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Roasted Papad - Howrah 2013-11-02 4068.jpg
Fire-toasted papadum
Alternative namesPapad, appadam, papar, pampad, happala, poppadam, poppadom, appalam, pappadam, puppodum, pappadum
Place of originIndian Subcontinent
Region or stateIndian subcontinent with region variations
Main ingredientsFlour from Lentils, black gram, chickpeas, potato or rice
VariationsRice, tapioca (sabudana), or potato papad, masala pappad, garlic pappad, ginger pappad

A papadum is a thin, crisp, disc-shaped food from the Indian subcontinent, typically based on a seasoned dough usually made from peeled black gram flour (urad flour), either fried or cooked with dry heat (usually flipping it over an open flame). Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, certain millets or potato can be used.

Papadums are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips, and condiments. In Pakistan, these are made of rice and often used as a snack or meal accompaniment. In certain parts of India, poppadoms which have been dried, but not cooked, are used in curries and vegetable dishes. Papadums have been a part of the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent for generations[citation needed] and are an intrinsic part of everyday meals.

Papadums are called appalam in Tamil Nadu, pappadam in Kerala, appadam in Andhra/Telangana, happala in Karnataka, and papad in Punjab and Gujarat.[citation needed] They are mainly made in Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharastra, and Gujarat in the north. In the south, Kerala, Madurai district in Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram, and Chennai are major manufacturers.


Papadum is derived from the Sanskrit word parpaṭa (पर्पट), meaning a flattened disc.[citation needed]

Regional variations

Jackfruit papadum from Bengaluru
Different types of papadums are sold at stores.

Papadum recipes vary from region to region and from family to family. They are typically made from flour or paste derived from either lentils, chickpeas, black gram, rice, or potato.

Salt and peanut oil are added to make a dough, which can be flavored with seasonings such as chili, cumin, garlic, or black pepper. Sometimes, baking soda or slaked lime is also added. The dough is shaped into a thin, round flatbread 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.

Bikaner is the hub of chickpea and green gram papadam manufacturing. Potato papadam is made in Varanasi. Most sweet- and snack-selling national companies are also involved in this business. In the north, papads made in the city of Amritsar and its surrounds (Amritsari Papar Warian) are especially famous. The Lijjat Papad company (Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad), headquartered in Mumbai, is a major manufacturer, and is often cited as an exemplar of the women's empowerment movement in India, as it is run entirely by women.

In most Indian restaurants around the world, they are served as an appetizer with dips, which often include mango chutney, lime pickle, onion chutney, and raita.

Ingredients and preparation

Papadum can be prepared from different ingredients and methods. Arguably, the most popular recipe uses flour ground from hulled split black gram[1] mixed with black pepper, salt, and a small amount of vegetable oil and a food-grade alkali, and the mixture is kneaded. A well-kneaded dough is then flattened into very thin rounds and then dried and stored for later preparation and consumption. It may also contain rice, Jackfruit, Sabudana, etc., as main ingredients. Cracked black pepper, red chili powder, Asafoetida, or cumin or sesame seeds are often used as flavoring agents.


Papadum is often associated with the empowerment of women in India.[2] Many individual and organized businesses 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 (owned and run solely by women) which produces large quantities of papadums on the open market, which started as a small business in the late 1950s,[3][4] with an annual income in 2005 of about 650 crore (US$94 million). However, with the recent growth of modern trade in India and the growing consumer awareness, other brands have been gaining in popularity within this category.


See also


  1. ^ J. Smartt; Emmanuel Nwokolo (6 December 2012). Food and Feed from Legumes and Oilseeds. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-4613-0433-3.
  2. ^ World Bank. "Empowering Women in Urban India: Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad" (PDF). Empowerment Case Studies. World Bank. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  3. ^ Malathi Ramanathan. "Grassroots Developments in Women's Empowerment in India: Case Study of Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad (1959–2000)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2007.
  4. ^ "organization - The Beginning". Lijjat. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2006.

External links

  • Media related to Papadums at Wikimedia Commons