At Down To Earth, we have researched the age-old recipes to make papads that can remind you of the perfect homemade taste and provide the zing to this appetizer cum mouth freshener.
Our organic creamy yellow coloured chana masala (Bengal gram) papad gradually changes to an acceptable bright golden yellow colour on frying. Uniformity is maintained in size, shape and thickness and the spices used for papad are in the finely powdered form. Papad either roasted or deep-fried in oil, its size expands 1-2 inches from actual size with the development of fine and uniform blisters.
Papad has excellent pliability and crispiness. Roasted papad can be served plain or topped with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, chaat masala and coriander to be served as masala papad.
These are value for money as the box was full of papad, there were plenty to feed our family of five. I had never served these up to the family, and it was great to see that there are several different ways of cooking these, from deep frying to microwaving! I decided as this was all new to me that I would pop them into the oven for a few minutes, and to be honest I probably over cooked them and made them quite crunchy.
I had a vegetable mix, and a mince mix to cover all the families tastes, and the papads were used as scoopers. I was a little wary about how they would taste, as opening the packet there was a strong spicy smell, and the chilly flakes were evident in the papads. I let my husband taste them first as he loves spicy food, and he immediately reached for the water! I was even more anxious, about tasting them after that but I gave it a go. I heaped some vegetables on and I found them good, they were a little spicy but I still managed to finish my dinner. The girls couldn't eat them, but I think that says more about what we have exposed them too, rather than the papadum.
I had only used a half a packet and I froze what I didn't use until my eldest came over, her and her partner cooked them up and devoured them without any toppings, and they gave them a big thumbs up. They only eat vegan, and it was great to find a whole new range of food that they will enjoy, so I will probably keep some in the freezer for when they visit again. Unfortunately it's not a food that the rest of the family would eat again, but we enjoyed the process of trying something new, and evolving our taste buds.
Indian food means that I can indulge in one of my favourite things - papadums! We are a family with three children so heading out to eat Indian is a rarity - so it is usually at home making homemade papadums a perfect addition. When I saw these described as a little bit spicy I immediately thought my husband might like to try them. I was interested in seeing what difference it may make in terms of taste, cooking and also strength, as you cannot have weak papadums that break!
The packaging first though - a small critique - each one of the boxes in this range look incredibly similar - even down to the colours and possibly a change to this would help eliminate people picking up the wrong one. I love that it shows it is organic, no genetically modified ingredients and more on the front of the box and is proud of that - it make them a good clean, less processed thing to eat.
These little papads, as they are called, can be cooked a few different ways which is found on the box. I usually either microwave or shallow fry mine when I make them, so opted to keep it simple and try those two methods first. Microwave took about 20 seconds per side, and shallow frying took even less once the oil was hot. Both have a nice finish and taste - personally, as I do not like waiting, I prefer the microwave version as they do not have to rest and let the oil be absorbed. However, the shallow fry ones did look nicer and have a bit crunchier crunch, if that makes sense!! You can absolutely see the chili flakes in them, so I was pleased to try them!!
In terms of taste I did feel like it could have more bite to it with the chili, and even though you can see the chili flakes, they were quite plain to me - which I was surprised about. My children could taste the chili, and immediately said it was too spicy however!!! Despite my personal feeling that a bit more chili is needed, they are really delicious and I would love to eat them again!
I opened this packet up without reading the ingredients first and it was easy to tell immediately that this has chilli in it, chilli flakes to be exact. Opening up the plastic packaging I did find that I was rather put off by the smell, nothing about it had me wanting to try this at all. I found the last papadum didn't quite cook through, so for this one I decided to do thirty seconds, flip, and another thirty seconds. This was a tad too much for the first papadum which started to burn, so the next one I did three lots of twenty seconds with a small break between and that worked far better.
Taste wise I found it rather boring, it wasn't as spicy as I thought it would be with the chilli flakes in it, but I wasn't inspired to have more. My eight and ten year olds both tried this, my eight year old quickly decided that they didn't like it at all. My ten year old, though, kept coming back for more, saying that they weren't finding it too spicy but that they were finding it lacking in flavour. I'd managed to pick up some reduced to clear avocados and they requested they have that with their papadum, which led to them finishing off the rest of the packet, so it was a hit for them but they're not worried if I buy these or not.
If you are after something different and yummy for tea and even guests for dinner and you know it will get eaten then add Down to Earth Organic Papadum - Green Gram (Moong) Masala to the shopping. I loved these and found the flavour really good. My partner and I really enjoyed the flavour and my older son said was a little to hot for him but still enjoyed it as he is pushing himself to like more flavours, hotter spicy food and different things.
These are super easy to make and no fuss and can cook them a variety of ways. I used to deep fry them when I worked as a chef and I love the crunch you get from the deep fryer but I found a microwave or air fryer works just as good and healthier option then deep frying and no oil soaking into them. They are great on there own or paired with a yogurt, dip, or your meal. This flavour would go better with plain yogurt so it matches better.
I will be buying these again and they are good value for money and cost for being organic as well. Easy to use, super quick and tasty. Better option then having bread with your meal and being organic you know it is better for you. One of those treats that you could always have a pack on hand for those quick and easy meal nights or cook to take camping and can fry them on the bbq for a different taste. The packaging is cool and I would be recommending to friends as I know they would enjoy them as well.
We have not had a nice curry in quite a while and as the weather went considerably 'winter like' this afternoon, I could not think of anything more perfect. Girls had jazz and cooking class after school so a quick meal was required afterwards. Walking in the door I threw some diced chicken on to fry, put rice in the rice cooker and then added the sauce afterwards - seriously love quick meals. Standing, stirring the sauce I read the packet and saw there were a few options available with this item so decided to microwave, grill and deep fry them to see which was the best.
Pulling the packet out my husband and I were both surprised at how it looked. The first thing I thought was it looked like a small pizza. It did not look like papadums we have used before and was surprised how soft it was and not as hard and crunchy as we are used too.
The microwave option said to put on full for 20 seconds. As our microwave is lesser voltage I decided to cook a little longer as 20 seconds just didn't seem to change much in appearance. I flipped it over and went for another 20 seconds and flipped again for a further 10 seconds. Breaking a corner off I was surprised at how crunchy it was and how much of a kick it has.
The next trial was on the grill. Placing it on a tray we placed under and as it did state on the instructions it did brown pretty much straight away as well as bubbling. Turning it over the same occurance and we had cooked both sides in about twenty seconds - not long at all. Taking a corner again I liked it but preferred the microwave method just a bit more.
Then our usual way of cooking papadums in a frying pan with oil. Placing it in the oil it quickly curled up on the edges and was fried before our very eyes. Flipping it over and it curled and bubbled nicely. Again a very quick method. After letting drip dry on a paper towel I took a corner and decided this was my favourite method. It had more of a crunch too it and it looked more like a papadum with the bubbles and curled corners.
I served up the plates. The girls adored them which was surprising as was more spicey than they are used too. My eldest said they tasted like big chips and that she would happily eat as a snack on its own. Then my youngest said thats a fantastic idea and could she take as school lunch. My husband agreed that he liked the taste and would also eat as a snack or combined with another dish. Me on the other hand liked the cooking options but not a fan of the actual taste. Initially I enjoyed, but the more I ate I found the taste did not agree with me. It was more the after taste that I had an issue with.
I am hoping the other two flavours are nicer because I really do like the simplicity of these. Where as I will not be buying this particular flavour again I really hope the other 2 agree with me. On the plus all of these papadums were demolished, the other 3 just adored them.
We all admired the colour of these papads even before cooking them - they emerged from the packet an attractive shade of deep yellow dotted with red flecks, and the colour persisted even after they were microwaved. Before cooking, the asafoetida smell was fairly strong, but this dissipated as soon as heat was applied. I was pleased to see that the colourful display was preserved after microwaving as they are especially attractive.
I was interested to find that these papads are a lot spicier than others I have tried in the range. Although they can be eaten alone, I think they are better served with a dip or similar to tone down the heat. After consultation with the family, I served them as a side dish with an aubergine and courgette mild curry - this is a family favourite which goes well with papads or naan bread. This curry is not too hot for the younger ones but has enough flavour to satisfy the oldies. The papads kept their texture well, staying intact when dipped in the curry and providing lots of crunch.
Because it is a vegan product, it is a useful food to have available when certain visitors call. We have several family members who are vegetarian and two who are vegan, and some of my friends are vegetarian and gluten intolerant as well, so it is sensible to keep in a few items that anyone can eat. I hate it when people look at you when you serve them something they don't eat, and then tell you. I prefer to know up front if anyone has a food issue so I can cater accordingly. But I also try to keep in a stock of suitable items for those people who "forget" to let me know in advance so I can deal with the situation; much less stress for everyone.
As part of the trialling process, the children and I made up several test plates with everyday items on them. These were foods that would traditionally be combined with toast. We used baked beans, creamed corn, cream cheese, canned spaghetti, scrambled egg, and creamed mushrooms. These foods are often served to children because they are plain and lacking in strong flavours. All but one was voted a success by the under-12 brigade. The one they rejected was the canned spaghetti because it was too messy to eat, but it is interesting that the children did not find the papads too hot when they were combined with another familiar food. And all four of them said they would enjoy having the papads on a regular basis.
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