Monday, June 30, 2008
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. :)