papad. Sabudana papad is a popular and inclusive fasting food that can be eaten by both vegetarians and vegans.
4. Rice Papad: Rice papad is a gluten-free substitute for traditional papads, which are frequently made from lentil flours, since it is made from rice flour. For those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, this is especially crucial. When compared to papads made with lentil flours, rice papads are typically lighter. It is a well-liked option due to its crispy and light texture, especially in hot weather when hearty meals might not be as appealing. Due to its bland flavour, rice papad can be used as a flexible side dish for a wide range of meals. It enhances the flavours of non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes without taking away from them. Rice papad is suitable for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets, among other dietary plans. Its accessibility and convenience stem from its inclusivity.
5. Masala Papad: Masala papad is seasoned with a blend of herbs, spices, and occasionally veggies. The savoury and enticing taste of the papad is enhanced by this seasoning. Salt, chaat masala, chilli powder, cumin, and black pepper are examples of common spices. A common side dish for mixed drinks like mocktails and cocktails is masala papad. Because of its flavour and lightness, it’s a great snack to have with drinks at parties or social events. Masala papad is frequently connected to social and informal environments. It is a well-liked option for parties, picnics, and casual get-togethers where guests can savour the flavour and share it with loved ones.
6.Chana Dal Papad: Chana dal (split chickpeas), spices, and herbs are combined to make the popular Indian snack known as Chana Dal Papad, also called Chana Dal Khichiya or Lentil Papad. A beloved and important part of Indian culture is chana daal papad. It is a vital component of the culinary landscape due to its adaptability, distinct flavour and texture, and use in Indian cuisine. Chana Dal Papad, whether made from scratch or purchased from a store, adds a unique and delightful touch to Indian dining experiences and symbolises the culinary and cultural legacy of the nation.
Video Credit: Youtube/ 24 Karat kitchen by vineeta jain
7. Jeera Papad: Cumin seeds are used to season jeera papad, giving it a unique and fragrant flavour. The taste of cumin, which is warm and slightly nutty, adds to the overall flavour profile. Traditional Indian medicine believes cumin has digestive properties. Jerera papad is a popular choice, especially in homes where traditional culinary practises are followed, because some people believe it helps with digestion. The preparation of jeera papad is not too difficult, unlike other varieties. It can be fried or roasted quickly and needs very little cooking time before serving.
8.Pudina Papad: A common Indian snack, pudina papad, also called mint papad, is made with lentil flour, spices, and mint leaves. Pudina Papad is renowned for its unique mint flavour, which gives the snack a light, fragrant touch. It offers a different kind of papad experience than other varieties. Pudina papad is frequently served as a side dish, especially when rice, vegetable dishes, and lentils (dal) are being served. It is a popular side dish for thalis, or traditional Indian platters, and it gives the meal a contrasted texture and flavour.
9. Ragi Papad: Rich in dietary fibre, calcium, iron, and other vital nutrients, ragi is a wholesome whole grain. One way to add finger millet’s nutritional advantages to your diet is through ragi papad. Since ragi is naturally gluten-free, people who are sensitive to gluten or are on a gluten-free diet can choose ragi papad. Ragi papad might be a staple of the local cuisine in areas where ragi is a staple crop. Its preparation and consumption are frequently associated with customs and recipes that have been handed down through the ages.
10. Garlic Papad: Garlic papad holds cultural significance due to its unique flavour and adaptability. Its inclusion in dishes gives them a distinct flavour, and because it’s so simple to prepare, it’s a favourite in a variety of traditional and contemporary culinary contexts. Garlic papad is a vegetarian dish that can be a good choice for people on plant-based or vegetarian diets. For those searching for meatless options, its savoury flavour and garlicky infusion make it a desirable option. Garlic papad is a reflection of the cultural tradition of utilising this aromatic ingredient in various dishes. Garlic is a commonly used spice in Indian cuisine. It is a component of India’s diverse and rich culinary heritage.
11. Hing Papad: A form of papad made with asafoetida (hing), lentil flour, spices, and herbs is called Hing Papad or Asafoetida Papad. Known for its ability to aid with digestion, asafoetida is frequently added to Indian cuisine to improve flavour. Hing papad is frequently served as a side dish, especially when rice, vegetable dishes, and lentils (dal) are being served. It is a popular side dish for thalis, or traditional Indian platters, and it gives the meal a contrasted texture and flavour. Asafoetida and spices can be preserved with hing papad, so they’re always available for consumption even when they’re not in season.
12. Potato Papad: Potato papad, sometimes referred to as Aloo papad, is a common Indian snack consisting of potatoes, herbs, and spices. Meals made with potato papad have a crispy, crunchy texture. It can offer a range of flavours depending on the seasonings and spices used, which improves the entire eating experience. A common side dish for meals is potato papad, especially ones that include rice, vegetable dishes, and lentils (dal). It is a popular side dish for thalis, or traditional Indian platters, and it gives the meal a contrasted texture and flavour. It is an indispensable component of Indian cuisine due to its distinct flavour, adaptability, and use in Indian dishes.