Indian Poppadums with Lime Pickle
This is a great appetizer and you can add some mango chutney and raita (cucumber and mint yogurt dip) to the mix if you wish, serving your poppadum with a trio of typical Indian dips. These 3 are nice to serve together because of the contrast. You have cool creaminess from the raita, sweetness from the mango chutney and a sour tang from the lime pickle, but there is no need to make all of them. Just make the pickle and buy the other 2 if you like. This is the most popular appetizer in an Indian restaurant and a lot of them will offer this for free in such a restaurant.
The great thing about this recipe is you can choose what you buy and what you make. For example, you might be curious about making the poppadums but prefer to buy the lime pickle, or you might want to make lime pickle and purchase the poppadums. Here are the 2 recipes in case you want to make both! Bear in mind the lime pickle needs some planning. You need to salt the limes and leave them in the sun for a few days then add more salt and leave the jar in the sun for a month!
So make sure you plan to make this during the summer months when you have more sun. You can leave the jars on the windowsill or outdoors if you have a balcony, patio or backyard. It goes without saying homemade food is always better than readymade produce but if you do want to make this today or tomorrow then buy some lime pickle and make the poppadums yourself. This makes a lovely appetizer to serve before an Indian main dish.
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 cups lentil flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 green limes
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 10 sliced cayenne chilies
- Vegetable oil, as needed
- Lime zest, for garnish (optional)
- First you need to make the lime pickle.
- Quarter the limes then put them in a large jar with a teaspoon of salt.
- Seal the jar and shake well to combine.
- Leave on a sunny windowsill for 3 days, rotating the jar occasionally.
- Add the rest of the salt to the jar and leave on a sunny windowsill for a month, rotating daily.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and sauté the ginger until golden, then add the vinegar, limes and juice from the jar.
- Cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic, chilies and spices, and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Cool and serve immediately or store in sterilized jars and refrigerate for up to a month.
- To make the poppadums, mix the flour with the cumin, salt and black pepper.
- Add most of the water then knead the dough until smooth.
- Add more water if the dough is too stiff.
- Divide it into 14 balls and roll them out, one at a time, to ⅛ inch thick.
- You can use a pasta roller to do this, if you have one.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
- Arrange the poppadums on lightly oiled cookie sheets and bake for an hour.
- You can keep them in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- Fry the poppadums in a dry, nonstick skillet until crispy.
- If you do not have a nonstick skillet, use a regular one with a little oil.
- Serve the poppadums warm with the lime pickle.
- If you have made the poppadums ahead, you can reheat them in a warm oven.
- Sprinkle some lime zest over the lime pickle before serving, if liked.
Serve your dips Indian-style in small metal bowls. These dishes will keep a warm dish warm or a cold dish cold. They also have an Indian feel. Offer the poppadums on a plate covered in a napkin so they will stay warm. Homemade lime pickle is incredible and it tastes so much better than the sugar-laden commercial kind. Even though you have to let the limes sit in salt for a long time, the recipe is well worth making. You can see how delicious the lime pickle looks in the photo. Behind that you can see mango chutney and behind that, less in focus, is a creamy cucumber, mint and yogurt raita.
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