Papadums, also known as poppadoms, originate from India and the surrounding countries, including Bangladesh and Pakistan.
These light, crispy thin discs are made traditionally with gram flour, and fried to create a perfectly delicate, bubbled exterior. Usually eaten as snacks or appetizers with an Indian meal, papadums are also perfect for cooking in an air fryer.
Health Benefits of Using an Air Fryer
Thanks to the way in which an air fryer requires minimal oil in order to cook the food within it, it can make foods that are traditionally deep fried much healthier, as the hot air circulating around the air fryer helps to spread the hot oil evenly across the food surface.
The Importance of Using an Air Fryer for a Papadum
Air fryer papadums are a much healthier way to cook this snack, but you also gain benefits from using this method.
As papadums are very thin, it means that they can easily become soaked and saturated in the oil that they are fried in, making for an unpleasant and greasy eat! By air frying, the oil used is in such a small quantity that this doesn’t happen.
Another way of cooking papadums is by using dry heat, which is something that an air fryer excels at providing, as it quickly circulates the air around the surface of the food that it is cooking.
Choosing the Perfect Papadum
When it comes to papadums, there are plenty of different types out there made with different types of flour from different grains and sources.
Although black gram flour is the most common one, you may find other papadums made from things such as lentils, potatoes, rice, sagos, or chickpeas.
Factors to consider
All of the different flours mentioned above add a different flavor to the papadum, even without seasoning, so it is worth exploring to see which ones you prefer. Black gram and potato flour papadums are the most neutral in taste, so can be a great first step for those just starting out on their papadum journey.
Padaums also may come with flavorings or seasonings already added, such as chili, cumin, garlic, or black pepper, so it is worth keeping this in mind when you think about what you are going to be accompanying the papadums with.
Popular brands and where to buy them
The popular brands for papadums vary upon your country of origin. However, generally, most companies that produce curry sauces or accompaniments usually make and sell their own papadums, too.
Notable brands include Top-Op, Lijjat Papad which is run solely by women, and Bikaji.
Usually, most grocery stores will stock papadums, but if you are having trouble finding them, you may be able to pick them up at your local health food store or Asian market.
Preparing Papadum for Air Frying
Air fryer papadums can be tricky to master if you haven’t prepared them properly. Thankfully, Fryer Consumer has your back when it comes to successfully air-frying papadums!
One of the main issues that some people have when it comes to air frying papadums is the fact that the power and force of the hot air in some air fryers can cause them to fly upwards and burn toward the top of the fryer unit.
To avoid this, make sure to place your papadum low in the air fryer, and if you feel like it could be a flight risk consider placing a rack on top of it (although not touching the surface) just to create a buffer.
Papadums are much like crackers in the fact that they are there to carry the flavors of other foods, such as curry sauces, chutneys, or dips. As a result, you don’t need to season or flavor your papadum in most cases.
However, some people suggest sprinkling a few drops of water on top of your papadum before cooking it, as the steam can help it to bubble up and get nice and crispy.
Step-by-Step Guide to Air Frying Papadum
Here is our step-by-step guide to air fryer papadum. However, it is always worth consulting the packaging of the papadums you have purchased if they have instructions that are relevant to that particular brand.
- Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees.
- Place the papadum into the air fryer either on the rack or in the basket depending upon your model. Don’t be tempted to stack them, and make sure not to arrange them near the top of the air fryer where possible.
- Lightly sprinkle the top with a few drops of water. Normally, wetting a clean hand and then flicking the water off onto the papadum is a great way not to end up adding too much.
- Air fry for between 2 and 5 minutes, taking care to check on the papadum regularly to make sure it is not burning. A done papadum should be dry and crispy, usually pale but with a lightly bubbled surface.
- Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!
The typical way to consume papadums is alongside an Indian meal. Usually, it is dipped into pickles, chutneys, raitas, or to mop up the juices and sauce from a curry.
Creative ideas with air fryer papadum
If you are looking for some new ways to spice up your papadums, consider the following:
Much like Mexican nachos, papadums broken into small pieces can make for a great Indian-style take on this classic snack and party dish. Instead of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream, why not experiment with Indian accompaniments such as raita, lime pickle, and tomato chutney?
Instead of croutons, try crumbling up papadums on top of a salad to add a bit of extra crunch.
If you have smaller papadums, you could make a small canapé out of them by adding a filling to the middle where the edges have curled up to make a bowl. Examples include a spicy mango salad, or perhaps even an aloo (potato curry).
Typically, papadums are served with an Indian meal, so you have the freedom to choose what you pair this with. However, a refreshing Indian beer such as Kingfisher or Cobra goes down really well with the spicy, salty flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions about Air Frying Papadum
Q. Can I air fry more than one papadum at once?
A. Due to the light and flyaway nature of papadums, it is usually best to only air fry one at a time. However, if you are not as interested in getting a full bubbly texture, you can layer them between pieces of parchment paper, although this is not the best option.
Q. Do you need to use oil when air frying papadum?
A. You technically don’t need oil when air frying a papadum as the dry heat from the air fryer can work to cook them quite easily. However, it is up to personal preference if you give them a very light brushing of oil before placing them into the air fryer.
Q. How should I store any leftover papadum?
A. To keep your papadum fresh, store it in an airtight container lined with parchment paper and kept in a cool, dry place. They should keep for between 3 and 5 days.
Air fryer papadum is a great way to quickly cook this tasty Indian snack without the hassle and health concerns of a deep fat fryer. Ready in mere minutes, you can use them not only as a traditional accompaniment but also as a cracker substitute.
When they are so quick to make, the sky is the limit when it comes to experimenting with air fryer papadum to see what other marvels you can come up with!