A quick saute of vegetables and an even quicker toasting of “papads” results in an elegant, wholesome appetizer or side dish bursting with flavor. Papads, says recipe author and chef Gayle Pirie, are “addictive lentil-flour wafers used as a finishing component to Indian main courses and appetizers.” They’re available at Middle Eastern markets and online and are definitely worth seeking for this dish and for everyday snacking. You’ll be shocked at how easy they are to use and enjoy.
Gluten-Free Appetizer: Indian-Spiced Greens on Papads
“These yummy greens are an adaption from our friend, and great cook, Niloufer Ichiporia, whose sumptuous and versatile recipes continue to inspire our imagination,” divulges Gayle Pirie of San Francisco's famed Foreign Cinema restaurant. She serves them on bite-size papad shards.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 small clove garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
- Kosher salt
- 1 bunch chard kale, escarole, or beet greens, washed, thick center stems removed, and chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 lime
- 6 papads or pappadoms aka pappadums
Heat the oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the cumin, garlic, onion, and pepper and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure the garlic and onion do not brown. Stir in the turmeric, tomato, and a pinch of salt. Then add the chard. Saute for 6 minutes or until the greens are tender. Add 2 tablespoons of water if the greens start to dry out. Squeeze the lime juice onto the greens and add more salt, if desired. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the broiler and place an oven rack in the center position. Place two papads at a time on the rack and toast quickly and evenly, rotating often with tongs. Watch vigilantly, holding the oven door ajar to look for tiny golden bubbles evenly popping on the surface. Once toasted, cool the papads and gently break them into 2-inch-square pieces. Spoon a small portion of the spiced greens directly on top of each of the papads and serve immediately.
Photography Maren Caruso