Soni’s Besan Papadi

Just the other day, Soni D’souza nee Bhalerao, a parishioner and the chef for our ashram, made palm sized deep fried papads. She said the presence of nachni prevents to a large extent the absorption of oil. I tried a modified bite sized version which is baked in the microwave and can be eaten as a healthy snack,


Black chick pea powder ( Kala Chana)  – 5 tablespoons

Chick pea powder ( Besan)  – 1 tablespoons

Nachni powder ( finger lillet)  – 2 tablespoons

Jeera poder – two pinches

Dhani powder – ½ teaspoon

Turmeric – 4 pinches

Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon

Whole jeera – ½ teaspoon

Ajwain – ¼ teaspoon

Salt – ½ teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon to mix

Water – to mix (about three table spoons)

Additional oil to deep fry if you decide not to microwave


Mix all the above ingredients together with one tablespoon of oil and water to mix. Add the water gradually as you want the dough to be firm. Roll the dough out into a ‘snake’ and divide and shape them into small roundels, the size of a rupee coin. On a marble top, roll out these roundels into flat shapes as you would with a chapatti. Note the edges will always look jagged. If you don’t have a marble table top these may tend to stick in which case place the roundels between two sheets of transparent plastic and roll it out.

Once rolled out you could deep fry or try the non-deep fried version in the microwave (I know many consider the micro unhealthy). I placed about five or six of the rolled besan papdi on a microwavable plate that was greased with a little oil (or else they stick to the plate). I ran the microwave at two minutes. You will need to test the first batch in your microwave.

If you make the healthy snack version you can keep them in an air tight box and eat them whenever you are hungry. The fried version is delicious and looks very different from the snack version when ready.  

Fr Warner Dsouza

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