Appalam / Papadam
Papadam also called appalam in Yarlpanam and Papad in India.
This is a regular accompaniment to most Yarlpanam and South Indian meals, Appalams are served as a popular anytime snacks. Indian restaurants have popularized appalam around the world as an appetizer before the meal.
They are typically served as accompaniment to a meal most often with vegetarian meal or with meals at ceremonies. It is also served as an appetizer or as a snack sometimes with toppings like chopped onions, chutneys, lime pickle or other dips. This is so in the restaurants serving Indian, Sri Lankan food in western countries like United Kingdom, Europe and Australia as an appetizer with chutney or pickle or other dips.
Appalams are made in the hottest months in Yarlpanam as you need the suns heat to dry the individual Appalams.
Black Urid Dhal – 1 cup
Cooking soda one pinch
Asafetida Powder – a pinch
Salt for taste
Papadam can be prepared from different ingredients and methods. The most popular recipe uses urid dhal or black gram. Clean and spread out the black gram dhal in the sun for a few hours and then grind to smooth powder. This black gram flour is mixed with salt and cooking soda. This mixture is kneaded together by adding water to a chapatti consistency. Pinch small balls of dough and flatten them to thin circular discs which are then individually dried under the sun. Once dried, papadam can be stored for later consumption.
Sometimes ground black pepper is added to the black gram mixture to give a strong taste. Red chilli powder or flakes, asafoetida, cumin seeds and sesame seeds are often used as flavouring agents. Various sizes of papadams are now available in the market from small to large and some shaped ones are also available. Also some microwaveable appalam are available in The West and these are easier to cook.
Papadams are deep fried in oil very quickly. Heat oil in a frying pan or pot in medium heat and when boiling, place one sheet of papadam and soak it and quickly turn over immediately and remove and then place on an absorbent paper. Do not overcook.