Crispy vegan snack, 11 ways to enjoy aaloo paapad, the Indian way

crispy salald snack

Vegan Indian Aaloo papad or potato sundried crisps topped with fresh salad

An instant snack in North Indian homes :)

Instant Indian snack Sundried Potato crisps with saladBy Anisha Sharma
Aaloo papad is a must have around Holi festival in March. The strong sun has many families making this delectable potato crisp to celebrate Holi and eat through the year. Well, this is how it still is in many Lucknow homes and even one school! Late Mrs Farida Abraham, Principal of La Martiniere Girls’ College Lucknow, which is one of India’s 8 Green Schools (certified by Ministry of Environment, Govt. of India) started the tradition of sun-drying foods like papad and pickles in school itself for the school’s kitchen. 

March is harvest time for potatoes and also Holi festival. Papad, chips, Gujhia, Mathri, Dahi Bada, Chutney, Dalmoth, Lassi, Bhang Laddoo, etc. seasonal treats are enjoyed with family and friends. The food is more fun when prepared together in advance by family and friends, a time for happy bonding with teaching, learning, singing, being close to nature and carrying the traditions forward.

To make Aaloo papad, I remember going to the local market to buy a sack full of new potatoes, and a large bunch of green coriander. Potatoes were boiled, peeled, mashed and seasoned with coriander leaves, red chilly flakes, salt and unripe mango powder (amchoor or khatai). Little balls of this potato mix were made with palms greased with mustard oil and rolled out with a rolling pin between two layers of banana leaves. Now, some people use plastic instead of banana leaves, but it is not advisable. These round, flat papads were sundried on muslin or nylon cloth for 2 days and then stored airtight. They last through the year if kept properly.

Deep frying a papad uses lesser oil than shallow frying, so is a healthier choice. Aaloo papad is just slipped in and out of hot oil, within 5 seconds, else it chars and loses the delicate flavour. It can even be baked with a brush of oil. It is usually eaten with a meal or can be an instant snack with a quick salad without seasoning as the papad itself has all it needs for seasoning.

11 ways to enjoy Aaoloo papad

  1. With a meal of khichri, chutney, raita
  2. With a quick salad
  3. With grated cucumber in seasoned yoghurt (Indian recipe for kheera raita)
  4. By itself with chai (Indian masala tea)
  5. Crumbled over matar chaat (green peas chaat or dry peas chaat)
  6. Crumbled over potato tikki chaat with tamarind chutney, green chutney and spiced yoghurt
  7. Crumbled over poha (flattened rice cooked with vegetables as a breakfast dish)
  8. With steamed sprouts. Use papad pieces as an edible spoon!
  9. With Pav bhaji
  10. With soup instead of bread sticks
  11. With Bhelpuri or Jhalmuri
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes
Yield: 1 aaloo paapad per person.
- Sundried Aaloo Papad
- Any cold pressed oil for frying. I used mustard oil.
Deep fry sundried aaloo papad by breaking them into quarters for ease of eating. Enjoying instantly with salad, chutney, steamed sprouts, chaat, tea, raita, Khichri or Pulao.
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