I don’t go to Indian restaurants very often but when I do, I really look forward to the complimentary roasted papad with mint chutney. Papad is equivalent to chips & salsa and they are usually made of lentil flours. Some restaurants go an extra step and offer “masala papad” on their menu as an appetizer, which is layered with chopped onions, tomatoes, green chili then seasoned well with cumin and lemon juice. I absolutely love this stuff except that most places serve it on deep-fried papad and it just ruins it for me hence I decided to make it at home. I was little under the weather this weekend, so it was nice to dedicate all my time to trashy tv shows, antibiotics, and light lunches that came together in less than 10 minutes!
You can easily find papad at Indian grocery stores for a very inexpensive price. There are different brands and flavors available but I almost always buy regular Lijjat Papad (the one with the little boy on the front). Papads are typically made with different types of lentil flours which makes it a great gluten free option however the packets do not have an ingredient list so I cant guarantee 100% that all brands are gluten-free or not.Papad can be prepared fried, roasted in a gas stove, or used in an microwave like I do at home. If using a microwave, keep a close eye on the first couple of tries because every microwave is different. For me, it takes 1 minute then a quick turn and another 30 seconds to get that perfectly roasted papad and no signs of burns. I made a simple black bean salad to top the papad but you can leave the beans out if you wish and stick to regular tomato/onion combo. Be liberal with cilantro & lemon juice and add some chopped chilies if you can handle heat. You can make the black bean salad ahead of time but assemble the masala papad just before serving, otherwise papad will get soggy. Also, just a little heads up that it gets kind of messy while eating masala papad. Right before serving, you can cut the masala papad with black bean salad into fourths so it can be easily picked up and enjoyed.
I broke papad into pieces, scooped up the remaining black bean salad and enjoyed my messy lunch over Kardashians (side note: nothing has changed on that show).
- 3-4 papad
- 3 tablespoon chopped onions
- 4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup black beans, cooked or canned, rinsed
- handful of cilantro
- 1 green chili pepper, chopped (optional)
- 1 large lemon, squeezed
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- salt, pepper to taste
- Microwave papad for 1.5 minutes or until it is roasted but not burnt. Set it aside.
- In a small bowl combine everything together, adjust taste as needed. It can be made ahead of time.
- Evenly layer it on top of roasted papad and serve it immediately.