Papadums are those giant round crackery things that you get at the Indian restaurant. It turns out that you can actually make these at home with a minimal amount of effort, so that you can serve crisp warm papadums alongside dinner at home. And while you're at it, why not improve upon the design a little bit? (Round is too square!)
Step 1: Gather Tools and Supplies.
Take a trip to your local Indian grocery store. (If you've never been to one, you're really missing out.) If you live in rural Iowa and can't find an Indian grocery in the phone book, you can get what you need online.
Find a package of papadums. At our local Indian grocery stores, we have a choice of what seems like a dozen brands to choose from. The two types shown are ones that we regularly get. The one with the scary looking pink bunny has no added spice whatsoever, and we use it whenever the spice-challenged come over for dinner on a day that we're making Indian food. The other one has added spices including Jeera, aka cumin seed. (You can also get papadums in other flavors including garlic, black pepper, and a number of very spicy varieties.) The wood-grain texture on these is quite tasty looking (up close), and those are the ones that we'll be cooking today.
There are a number of ways to cook papadums. The package with the scary pink bunny says "INSTRUCTION: TO BE FRIED OR ROASTED BEFORE CONSUMING." (Thanks, guys, that helps a lot!) There are actually quite a few ways to do this. One way is to deep fry them, which is a heck of a lot of work, and another is to microwave them. A better method is to cook them directly over an open flame. You can use a charcoal or propane grill, a camping stove, a blow torch, or cook them directly on the burner of your gas stove. Remarkably, this last method is both common and practical.
Finally, you'll need a pair of tongs and quick reflexes-- these cook quickly.