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 San Francisco chef and co-owner of Foreign Cinema, Gayle Pirie, who serves them on bite-size papad shards for a perfect vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free appetizer. Papads, she says, 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.

Servings 6


  • 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


  1. 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. Sauté for 6 minutes or until the greens are tender.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Want more of Craig and Annie Stoll’s family-style gluten-free, Italian recipes? Get the Fall 2014 digital issue here!

Photography Maren Caruso