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 Moong Masala papad is a plain papad with some spices in an appropriate proportion to make it more delicious. It is crispy and has a well balanced highly acceptable taste. Level of incorporation of spices with mung dal (green gram) is at which the taste and flavour of the spices used are just perceptible and gives a spicy taste.
Papad on frying has a bright yellow colour, presents good snappiness, attractive appearance and high expansion ratio.
It has been a very long time since I have purchased papadums to go with our homemade curry dishes - for no particular reason. My husband was so excited when he saw the Package of Down to Earth Organic Green Gram (Moong) Masala Papadum and exclaimed that they are one of his favourite things! So I was excited to try these with him as he was excited about trying them.
Great to see that this is a certified organic product made with pure ingredients and the addition of just enough spices that take you back to India in flavour and scent. The ingredients list are all standard items that you can identify or look up (Asafoetida) and they are genuine - no extra numbers or additives that take away from the natural product. They are brought in by Down to Earth Foods Ltd so knowing that the New Zealand standards are very high on imported food you know that these will be a top-quality product. The package of 200 grams provides you with approximately 15 papadums which is more than enough for our family - and would stretch to two if not three meals.
I like to try the various ways of preparing papadums to see if one stood out better than the rest, they were all easy to do. Over the flame on the BBQ they coloured with a nice char and were flavourful, on the grill they came out similar to the BBQ without the outdoor flavour but were nice in texture and taste, in the microwave they were a bit fiddly and didn't come out as crunchy for us, in the pan was the easiest as I could flip them while I was serving dinner. I didn't try the deep fry option for preparation. The texture for all methods (except the microwave) was crunchy and the flavour with the extra spices throughout was a nice addition to the curry I served them with.
I would like to serve these on a platter with various chutneys as they would be great for entertaining and the children really liked them. My husband has now advised they need to be on the grocery list as they elevated the curry meal and he enjoyed them much more than other breads that we served with a curry. At $4.29 a box they are affordable, last a few meals and were enjoyed by us all.
Whenever my partner and I have Indian food for dinner we always like to have some sort of bread side to use as a dip for the curry. Either we order naan bread or sometimes we have naan bread or papadums from the grocery store already in the pantry or freezer that we use. I prefer to have the naan or papadums on hand for they are usually healthier than the type ordered from a restaurant and they end up being cheaper. Therefore, upon receiving the down to earth papadums, I was excited because that meant we would be ordering Indian soon and even though I could eat Indian every day, since we do not cook it ourselves, it is a monthly treat.
We tried these with curry leftover from the night out before. They heated up and browned nicely with the grill. However, you must be careful. Papadums are quite thin so you must keep a close watch on them whatever way you prepare them for they burn easily if left for too long. I like how the package gives you directions on five different ways to prepare them. Next time I may prepare them another way to see if there is any difference.
They taste very authentic and are just as good if not better than any you can get that are homemade. Because these are organic, gmo-free, soy-free, trans-fats free, and a few other frees, they undoubtedly are better for you than most papadums you can get elsewhere. Papadums, in general, are hard to describe taste-wise but these are crunchy with a slightly perceptible caraway and cumin flavour. The mainly plain tastes pair perfectly with curries and can either be dipped into the curry or eaten on the side for the added crunchy texture. After looking at the packaging, I also did not realise that they are incredibly low calorie. That alone may convert me to eating more papadums versus the high-calorie naan.
I love that the company, Morarka Organic helps farmers across India cultivate land in a sustainable fashion. While these organic papadums may be slightly more expensive than cheaper, non-organic store-bought alternatives, they are still an exceptional value and better quality than those you usually find at a restaurant. For a healthier product that tastes authentic, I think these completely hit the mark. The only suggestion I have for them is to utilize a re-sealable bag to make it easier to store them if you do not use them quickly.
I love papadums, I used to be able to buy packs from my local Trade Aid store but they stopped bringing them in because they always broke in transport and the only other brand I could find in a supermarket just didn't cut it taste wise, so I was looking forward to trying these. Opening up, the first thing that I noticed was that they were all intact, none of them had broken up on transit, a big plus for me. Getting one out of the packet, I noticed it was very soft, relatively speaking, but the packet gives several ways to cook it up.
I decided to pop these in the microwave, mostly because this would be the easiest option for my papadum loving eight and ten year olds, who were also keen to give this a try. I ended up doing it for twenty seconds, flipped, and then cooked it for another twenty seconds. This didn't feel like quite enough so I did another ten seconds before pulling it out to eat. My girls didn't like the flavour at all, both saying they found it too spicy for them to finish. I paired this with some soup and it did better but I found that overall I didn't quite like the taste for this particular papadum. Whilst I didn't really enjoy it, I was able to finish off the rest of the packet but I wouldn't buy this one in the future.
Papadums are a quick reliable tasty food source that pairs very well with curries, soups, rice dishes and even roasts and I have always been a fan of them but still struggling to decide which is better between papadums and naan bread for certain dishes. The Down to earth Organic green gram masala papadums are bursting with many positive aspects such as being dairy-free, vegan-friendly, trans-fat-free, GMO-free and also being handcrafted. It also states on the front of the box that it is "orn free" which I assumed is a typo for corn-free. I had never heard of green gram until seeing this product and decided to investigate what it actually is and found that it is just an alternate word used for mung bean which is something I have had before many times mainly for topping my tom yum soups.
The down to earth papadums come in a 200-gram box and contains roughly 18 individual papadums and 8 servings per box. There are numerous ways it suggests to cook the papadum such as over a flame, Grill, Microwave, Pan and deep fry which would give different results to how the papadums would turn out. I opted to cook the papadums by pan-frying so I added some oil into the pan and heated to medium heat and placed a single papadum onto the oil. I gave it 25 seconds on each side and removed the papadum from the pan and plated it. I thought it wasn't cooked right as it still seemed soft when I removed it from the pan but within seconds it dried out and went crisp.
I had also cooked up the Down to earth roasted red pepper and tomato soup to pair with the papadum and proceeded to eat the two together. The papadums had a lovely crispness to them and tasted very nice with hints of herbs and spices and a perfect peppery flavour. The colouring of the papadums is a soft brown with a yellow tinge and the seeds are spread throughout it very visibly. I really enjoyed the papadums and my children all liked them which is a great positive as it is hard to prepare food for them that they can all agree upon liking.
These are very great value for money also at only being $4.29 per box which roughly equates to 24 cents per papadum. I haven't had many of the Down to earth food products but so far all of the ones I have had have been very enjoyable and I will definitely be looking into what else they have in their range and trying them out. I recommend these to anyone who wants to add a flavoursome healthy side to their meals or just wants a tasty quick and easy snack.
We regularly have quick meals as we live very hectic lives and are out most nights, so dinner has got to be quick! Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Indian are fantastic for these and they cater for all sorts of tastes. I thought the school holidays would of slowed us down some but with work and social creatures as children we are still out and about. So last night we ended up with Mango Chicken and Rice along with these to provide a very yummy dinner.
My eldest daughter prepared the rice in the rice cooker and cooked the chicken with the sauce while I quickly deep fried these. I only cooked 8 giving 2 each and this time I played around with the cooking time and it actually showed with the taste. It really does not take long for them to start bubbling and firming up. The sides curl over and you quickly flip over for the same occurance to happen on the other side. Sitting down to eat I found initially I was not a fan but the more I had the more I enjoyed. I also found the one I cooked a little longer so was more brown I preferred way more. The rest of the family adored and it turned out to make an excellent addition to the mango chicken.
I had a little bit of coconut and pineapple yoghurt left so decided to use another method of cooking and placed a couple in the microwave. Says cook 20 seconds on full power but as our wattage is a little less I cooked 30 seconds on both sides. Granted, after tasting it probably didn't need that long. Eatting alone I was surprised ar the spice it had because last night I am sure that heat was not there. I asked my youngest to try and she said it was to hot (spice) and did not like. When I said its what you had last night she was shocked and came back for more and this time had some yoghurt. Well it was all on and she changed her tune completely.
Dipping it in the yoghurt gave a whole new dimension and it is extremely appertising - think chips and dip. This combination was extreme and definitely one I will be using again for a healthy atternative to chips and dip. It is very fast to prepare also.
The great factor about this item is there are still another 3 alternative ways to prepare: over a flame (bring on barbie season), grill and pan - all methods are fast, most stating a few seconds to about 20 seconds. It is a great side dish and is organic so no nasty additions. The flavour can be as extreme as you want and as stated its a flavour that grew on me the more I ate. A family winner and one we will be having again.
I tasted my first papad in London when I was living there some years ago. There was an abundance of Indian restaurants near my accommodation, offering an amazing variety of regional foods, but every meal was accompanied by a huge plate of papads (or papadums) at no charge - this was the appetiser and was a great way of ensuring the diners did not go hungry while they were waiting for their meal to be prepared. I was never quite sure what the correct term was: one person said it was related to the thickness, while another said it depended on what pulse was used as the base. I am sure I would have got many more different answers (and spelling variations) if I had continued asking, so stopped wondering. After all, the product was what mattered, not the name.
We tried the Green Gram (Moong) Masala variety with some friends. I found the papads exceptionally easy to cook. The instructions were straightforward; it was easy to cook one each initially then go back to prepare more if necessary. They took around 40 seconds each to prepare, given that I stopped the microwave after the first 20 seconds as instructed, and they then emerged golden and still slightly soft. After a few seconds in the air, however, they reached full crispness and were ready to eat. Everyone took a piece of papad to nibble before we sat down to our meal, and most agreed that the spice factor was about right - not too hot but having a pleasant tang. Only one of our friends thought they were a bit too spicy to eat alone.
The family had greeted us with a big pot of home-made vegetable soup, ideal for having with the papads as it was very chunky so bread would have been too heavy to serve with it. They had added lentils and a good selection of spices, and then topped it with a good serve of cream. The combination of the spices in the soup and the papads left us with our mouths tingling and an amazing after-taste; although the soup was not quite as spicy as the papads, it could hold its own with them. An ideal food for an icy Otago day!
Being conservationists and strict vegetarians, our friends were interested to read all the information on the packet. All of us were intrigued to see just how unadulterated the product is, and they kept the packet so they could follow up online. They were also impressed by the shelf life (two years from the date of production) as they are sometimes confined to the house during bad weather, especially in winter, so like to keep a stock of essential items in the cupboard.
There were seven of us at dinner, but even then we did not finish all the papads. Because the uncooked product is very thin, there are a lot of papads crammed into the one packet. When we next visit them, I know what we will be taking as a present!
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