Recipe by Lennie
READY IN: 55mins




  • Stir together the flour, pepper, ground cumin seed, and salt in a large bowl or in the food processor; mix thoroughly until the spices are evenly distributed.
  • Add the garlic and mix well.
  • Add enough of the water to form a dough that will hold together in a cohesive ball; if necessary, add up to 1 additional tablespoon water.
  • The dough should be fairly stiff and dry; if it is too wet, it will not roll well.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes by hand or pulse for about 15 seconds in the food processor; the dough should be smooth.
  • With your hands, shape the dough into a cylinder or log about 2 inches thick and 6 inches long.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  • The next step uses oil, so do not use your pastry cloth and rolling pin sleeve.
  • Place each slice on a lightly oiled surface.
  • Lightly oil the top of the slice and then roll out into a very thin circle about 6 or 7 inches in diameter.
  • Papadams must be rolled extremely thin, maximum 1/16 inch.
  • If the dough sticks to your rolling pin, gently pull it off.
  • Dust the tops of each papadam with cayenne pepper.
  • Using a metal spatula to loosen the edges of the papadams from the rolling surface, carefully place them on large baking sheets.
  • The traditional method for preparing and frying papadams is described below; you can also bake them in a 300F oven for about 15 to 25 minutes, or until crisp and dry.
  • The cooking time may vary beyond this range depending upon the thickness and moisture in the rolled dough.
  • Cool them on a rack.
  • To prepare the papadams in an authentic manner, don't bake them; first allow them to dry by leaving them in the sun for a few hours or by placing them in a very low oven (less than 200F) for 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Dry the papadams until they are just slightly flexible and show no moisture; they should not brown or bake, however.
  • At this point, the papadams may be stacked flat and stored in an airtight container until needed; they will keep for months if stored properly.
  • When ready to serve, heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a large skillet; the oil should be hot, but not smoking; a drop of water flicked into the skillet should sizzle immediately.
  • One at a time, drop the papadams into the hot oil.
  • Turn the papadam when it begins to curl at the edges; it will quickly fry and become crisp.
  • Remove it before it turns brown.
  • Cool and drain the papadams on paper towels and eat them immediately.