(Tested and proven recipe on the recipes page )
First things first – message Indian friend to ask for any pro tips on how to make successful popadoms, “the trick is to try and roll them as thin as possible. And the dough needs to be quite tight, but a little wetter than pasta dough. Also the key is to knead it really well, so that it doesn’t fall apart when you try and roll as there is no gluten in gram flour”.
Right here goes. Luckily I had half a bag of gram flour in the cupboard, not something I normally have to hand, but it’s been there a while and I haven’t known what to do with it. Making the dough was actually quite straight forward, I mixed it together (loved the spice addition) and then used the kitchen aid to do the kneading for me. Rolling was not fun and I found it hard to keep an even circular shape, but after making the decision they were just going to be “rustic” popadoms I felt more relaxed and went with it. The recipe then suggested sun drying these super thin circles of dough to extract a lot of the moisture. I did attempt the sun drying technique, however I think Indian summers and Yorkshire spring sunshine is not comparable. So after an hour of leaving the little guys outside (and protecting them from the birds) I used option number 2 and dried them for a couple of hours in a low low oven.
Once dry, but not too dry so that there are cracks at the edges (literally never thought so hard about a popadom before – something I take for granted that comes in a packet and is a delicious fast food) I was ready for frying. I do enjoy a deep fried bite, but not something I do often at home as I hate the smell that frying leaves behind. So after opening all the windows of the kitchen and shutting the doors so that the rest of the house doesn’t smell like a chippy, I was ready for the moment of truth.
After my whole day of preparation the cooking was relatively fast. Interesting advice taken from the recipe “the oil should be hot, but not smoking; a drop of water flicked into the pan should sizzle immediately” – just a word of warning NEVER EVER TRY THIS AT HOME, hot oil and water are never suppose to be together, ever! If you want to test your oil, just gently drop some of whatever your frying into the oil and see if it starts to bubble. My poppadoms were probably cooking for 10 seconds on each side, until they formed a few bubbles, coloured slightly and were crispy.
Now for the taste test! Drum Roll please!
They had a lovely crunch and the flavour of cumin coming through from the dough was great. I’m happy with the results and looking forward to having them as a side with my lentil dahl later this evening. The recipe was easy to follow but the process was quite long, I didn’t change anything from the recipe, I just halved the quantity as I’m only cooking for 2, and I’ve definitely got more than enough. Would I do this again, probably not, but you’ve got to try everything once right!?!