Top 10 tastiest Indian vegetarian dishes - #2. Green cardamom popadums (poppadum / papadum) with chutneys
Popadums (or poppadums / papadums) are thin, crispy wafers usually served with chutneys (or pickles) either as a starter to an Indian meal, or eaten with the main meal. Here green cardamoms are used to give the popadums a new and unique flavour.
Many different parts of India have variations on a theme – i.e. using different flours (lentil, chickpea, black gram, rice or potato) to make the popadums; and naming it slightly differently. Urad atta popadums originate from northern India, while the name “popadum” originates from the Tamil region in the south.
Ingredients (for the popadums)
- 2 cups urad atta flour (flour made from black lentils)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground green cardamom
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups goundnut oil
To make your own urad atta flour: You will need whole black gram lentils (skinned). Wash the lentils and pick out any stones /etc. Dry roast in a frying pan (skillet) until they are browned and you can smell their aroma. Cool and grind to a powder in a food processor.
Instructions (for the popadums)
- In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together
- Make a well in the mixture & add the water
- Combine the ingredients together to form a stiff dough
- Kneed on a work floured work surface
- Take a walnut-sized piece of dough
- Roll in your hands to a ball shape
- Roll to a thin, round disc shape
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or deep fat fryer.
- Drop in the popadum and fry on one side for around 2 minutes
- Turn and fry on other side for around 30 seconds.
- Drain on a paper towel
There are a number a chutneys that go well with popadums, for example mango chutney is a favourite, raita is another. Here we will consider:
1. Finely diced onions
2. Red chutney, also called imli chutney, which is made with the juice of tamarind (imli in Hindi).
3. Green chutney, also called hari chutney, which is made with a mixture of coriander (cilantro) leaves and mint leaves.
Instructions (for the chutneys)
1. Add all ingredients to a pan.
2. Boil till the paste thickens.
3. Pour into another bowl and allow it cool.
1. Combine all the ingredients (except the coriander/cilantro) in a blender.
2. Blend the ingredients and slowly add the coriander/cilantro at intervals until all combined and you get a smooth chutney.
Ingredients (for the chutneys)
Finely diced onions
2 red onions - finely chopped
Red chutney (imli chutney)
2 cups Tamarind Pulp (Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the pulp)
½ cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
Salt to taste
Green chutney (hari chutney)
1 big bunch of chopped coriander (Cilantro)
1 big bunch of mint (but a third of the size of the coriander)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons of lemon juice (or lime)
1 green chopped chilli (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon oil
Put the chutneys into individual dishes (e.g. ramekins) and serve with the popadums.
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