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Pappadum Spring Rolls


Jay Francis
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I was in a little Indian restaurant in Salt Lake City. Their menu was huge and the friend I was visiting confided in me that they had really bitten off more than they could chew. One listing caught my eye. It was for a pappadum spring roll, deep fried, stuffed with all sorts of goodness. I was intrigued.

When I got back to Houston I made some attempts to soften a pappadum to the point where it could be folded. I wasn't as concerned about the filling, I knew that I could fill the papadum with hot filling and then proceed to experiment with either deep frying or baking or microwaving it to get the pappadum to puff out.

None of my efforts to soften the pappadum worked (heat, steam). I went to visit my buddy Kaiser at his restaurant. He suggested that I try softening the pappadum in a light bath of cool tap water. Still no success. The pappadum started disintegrating in the center before the outer edges were sufficiently softened.

So, I throw myself at your feet. First, has anyone ever been to a restaurant that does these? How do they taste? Do they just have a potato and pea, samosa style filling? Next, has anyone mastered the technique to make these?

Best regards.

Jay

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Intriguing challenge.

Thoughts off the top of my head:

1. Hold papad with tongs, dip edges in water first, then the center

(will involve some fancy turning etc.).

2. You said steaming does not work?

3. Moisten with water,

Microwave VERY briefly (experiment) until beginning to soften,

then quickly roll around a wooden dowel or similar, and finish MW

then fill and deep fry.

OR

moisten with water, wrap around dowel and MW.

4. Look in the Indian store, is someone selling papads

already shaped (though it's hard to control what shape the

turn into after frying).

5. What was the papad spring roll papad made of? There are several

possibilities, e.g. dal-based, rice-based, potato-based etc etc.

Maybe one ingredient is more suited to this application than others....

6. re fillings: I am sure you could put in whatever you like

because this sounds like a dish someone made up and

there will be no mother in law standing over you criticizing you....

Do tell us when you find out?

Milagai

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Ah, yes. That's the problem. I didn't get a chance to actually taste one. But the description was pretty specific that these were lentil based not rice (dosa) based. The thought of a bubbly crispy lentil pappadum wrapper had me really interested in pursuring this.

I just went into the kitchen, pulled a pappadum and held it under the kitchen tap running cold water. Certain areas were thicker than others after being hit by the water. However, I was able to take the softened pappadum and fold it into a spring roll shape. I then microwaved it on high for 45 seconds. Sort of success. I was able to shape and crisp up the re-shaped pappadum. So, maybe that is all there is to it. Softening with cool water and then gingerly shaping it.

Next, I happened to have some Dal Makhni, bhindi and rice in the fridge so I quickly threw together a stuffing. I successfully made a pappadum pocket. I put it into the microwave, setting it on top of a flat pappadum instead of a plate, just for fun. Microwaving on high. Indications are that the filling should be more dry than moist so that the pappadum has an opportunity to crisp up. Next step, deep fry experimenting.

Like so many things in cookery (hand pulled Chinese noodles for example) this may be something that, the more one does it, the more proficient one becomes.

If, however, anyone knows the tricks and techniques, please don't hesitate to respond to this posting.

Regards,

Jay

Edited by Jay Francis (log)
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Hi: glad something looks like it's working.

Was baffled by the "rice (dosa) based".

Rice-based papads are a whole different universe

from dosas. Dosais are more similar to crepes or

pancakes than to papads ....

Milagai

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I've done something kind of similar at the restaurant where I work: Pappadum Cups.

We fill them with Indian-spiced guacamole, then top with a crab cake. The filling will make the cup soggy after a few minutes, so they must be served pretty soon after they are filled.

The trick is to get them really, really hot, then mold them as fast as you can. Professional equipment also helps. :wink:

What I did was first place a sheet pan, upside-down, under the salamander (broiler). Then, once the pan was hot enough, I would put a pappadum on top, under the fire. Then I would turn it around as it blistered, so it would do so evenly. Once fully blistered, I would pull it off, immediately placing it over a cylinder (in this case, a Baleine salt container) and tamping it down and all around the sides to get the cup effect. I could do up to three at a time on the sheet pan, staggering them so that they were ready in succession, not all at once.

Did I mention I wore three pairs of latex gloves throughout this process? Yes, it was hot.

So, how to do this at home. I would suggest turning your oven to maximum temp, with a cookie sheet in it as it heats up. Hopefully a cookie sheet you don't care about, because it might warp.

Once hot enough, kneel on the floor with the oven door open and your pappadums and molding device within reach. If you have an upper element, that would be best; otherwise, just try and see how it goes. Put on gloves! Thin ones, so they don't interfere too much with your ability to feel. Roll your sleeves down. You will probably burn yourself, and this will be a hot process, but just think how professional you'll feel! Oh, and drink lots of water or Gatorade.

Working quickly, place a pappadum on the cookie sheet, turning it until it is evenly blistered, then immediately remove it and press it around your molding device. I am envisioning the pappadum to behave sort of like a tuile in this scenario; you might press it around a rolling pin or thinner cylindrical thingie to achieve a cannoli-type effect. Once molded to the desired shape, remove it immediately and place it on a tray to cool. It will be fragile and delicate, and you will have broken pappadums. I calculated about a 20% breakage loss when I did this at work- about 1 in 5.

Repeat as necessary.

If you have a gas range, an alternative method would be to wave it over the flames, using tongs, until ready, but I think that method would not work as well.

I hope this helps. I have no idea how to get it into more of a spring roll-like shape. Cannoli is the best I can come up with. I'm very curious how the restaurant you went to does this.

Please let me know if you try this!

Good luck,

Emily (scottie)

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I see now you want to shape the pappadum before cooking it. Your method sounds like it could work with a reasonable amount of success. I think it's crucial to dry the thing out somewhat after you have moistened it, as you have done, so that it does not disintegrate.

Repetition does, indeed, lead to proficiency where shaping pappadums is concerned. I could only do one at a time when I first started. :biggrin:

Keep us posted!

-scottie

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I see now you want to shape the pappadum before cooking it. Your method sounds like it could work with a reasonable amount of success. I think it's crucial to dry the thing out somewhat after you have moistened it, as you have done, so that it does not disintegrate.

Repetition does, indeed, lead to proficiency where shaping pappadums is concerned. I could only do one at a time when I first started.  :biggrin:

Keep us posted!

-scottie

Oooh a Tabla cook!!!! what else can you do with pappadum?

:smile::smile:

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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