I have a younger sister, 8 years younger to me. Needless to say, the age gap worked to make her a lot different from me, apart from the genes, of course. As a kid, she would easily slide out a papad from the packet in the refrigerator, the papad-lover that she is, and roast it in the microwave and munch it down as she watched the telly. I myself still rarely find myself doing that. I am somebody who would stand with dad and roast the papads on the gas stove. We somehow enjoyed the charring of the papd on the naked flame better.
I had often heard about the different types of papad – the papaddams from Kerala and the Javitri papads from Bikaner. So, I decided to try them and bought the Guruvayur papaddams from Kerala and the Javitri papads from Bikaner.
Javitri or mace is the outer lacy covering of nutmeg seeds and has a delicate flavor. It is used as a seasoning for the Javitri papad along with other essential ingredients like moong dad flour, urad flour, cereal flour, hing or asafoetida, chowa sazi, black pepper, edible oil, iodized salt, spices and condiments, etc. Bikaner is the hub of moong and urad papad manufacturing, and the ones I have, have come from Ramlal Sohanlal and Co. They are hand-made and not machine made. The papads are very, very thin and delicate signifying the good quality of the product.
The papaddams are smaller than the Javitri papads. They are made from urad and rice flour. Rice flour generally absorbs a lot lesser oil than mostly any other pulse or cereal flour and I can at least tell myself it is healthier. It is smoother and does not have any visible spice or condiment bits which is a typical characteristics of the papads.
I fry up both the papads and the papaddams. Both fry up into crispy discs of deliciousness. The papads are crispier and spicier than the papaddams. Each has its own distinct flavor and are super delicious.
It is indeed a pleasure to get a chance to try the famous delicacies of India and experience the culinary diversity of the country. That is perhaps my way of bringing in the Independence day.