Pappadams with Green Chutney

Pappadams with Green Chutney
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 small green chile (serrano or jalapeño), seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (to yield about 1 tablespoon minced)
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut, fresh or dried (optional)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cup unflavored yogurt
  • 1 package pappadams (dried Indian lentil wafers) plain or spiced
  • Lemon juice
Time estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 5 min 

Total time: 15 min  


1. Wash the cilantro, and pull off enough leaves and smaller stems to make 2 cups. Drain briefly (it's fine if they are still wet) and combine in a blender or food processor with the chile, green onion, ginger, coconut, cumin, salt, and yogurt. Blend to a puree and set aside.
2. Toast the pappadams one at a time, directly over the burner on a gas stove or with an asador or other rack to hold them a little above an electric burner, until they expand and get noticeably lighter in color; turn repeatedly and move them around the heat so they cook evenly without scorching. Each one will take about 10 seconds. Transfer the cooked pappadams to a serving tray or basket.
3. Taste the chutney on a piece of pappadam and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice and more salt if needed (some pappadams are pretty salty by themselves). Transfer the chutney to small bowls for dipping.


Makes 8, as an appetizer

Good to Know

Pappadams are thin, crisp, round wafers made from lentils and other legumes, often served in Indian restaurants as a complimentary nibble, much like the tortilla chips and salsa in Mexican places.

Which beer should I have with this?

Try these appetizers with any lager.


1. Look for uncooked pappadams (or simply papad, among other spellings) in Indian markets as flat packages of twenty or so thin, leathery rounds. They come plain or in various flavors, including black pepper, garlic, and red chile, and will keep for months at room temperature. When heated, they expand by about 20 percent in size and become crisp. Most restaurants fry their pappadams, but they are just as good cooked by dry heat, either under a broiler or, easiest and fastest of all, one at a time over direct heat. 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: Joseph Grossberg/Flickr