Crispy Papadum Recipe

Indian cuisine is characterized by its amazing curries, pickles, chutneys, bread, and side dishes, just to start. All told, when you sit down for a classic Indian-style meal, it's usually made up of many separate dishes that perfectly complement one another. Oftentimes, a staple that's seen at any Indian meal or well-stocked banquet is the beloved crispy papadum.

Papadums are a kind of seasoned flatbread that is typically made from chickpea flour. It's a light and crisp menu item that's perfect for serving up alongside dips and chutneys. They're also surprisingly easy to make at home. So, if you're having a dinner party and want to impress, here's how to make crispy papadum. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn explains that they don't just make for a great side dish, either. Turns out, they're a tasty snack all on their own, making them great for in-between meals, too.

Made correctly, papadums are super crisp and thin. They're similar to a very thin cracker and can be made with a variety of flours. This recipe calls for the use of chickpea flour, a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour, along with cumin seeds, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper for flavor. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can also start experimenting with other flours and flavorings in your home kitchen. Ultimately, papadum is an eminently versatile dish that you can serve as a snack or small plate or with other food as a side dish. However you choose to present it, people are sure to be delighted by this Indian classic.

Gather your ingredients

Before you start making your crispy papadums you want to make sure that you have all the ingredients you need and ensure that they're measured out. Pre-measuring and preparing all your ingredients before cooking is a great habit to cultivate, known in professional chef's kitchens as mise en place. Plus, precision is everything when making bread and, while papadums may be very similar to crackers, the rules still apply here. Believe us, it will make your experience all the easier.

This recipe calls for 2 cups chickpea flour, sifted, 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin seed, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, pressed, ¼ cup water, ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil, and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided. You should be able to find chickpea flour in the flour aisle of your local grocery store or, barring that, a specialty or online store. It may seem like a specialized ingredient, but chickpea flour and chickpeas, in general, can be very useful indeed for many baking recipes, so it could be worth your time to keep some on hand.

Stir together the flour, pepper, cumin seed, and salt

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Hahn recommends that you use the convection setting if you have one on your oven. If so, you'll shave around five minutes off your cooking time thanks to the hot air that circulates inside a convection oven and which helps to speed up the cooking process. No need to worry if you don't have access to one, though, as this recipe works just fine in a standard oven, assuming you've got those five extra minutes. Either way, ensure that your oven is fully heated before you put your papadums in. If you put them in before it reaches the full temperature they may cook unevenly and burn in some spots or fail to turn properly crisp in others.

Once you've started preheating the oven, take a bowl and pour in your chickpea flour, pepper, cumin seeds, and salt. Stir it all together until the mix is fully incorporated. Then add the pressed garlic and stir again.

Add the water and stir to make dough

Once all of your dry ingredients look fully mixed together you can add your water. Stir until you form a dough, which may take a bit of effort and elbow grease, as the resulting dough can be a bit stiff. Thankfully, since chickpea flour typically doesn't have gluten in it, it will be pretty difficult for your to overmix the dough. With gluten-rich wheat flour, overmixing can lead to unpleasantly chewy and tough baked goods.

Knead your papadum dough in the bowl for a few minutes until it's relatively smooth. Then, roll the dough into a 6-inch long cylinder and place it on a clean cutting board or other worktop.

Cut the papadum dough into 12 equal pieces

First, make sure the cylinder of dough is secure and won't roll off the side of your workspace and onto the floor — that would be a small tragedy, or at least a few wasted minutes. Then take a sharp serrated knife and cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Once they're all relatively the same size you can take each piece and lay it individually on a piece of parchment paper placed. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the surface of the disc and then place another piece of parchment paper on top.

Take your rolling pin and roll out the dough into a circle of about 5 to 6 inches wide and about 1/16 inch thick. Once you're happy with the shape and size you can remove the top piece of parchment paper and sprinkle the papadum with cayenne pepper. Repeat for each piece of dough.

Bake the crisps for 20 minutes

It's now time to cook the papadums in the oven, bringing you one step closer to crispy, tasty perfection! You can typically fit 4 rounds of uncooked dough to a baking sheet, so you can get 2 baking sheets cooking and then follow up with a third one when those are done. 

If your oven has a convection setting, it will take around 14 to 15 minutes each round to bake the papadums. If you don't have this setting then you should leave them in the 300-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Try not to open the oven in this period as it'll allow hot air to escape and may slow down the cooking time or otherwise affect the final texture of your papadums.

While the papadums are in the oven you can prepare any dips or chutneys that you plan to pair with the crisps. These would also play well with other main dishes like butter chicken, curries, or other Indian dishes you can make at home.

Cool and serve your papadum

Once the papadums look really crispy and golden brown they're ready to take out of the oven. Take them out of the heat right away and put them on a wire rack to cool, which will take about 5 minutes. This step will also help the papadums crisp up.

Once you've left them to sit for a little while they're ready to serve. Hahn explains that papadums work really well as appetizers with a fresh dip and chutneys. Alternatively, if you're serving curry and rice they're a much lighter bread option that will work with a variety of dietary needs, too, including people who need to avoid gluten.

Crispy Papadum Recipe
5 from 57 ratings
Papadums are seasoned flatbread typically made from chickpea flour. It's a light and crisp menu item that's perfect for serving up alongside dips and chutneys.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Finished Crispy Papadum with dip
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 2 cups chickpea flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Use the convection setting if you have one.
  2. Stir together the flour, pepper, cumin seed, and salt. Add the pressed garlic and stir again.
  3. Add the water and stir until it turns to dough. It will become very stiff. Knead the dough for a few minutes and then roll it into a cylinder 6" long.
  4. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough cylinder into 12 equal pieces.
  5. Working with one piece at a time, lay the dough piece on a piece of parchment paper and drizzle a small amount of oil on it. Lay another piece of parchment paper on top of this and roll out with a rolling pin. Roll out a circle of about 5-6 inches and about 1/16 inch thick. Sprinkle on some cayenne pepper and lay on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes if you are using the convection setting. Bake for 20 minutes in a standard non-convection oven.
  7. When the papadums are crispy and golden brown, remove them from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
Calories per Serving 62
Total Fat 1.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 1.7 g
Sodium 49.1 mg
Protein 3.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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