Masala Papad — A healthy and light appetizer


Sometimes an easy and comforting food tends to get lost or ignored in between all the fancy smancy exciting ideas that keep revolving in our head. And it’s good because without inspiration and variety, life can get pretty boring. But once in a while, it’s nice to slow down, stay away from the kitchen and spend more time with the family. Make something light and easy, like this masala papad that doesn’t require too much effort and call it a day!


Served in most Indian restaurants as a complimentary bite along with your choice of drinks, this healthy appetizer somehow doesn’t seem to appeal anyone that much. I have very rarely seen it served in any party and I too usually make it only when pantry/refrigerator runs out of options.


Papad is a thin, sun dried cracker mostly made with lentils. The dough is prepared with peanut oil and salt, which is then rolled out to super fine thin sheets and left in the sun to dry. At times, papad is flavored with spices like cumin, black pepper, chili and asafetida and it is very easily available in any Indian store.



I doubt there is any Indian kitchen that doesn’t store a packet of papad to enjoy with daily meal. Either deep fried or dry roast, it adds a lovely texture when served with a plain meal like rice and lentils, khichdi or even plain soup. And if you are in a mood for some quick snack, try masala papad, if you haven’t already.



A little bit of knife skill is required to prepare the topping, which is typically a mix of red onions, cucumber, tomatoes and cilantro. It looks more appealing and is also easy to handle when all the ingredients are thinly sliced of almost equal size. Raw mangoes, green tomatoes or some fruit of your choice would definitely add a great variety. Both the toppings and the roasted papad can be made couple of hours in advance.  But once the topping is spread on the papad, it should be served immediately.



Masala Papad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 masala papad


  • 6 mini papad
  • 1 medium red onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, seeds removed and very finely chopped
  • 1 raw mango, very finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed and very finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon plus more to sprinkle on top while serving
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chat masala plus more to sprinkle on top while serving


  • Mix all the ingredients except the papad in a serving bowl and keep aside.
  • For dry roasting, place the papad on a stove top at medium heat and using a tong, flip every two seconds until it’s roasted completely. Or you could place the papad in a microwave by keeping it in high for about a minute or so. However, the papad can curl up in a weird shape when roasted in a microwave.
  • Spoon the topping on the roasted papad.
  • Sprinkle some more chat powder and lemon juice as per your choice and serve.


I used plain papad which can be replaced with any other flavored papad. Both masala papad and chat masala are easily available in any Indian store.


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Love it!!
I can eat this as breakfast, lunch, dinner and repeat!!!

P.S I”ll email u the link by morning my email server is down babe!

beautiful clicks!! Normally I am not a fan of masala papad, but after looking at ur pics I want to have one – right now 🙂 hehe

How beautiful, what a lovely appetizer!

Sonia says:

So agree with your first two lines. Sometimes simple food get lost around trying with other fancy cuisines and dishes. You made simple papads so sexy and spotlighted! 🙂 Yaar, husband ke liye bahot papad sheke (bele) hain!! 😀

Rosa says:

Those look terrific! I love healthy food that tastes amazingly good.

I am a fervent defenser of “simple food.



Vimitha says:

I love this when served in dhabas… Looks so crunchy…

Nisha says:

You’re right, it’s actually so simple it doesn’t even require a recipe! 😀
I love some pomegranate too on my masala papad. Sour raw mango, salty papad, sweet pomegranate, along with other veggies and spices … amalgamation of all kinds of tastes & flavors …… arre yaar, mooh mein paani aa raha hai! 😀

Arch says:

This used to be such a popular appetizer in Bangalore restaurants many many years back. The waiter would always suggest it, and if you didn’t order, he’d still insist on it and look very disappointed if you didn’t order it…I had also seen it in a very upmarket restaurant once, where they stacked about 10 papads with these toppings – it looked beautiful and so very appetizing !
I love love love your photography, you make everything look so good 🙂

Nami | JOC says:

Simple dish but it’s a beautiful appetizer! It might be simple and easy to you but your photography help inspiring us to make it at home!

Eha says:

Lovely tidbit to pop in the mouth 🙂 ! Love the Indian type salsa so simple to make – thanks for the tip!!

nisha says:

you wont believe it, i had masala pappad for the first time in a south indian restaurant recently and that too because the table next to ours ordered it and i was wondering what it was 😉
I loved the whole idea of serving them as starters. Here we get small pappad (poppadoms as they call it) in packets which are used as a starter basically but we religiously use it with biryanis and stuff. That would be perfect bite size starters for this recipe. Thanks a bunch kankana bookmarked it 🙂

Meeta says:

I love papad and funnily scoop it up with salads and salsa all the time. The simple things are always the most satisfying! Delicious Kankana!

debjani says:

Memories came rushing down as I read your post. So many snipets of life that surround itself to papad. Khichuri and papad, Roth Jatra and papad, potato papad from South India, my Dida’s papad torkari, my little nephews love for papad and my little one who has never had papad yet. I will be thinking about them for a while.
A successful blogger is one who evokes and inspires, in my opinion. You should know.

Kankana says:

thank you Deb 🙂 Papar torkari .. I had totally forgotten about it. Ma ke jigesha korte hobe.

Everytime I go through your blog….I simply eat thru the pics…wish I could learn some food photography from you..

Jacqueline says:

Absolutely delicious – fresh, healthy, spicy and tasty. I would love a plate of this right away. Do you do delivery?

Nupur says:

Lovely post.. and how can you add so much of elegence with just the random pictures.. Specially the one of just the stack of Papads.. wonderful !

Shumaila says:

Your photography and styling is absolutely beautiful! I love masala papad and those pictures just make me wish I could be there with you munching on the papads while you shot your way through!

You made masala papad look so glamours dear….feel like grabbing it right now…I sometimes use amchur powder…

Vijitha says:

Such a colorful appetizer. I drizzle mint chutney too. One of the quickest starter to serve in parties. I have done that many times 🙂

KiranTarun says:

Wonderful recipe! I love simplicity in foods that is packed with colors and flavors 🙂

mjskit says:

What a great treat! I love foods that I can pick up with my hands and bite into getting a crunch. These remind me of tostadas in looks, but the fact that the papad is made from lentils makes them quite different. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them.

Anamika says:

wow, lovely clicks as usual Kankana :), looks so colorful too! I am craving for this now, normally I dont make masala papad at home but have it whenever we go out for some Indian dinners….

Never used raw mango on my masala papad. Nice one!

Lovely …all time favorite. I agree sometime you just needyoslow down and live in the moment …

Tes says:

I love masala papad 🙂 I make these similarly at home 🙂

shruti says:

i like it best when it’s made on the stove, the burnt flavor is great. i have the topping as salad often

nipponnin says:

I didn’t know what papad before but it sounds so exotic. I have to look for it next time I’m in the Whole Food store ( I bet they have it). Love your photos!

Love the way you make even simplest of the food look extraordinary, my all time favorite…

Masala papad is a must starter for us whenever we eat out. I have thought of making it at home many a times but never did. I guess I will now, all thanks to your recipe. 🙂

Awesome! Lovely photos, lovely post, and simply and tasty recipe. What’s not to love!
Everyone should enjoy papads…

They looks so ethereally light and crispy, beautiful!

Deepa says:

It’s a very popular snack in Bangalore…even when I went to Mumbai last year they had served this masala papad with drinks. I too make it by folding papads in cone shape to hold the stuff. You have taken some really amazing shots …Ekta tule nite icche korche screen theke..

You made our humble papad look ‘sexy’ kankana 🙂

Kankana, your images are simply stunning. And I don’t think I’d keep your Masala Papad in the appetizer category. These look like dinner to me!

wat2cook says:

Love Love Love masala papads…

this looks great! Like you said- perfect appetizer food. Question- where can i get papad? what could i do instead?

Love papads! I’ve always known these crunchy crackers as papadam. So papadam is known as papad in Northern India? They are addictive. Must have these snacks each time we have banana leaves rice. What a great idea to serve these at a party with refreshing toppings!

When i lived in Goa_india for almost 6 years, papads is by favorite snack! I have it in pantry now and i will make it asap after seeing your post. yum…

Yum! All-round winner in the snack category 🙂 The pictures are so lovely, K!

Dixya says:

such a simple but great idea to enjoy papad..