My childhood memories of living in a large Indian community in Durban when entertaining, meals were like a mini buffet – a large spread of various tasty dishes with no real distinction between a starter and main course. This has gradually changed with time and one of the starters that I make when avocados are in season is a pappadum stack. I usually use smoked salmon shavings as part of the ingredients – but the local supermarket did not have any in stock so this is now perfect for meatless Monday!!!!
A pappadum is a thin, crisp, crunchy Indian preparation sometimes described as a cracker or flatbread. Pappadum, as we know it, has many names in different parts of India, papad, pappadam, appalam, appadum, happala, and pappadum.
My favourite has to be poppadum as it is known in the UK – when a pappadum is being fried – it literally pops into a crisp crunchy cracker.
Pappadums are an important part of Indian cuisine and is served almost daily with meals in the Gujarati community. Although the recipes say it is easy to make I am not rushing to attempt making it – once the dough is made and rolled out into very thin discs – there is a drying out process of the disc which can be time consuming. Fortunately readymade pappadums are stocked in most supermarkets and are available in plain to spicy flavours.
Pappadums can be cooked in various ways – in a microwave, grilled in an oven, baked over an open flame but deep frying the pappadum produces the best result and takes only a few seconds to cook.
Pappadums can be eaten as a snack or appetizer served with dipping sauces and chutneys or served as in some parts of India to finish off a meal – I enjoy eating pappadums either way.
The recipe for my pappadum stack has salad ingredients that I enjoy – this can be changed to one’s personal taste.
Once the pappadum stack is plated, serve immediately to avoid the pappadums from turning soggy.
2 pappadums, fried
40gr smoked salmon shavings (optional)
Avocado, sliced, cubed and dipped in lemon juice
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Red onion (thinly sliced)
Green pepper, finely chopped
Cucumber, finely chopped
Sweet chilli sauce
Place a fried pappadum on a serving plate.
Spread a mixture of the salad ingredients over the pappadum.
Add a small dollop of sour cream over the ingredients.
Add a few squirts of sweet chilli sauce.
Cover with the second fried pappadum .
Repeat the process of spreading the salad ingredients over the second pappadum.
Finishing off with a dollop of sour cream and a few squirts of sweet chilli sauce.
Every mouthful different and delicious!!!!!