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How To Make Poppadoms

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Home fried poppadoms so much better than the packaged poppadoms you find at the shop!

Whether you spell them poppadoms, poppadom, papadums or papadoms, you are probably looking at this recipe because you love these tasty pre-dinner snacks. 

Frying and serving your own poppadoms is so much more enjoyable than simply placing a few shop bought pre-fried poppadoms on the table. This is how the chefs at good Indian restaurants prepare their poppadoms. It’s how I do it too unless I decide to go all out and make my own poppadoms from scratch.

Two stacks of poppadoms

About this poppadom recipes.

Frying poppadoms like this is easy so you really should give it a try. Here I want to show you how to fry poppadoms and make them look just as good as you fine at restaurants.

There is a trick to it and if you look at the photos that follow, you will see how easy that trick is.

How do you choose papads to fry into poppadoms?

There are many different brands out there and they all taste about the same. Some are thicker than other which turn really crispy, where other are really thin which is nice if you like to stick your finger in a stack of poppadoms to break them for serving.

Be sure to look for the thickness you prefer. It is also a good idea to decide if you would like flavoured poppadoms. I like them flavoured with black pepper, green chillies and also cumin but you might find other options you want to try.

Papads with different flavours; black pepper, green chilli, cumin and plain.

You will find papads with many different flavourings. Try those you think look best.

How do you serve poppadoms?

At curry houses in the UK, poppadoms are usually served as a starter with a selection of raitas, pickles and chutneys. That is a good way to serve them at home too.

In India, these popular snacks are not usually served as a starter but to give texture to a dish. Often they are served on top of a curry such as this coconut chicken curry.

They offer a crispy texture which together with the curry always goes down well. 

How do you get your poppadoms really flat like they are at restaurants?

If you have ever fried poppadoms before, you may have found that they are rather difficult to stack. This is because they naturally get larger in the hot oil and do not always stay very uniform.

There are two things you can do to get them to look like those you find at restaurants. First, always fry the poppadoms in twos. Frying two together will not only speed up the process but it also helps keep them flat.

Another trick is to weigh them down with a heavy plate when they first come out of the oil. 

Showing the difference between poppadoms that have been flattened with a plate and those that have not been.

The stack in the back were not weighted down. The poppadoms in front were. The plate has two poppadoms under it on a paper towel to soak up oil.

How do you make your own papads for poppadoms?

Papads are the thin lentil discs needed to make poppadoms. They are available at almost all Asian grocers. I’ve even seen them sold at some supermarkets. 

The discs are made by preparing a dough and then flattening small balls of the dough before drying them. Purchasing papads is a lot easier but you will enjoy homemade poppadoms much more. 

If you would like to give it a go, you should check out my recipe here.

Is this the only way to cook poppadoms?

Nope. Frying them like you do in this recipe is the way it would be done at Indian restaurants. You could also cook them in a microwave for about 30 – 40 seconds and watch as they become crispy. It actually works and with a lot less oil since there is no deep frying.

One of my favourite ways to cook them is on a barbecue or in a frying pan. Simply place the papads on a medium-high heat and flip them often until they are cooked through and crispy. 

Working ahead and storage

You can fry these up  a good week in advance. That’s how they are done at most restaurants. Keep the fried poppadoms in air-tight containers in a cool location such as a cupboard.

Useful equipment.

  • Tongs: These come in really handy for placing the papads in the oil and getting them back out again.
  • A wok or high-sided pan: This is used for deep frying. Most home deep fat fryers are not large enough to fry the papads as they do get bigger when fried.
  • Paper towels: You need these to soak up any excess oil on the cooked poppadoms.
  • A heavy plate: A plate or something else heavy enough to weight the freshly cooked poppadoms down.

Step by step photographs of the frying process.

Using tongs to place two papads in hot oil to fry into poppadoms.

Use tongs to carefully place two papads together into the hot oil to fry.

Frying poppadoms

Once you place the papads in the oil, they will quickly puff up and become bigger. Flip them with your tongs a couple of times until crispy.

Two cooked poppadoms being coming out of the oil using tongs.

Remove the crispy poppadoms from the oil and shake off any excess oil.

Placing a plate on top of two freshly fried poppadoms to weight them down and make them flat.

Transfer the two poppadoms to a paper towel and quickly weigh them down with a heavy plate.

Demonstrating both weighed down poppadoms and a stack that was not weighted down.

There are 15 poppadoms in each stack. This is why you might want to weigh them down if you are serving a big group.

Do you have to weigh the poppadoms down?

No. This is done only for presentation and to make serving easier. If you are just cooking a few, it really is not needed.

Then again, perhaps you like the idea of a huge stack of crispy poppadoms at the table. You can decide which you prefer. 

Once you make your poppadoms, you might like to make one or more of these to dip them in. 

Mixed Vegetable Pickle
Lime Pickle
Cold Curry House Style Onion Chutney
Coriander and Mint Chutney
Mint Coriander and Mango Chutney
Smooth Garlic, Chilli and Mint Raita
Tomato Raita

Yield: 4

How To Make Poppadoms

Demonstrating both weighed down poppadoms and a stack that was not weighted down.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 8 Papads
  • Rapeseed (canola) oil for deep frying


  1. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium high heat.
  2. When a piece of papad puffs up and rises to the top on contact with the oil, it is hot enough to get started.
  3. I usually cook two papads at a time to speed things up a bit. It also keeps them more uniform.
  4. When you drop the papads in the oil, they will very quickly become full sized poppadoms. Turn them once with your tongs to ensure even cooking. Then pick them up with your tongs and shake off any excess oil. You can also use a large slotted spoon for this.
  5. Don't be tempted to let them turn a light brown as they will burn. The poppadoms continue cooking when removed from the oil.
  6. Place the cooked papadams on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil. If you prefer them to lie flat like they do at restaurants, weight them down with a heavy plate.
  7. Serve immediately with a selection of pickles and chutneys or store in a very low oven until ready to eat. You can also store them in an air-tight container and serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

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Wednesday 8th of February 2023

very good

Dan Toombs

Saturday 18th of February 2023

Thank you! Dan

neville knight

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Very descriptive except for the recipe which i cant find,only reference is make dough awesome

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

The recipe is there. You just need to buy the papads and fry them as explained. Thanks very much. Dan


Saturday 3rd of June 2017

Your title is totally deceptive. I should read "how to cook store-bought papadams". While your method may be best - getting them from the store is NOT homemade. I was disappointed, Mr. Toombs.

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Sorry to disappoint you Lynda.



Saturday 22nd of March 2014

Try the web-site "Spices of India". They have a great selection of the Lijat brand of papads. I always grill now as it's quick and less fatty. I've never used pre-cooked.


Friday 18th of January 2013

Deep fried I find much better than microwaved. Some tongs work better than others too to fish them out quick! Interestingly some oils evaporate off better than others. I had used an oven on low (50 degrees) to get rid of the excess oil, but when I topped up my regular oil from a poundshop with about 25% sunflower oil, it went without needing the time in the oven.

Dan Toombs

Monday 21st of January 2013

Totally agree Dave. Deep fried is best. Love pappadams!


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