At Down To Earth, we have researched the age-old recipes to make papads that can remind you of the perfect homemade taste and provide the zing to this appetizer cum mouth freshener.
Our organic creamy yellow coloured chana masala (Bengal gram) papad gradually changes to an acceptable bright golden yellow colour on frying. Uniformity is maintained in size, shape and thickness and the spices used for papad are in the finely powdered form. Papad either roasted or deep-fried in oil, its size expands 1-2 inches from actual size with the development of fine and uniform blisters.
Papad has excellent pliability and crispiness. Roasted papad can be served plain or topped with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, chaat masala and coriander to be served as masala papad.
We all admired the colour of these papads even before cooking them - they emerged from the packet an attractive shade of deep yellow dotted with red flecks, and the colour persisted even after they were microwaved. Before cooking, the asafoetida smell was fairly strong, but this dissipated as soon as heat was applied. I was pleased to see that the colourful display was preserved after microwaving as they are especially attractive.
I was interested to find that these papads are a lot spicier than others I have tried in the range. Although they can be eaten alone, I think they are better served with a dip or similar to tone down the heat. After consultation with the family, I served them as a side dish with an aubergine and courgette mild curry - this is a family favourite which goes well with papads or naan bread. This curry is not too hot for the younger ones but has enough flavour to satisfy the oldies. The papads kept their texture well, staying intact when dipped in the curry and providing lots of crunch.
Because it is a vegan product, it is a useful food to have available when certain visitors call. We have several family members who are vegetarian and two who are vegan, and some of my friends are vegetarian and gluten intolerant as well, so it is sensible to keep in a few items that anyone can eat. I hate it when people look at you when you serve them something they don't eat, and then tell you. I prefer to know up front if anyone has a food issue so I can cater accordingly. But I also try to keep in a stock of suitable items for those people who "forget" to let me know in advance so I can deal with the situation; much less stress for everyone.
As part of the trialling process, the children and I made up several test plates with everyday items on them. These were foods that would traditionally be combined with toast. We used baked beans, creamed corn, cream cheese, canned spaghetti, scrambled egg, and creamed mushrooms. These foods are often served to children because they are plain and lacking in strong flavours. All but one was voted a success by the under-12 brigade. The one they rejected was the canned spaghetti because it was too messy to eat, but it is interesting that the children did not find the papads too hot when they were combined with another familiar food. And all four of them said they would enjoy having the papads on a regular basis.
Random listing from 'Food'...
• Gluten free
• No refined sugar
• No artificial sweeteners
• Made in New Zealand
• Refrigerate after opening
Sweetened only with pear juice concentrate, this is a great option for anyone looking to actively reduce their refined sugar intake, ... more...
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