Spicy papads/poppadoms in a tangy yogurt-tomato curry, this papad ki sabji is a delightful change from regular vegetable curries. Ready in less than 15 mins, it is an easy and delicious recipe to keep handy.
One might think what an unlikely choice for a “vegetable” curry? Actually, in Rajasthani cuisine, we make a lot of curries with dried or preserved food material. Due to its desert climate, available of fresh vegetables was very limited in Rajasthan and therefore many dishes were created with grains and lentils substituting for vegetables. For example, in gatte ki sabji the dumpling are made with besan (gram flour); in mangodi ki sabji they are made with lentils; and in this papad ki sabji, papad/poppadoms made with lentils are the main “vegetable” ingredient.
Papad ki sabji is very easy recipe and hardly takes 15 mins from start to finish. While is common preparation in Rajasthan, anywhere else in India, it is celebrated as a special occasion dish when one is entertaining or celebrating! For me, it is a nice change from vegetable curries and also handy recipe if I ever find myself out of vegetables.
How to cook Tomato Paste
The only step that takes any amount of time in this recipe is cooking the tomato paste. Since the navy base is just tomatoes, they need to cooked very well. I’m sharing the picture below that show how the paste looks when we just add it to the kadhai, as it slowly cooks and when it is finally done. You will see it become thick and oil starts to show up on the sides of the gravy.
Also while adding yogurt, make sure it is whisked well with no lumps and then to continuously stir until there is a boil. Else the yogurt with split in the gravy.
As they say, when in Rajasthan, do as the Rajasthanis do! During this lockdown, when especially the availability of fresh vegetables was limited and we would also limit our trips out to essentials. While the quarantine is now over, you might like to check out these recipes that need little or no fresh vegetables.
Rajasthani Papad ki Sabji
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 15 dry papads/ poppadoms of about 4” diameter. Adjust quantity based on the size.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 pinch hing asafoetida
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 green chillies chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup yogurt whisked
- Salt to taste (keep the salt low as the papad themselves have a lot of salt)
- 1 tbsp kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
- 2-3 stalks fresh coriander chopped, for garnish
- In a blender, combine tomato, green chili and ginger to make a paste. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a wok/kadhai. Add cumin seeds and hing.
- When the seeds start to crackle add coriander powder and turmeric powder. Stir and cook for a minute on low heat.
- Add the tomato paste. Swirl the blender with a little water and add that water too into the kadhai. Cook for 5-8 minutes till the tomato paste is thick and cooked through. It will start to leave oil from the sides. Add ½ the chopped coriander and mix well.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, roast the papad/poppadum over flame or simply in a microwave. I roasted them in a microwave. Spread the papads on the microwave tray such that they cook on high for 1 minute, turn and then cook again for 1 minute. Repeat until all the papad are done. Break them into smaller pieces and keep aside.
- Whisk the yogurt so there are no lumps and slowly add to the tomato paste in the kadhai. Continuously stir the gravy, on low-medium heat, until there is a boil.
- Add salt and 1 cup water. Mix, cover and bring to a boil.
- Add the roasted papad pieces to the yogurt-tomato gravy and simmer for a few minutes.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.
- Papad/poppadom come in a variety of flavor and base lentil. There are moong dal papad, chana dal papad, urad dal papad and also with combination of 2 or more dals. I have used plain urad papads. Use any papad that you have at home.
- If you want to make the curry ahead of time, keep the gravy and roasted papad separate. Add the roasted papad into the gravy when you heat it just before serving.
- Nutritional Information is the approximate information for 1 of 4 servings.
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