Monday, June 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Papadums

If you have not yet tried a Papadum, perhaps it is time to check out these wonderful gluten-free snacks - a crispy and crunchy Indian style snack typically made from bean flours (like lentils, chick peas, gram beans, or fava beans). Not all papadums are gluten-free though, especially due to seasonings, spices, and flavorings that may be added to a particular recipe.

These Baji's brand Papadums (pictured above) were available at Whole Foods Market recently in the snacks and chips aisle. They vary a bit from traditional larger round/flat cracker or flatbread types, but are plenty crispy and delicious. Each little papadum chip is about 2 inches in diameter. After checking the company's website, I found that only *some* of their papadums are gluten-free, so be warned. These Tangy Cilantro ones were gluten-free, as are their Mango Chutney and Traditional Tandoori ones (warning: their Creamy Yogurt Dill variety contains wheat in the flavoring).

I first discovered Papadums when I was in the United Kingdom (UK) last year. The gluten-free ones I found there were a few inches in diameter, and more flat and crunchy, and definitely more of what you would call a traditional Indian Papadum. These Baji's brand gluten-free snacks are crunchy and crispy, just not quite as hard or coarse as what I had in the UK. But, I enjoy both interpretations of what a papadum should be.

I prefer the papadums that have a bit of added spice, like this variety. Chili, Cilantro, Garlic, Coriander, Tumeric, Green Bell Pepper, Onion: all these wonderful flavors come together for a slight "zip" and a lot of flavor. I could have done without the small bit of Sour Cream Powder, which of course turns an otherwise dairy-free snack into one with traces of dairy, though the addition makes the flavor somewhat like a sour-cream-and-onion type accent, but with a bit more robust combination of complementary flavors.

So, the bottome line is that I definitely recommend this product. I welcome anything new, flavorful, crunchy, and easy-to-serve into my snack repertoire. What I should really learn to do next is make my own gluten-free papadums at home, though I would need to first aquire some of the bean flours most commonly used, and make sure they are certified gluten-free. I could always perhaps just grind some lentil beans into flour. One more thing to add to my every-expanding "to-do" list. :)


Ray Sanchez said...

Hi Mike,
I know this is off subject, but there is a gluten free teriyaki sauce you should try, Seal Sama Teriyaki Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce. I bought it at Weber's Natural Foods 18400 euclid ave in Cleveland. This sauce is amazing, and all natural.


Mike Eberhart said...

Ray, thanks, I'll look for it. I currently use San-J Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) in its reduced-sodium variety. But, I am always open to new product.

glutenfreeforgood said...

Papadums are new to me. I'll check out my local Whole Foods. Looks like a good snack and bean flour is healthier than plain old white rice flour. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I just had an endoscopy to try to find out why I'm so anemic. One possibility is that I have trouble with gluten all these years and never knew it. Has anyone else heard of this?

Mike Eberhart said...

I went through all of that. I was anemic. And, for a *male*, the first thing they check for first is colon-cancer. That's always a less than fun thought to have on your brain! So, after that was ruled out, and a few other things... gee, I discovered Celiac and found out how it screws up vitamin/mineral (nutrient) absorption.

So, yes, Celiac Disease can *definitely* cause iron-deficiency anemia. Also could cause B12 anemia. Hopefully you figure out what the problem is - good luck!

Po said...

Sharwoods do a GF Poppadom whih you 'microwave' yourself. I always serve it when I am making an Indian Curry.

Lynn Barry said...

Never heard of them...I love all things beans so I will check them out. THANKS, MIKE!

pngdimdim said...

I just found your site. What a great thing!

I have a friend who has Celiac's, and it's so sad that, whenever we do anything, she either has to pay for it, or do without. I want to make it so that she can sit down and enjoy some goodies with us.

I just tried to order the 'scratchdent' version of your book and, unfortunately, none are available. Guess I'll wait until the next time... even if it takes a year!

I am going to bookmark this so that I can get back to it easily. Thank you so much for making the gluten-free life-style and recipes so easy to find. I'm glad I found this site first.

Man, I wish someone would do this same thing for diabetics.

Dianne said...

Oh how I love papadums! If only I could find them GF in snack versions. I never have yet , but livie in hope!

Mike Eberhart said...

I found some nice papadums there in the UK at Sainsburys and such. They were more "traditional" - round, crispy, crunchy nonetheless. That was what got my attention to start with. I kept the label so I could remember the brand, but after it laid around here for a few months, I must have discarded it. I meant to do a gluten-free product-review, but since they don't exist in the USA, I decided no too (most of my readers are here).

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, those "scratch-n-dent" books go nearly as fast as I encounter them. I get the feeling a few people have been waiting for them. If you drop me an email (my first and last name without spaces between I can reply when I have one of those "seconds" available next. And, if anyone else wants on a "list", I guess I can start one :)

Lynn B.,
I hope you get a chance to try these. Though made from beans, they really don't taste like beans much. I too love most things bean. Another favorite I've been snacking on lately (healthy too) is fat-free refried pinto beans with lime/chile peppers. mmmmm!

QueenE said...

I'm a celiac and I must say I still get very emotional when I find sites like this one. I was diagnosed with Celiac about 6 years ago and I still struggle. Thank you so much for creating this site. And please add me to any email lists you have available. I will definetely be purchasing your book. Oh Ray is right the SEAL SAMA sauce is awesome!

QueenE said...

Hi Mike.
First and foremost I would like to say thank you for having this site. I was diagnosed with "Celiac Disease" approximately 6 years ago & I still get emotional when I find informational sites like yours. I will definitely buy your book I am always looking for new recipes. I have a great cookie recipe I wouldn't mind sharing if you are interested. Please add me to your distribution list if you have one.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a recipe for making these? I'll look at the major recipe sites, but I have a bag of garbanzo and fava flour (Bob's Red Mill) that my sent me just sitting, helplessly, in my fridge. I love anything I can dip into hummus (made w/lentils) and/or salsa!

Shannon said...

These are so very good. Some of the flavors are rather spicy. I think it was the mango version. Hooeee! Spicy!

Beth said...

Many South Indian products that are made with rice flour and lentil flour can be good for the gluten-free. I especially like dosa, flat rice flour pancakes that go very well with curries or just as a snack with a little yoghurt.

Beth said...

oh, and anonymous:

You can make poppodoms yourself, but the traditional process is difficult - it requires them to be left for several days in the hot sun.

There are mechanised ways of drying them, but I think they're mostly limited to commercial factories. The shop-bought hunt must continue, I'm afraid.

Mike Eberhart said...

Yeah, I read about the whole drying the papadums in the sun for days, and though "what are the odds the bugs, birds, and/or rain does not get them during that time" :)

Beth said...

Exactly so, Mike. It works well on the equator, where you can reliably predict what month you'll have rain, but not so well in the temperate zones.

Ah well, shop-bought it is.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I found the best, authentic papads or papdums at or at


Heather Stockham said...

I believe Baji's Papadums are no more. I have searched everywhere for them, and when I used to work @ Whole Foods in Massachusetts these things were my addiction!!! Does anyone know what happened to Baji's?