How to Store Papad

Papad, a popular Indian delicacy, serves as a versatile component in any meal setup. Whether you relish it as a snack, appetizer, or accompaniment to your main course, papad adds a delightful crunch and flavor to your dining experience.

This thin, crisp disc is traditionally made from dried dough of black gram flour, also known as urad dal, which makes it rich in protein and a great option for those following a vegan diet.

Papad stored in an airtight container on a shelf in a dry, cool pantry

Storing papad correctly is crucial to maintain its taste and texture. Since it is prone to moisture absorption, which can lead to sogginess or spoilage, it’s important that you store your papad in a dry and airtight condition.

The key to retaining the crispness of papad lies in keeping it away from humidity and heat sources, ensuring that each piece retains that satisfying crunch when you come to enjoy it.

Types of Papad

Papad, a thin Indian cracker often served as a snack, comes in a variety of flavors and ingredients. Understanding the different types will help you appreciate the versatility in preparation and taste that papad offers.

Plain Papad

Plain papads are the simplest form of this snack, primarily made from urad dal (black gram lentils) flour. They have a mild flavor and are typically seasoned with just salt and maybe a hint of black pepper or cumin. These papads serve as a neutral base for various toppings or can be enjoyed as a standalone snack.

Masala Papad

Masala papad includes a mix of spices—known as masala—that can contain cumin, black pepper, chili, and other spices to add a flavorful punch to the crisp texture. Often, masala papads become a base for a light topping of chopped vegetables and herbs before being served.

Bikaneri Papad

Originating from Bikaner, a city in Rajasthan, Bikaneri papads are known for their rich and spicy taste. They commonly incorporate a hearty mix of spices and lentil flours. Bikaneri papads are part of the larger Indian cuisine and can be crumbled over dishes like papad ki churi for added texture.

Khichiya Papad

Khichiya papads are made from rice flour and sometimes include lentils in the mix. They are notable for their light, airy texture with a slightly chewy feel. These papads are a favorite in the local cuisine of Gujarat and are savored for their subtle taste that goes well with a wide range of condiments.


Appalam is a form of papad predominantly made in Tamil Nadu and features urad dal as its main ingredient. It often contains a combination of spices like black pepper and cumin to enhance its taste. Appalam is an integral part of South Indian cuisine and is renowned for its crispness and distinctive flavor.

Papad Preparation Methods

Papad being laid out to dry on a clean, flat surface. Airtight container nearby for storage

In order to enjoy the delicious and traditional snack of papad, you can prepare it using several methods, each bringing out its unique crispy and crunchy texture. The choice of cooking method may depend on your taste preference and the equipment available.

Roasting on an Open Flame

To roast papad on an open flame, hold it with tongs and gently wave it back and forth over the flame. Turn it frequently to ensure even roasting and to prevent burning. Once it bubbles and develops a slight char, it is ready to eat. This method enhances the crispiness and imparts a smoky flavor.

Frying in Oil

For frying, heat oil in a pan until it’s moderately hot. Slide the papad into the hot oil, and it should begin to puff up immediately. Use tongs to press down and flip it quickly, frying for just a few seconds until golden and crispy. Drain the excess oil on paper towels before serving.

Microwave Cooking

If you prefer a faster and less oily method, microwave cooking is suitable. Place the papad on a microwave-safe plate and cook for approximately 30-60 seconds on high power. The papad should expand and become pleasantly crunchy. Keep an eye on it to prevent overcooking.

Serving Suggestions

Papads offer a versatile range of serving possibilities. Whether enjoyed alone as a crunchy snack, garnished with flavorful toppings for an appetizer, or served as an accompaniment to a meal, their crisp texture and delicate flavors amplify a dining experience.

Papad stored in airtight container on a shelf. Keep away from moisture and direct sunlight. Illustrate with clear labeling

As a Standalone Snack

Papad can be a light yet satisfying snack on its own. Toast or fry them until they’re crispy and enjoy the earthy flavors that come through. For enhanced taste, you can sprinkle a pinch of chaat masala on top after heating.

With Toppings

Elevate your papads by adding a mixture of finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and cucumbers. Drizzle with a tangy chutney for an appetizer that’s both refreshing and zesty. Introduce a kick of spice with minced green chillies or a dash of coriander to suit your palate.

As a Side Dish

Serve whole papads as a side dish to complement your main course, offering textural contrast and flavor enhancement to your meal. Papads work exceptionally well with creamy curries, balancing out the richness with their crispness. They also act as a vehicle for scooping up sauces and chutneys, adding to the dining experience.

Proper Storage Techniques

Ensuring the freshness and extending the shelf life of papad begins with three critical storage techniques: using airtight containers, controlling humidity and temperature, and considering options for long-term preservation.

Airtight Containers

To maintain the quality and freshness of papad, store them in airtight containers. These vessels prevent moisture and air from entering and affecting the texture and taste of the papad. Containers with a secure lid are essential, as they ensure a seal against external elements that can degrade the papad.

  • Example: Glass jars with rubber gaskets and metal clamps.
  • Note: Plastic containers with snap-on lids are also viable, but ensure they are food-grade and free from odors.

Humidity and Temperature Considerations

Your papad storage space must have controlled humidity and temperature to keep the papad fresh and healthy. High humidity can introduce moisture, leading to sogginess or mold, whereas excessive heat can cause oils in the papad to go rancid.

Long-Term Preservation

For long-term storage, you might need to go beyond simply placing papad in an airtight container. Here are a couple of strategies:

  • Refrigeration: Chilling can extend shelf life, but ensure that the container is completely airtight to avoid the papad absorbing odors.
  • Freezing: Although not commonly recommended for papad, freezing is an option for extended periods. Wrap the papad in foil and then place it in an airtight container before freezing to protect against freezer burn.

Papad as Part of a Balanced Diet

A pantry shelf with neatly stacked papads next to jars of spices and grains. A label on the papad package reads "Store in a cool, dry place."

When considering a balanced diet, papad can be an intriguing addition to your Indian meals, offering both texture and flavor.

Typically, papad is a thin, crispy flatbread made of lentil, chickpea, black gram, rice flour, or potatoes, thus contributing a source of protein and carbohydrates to your diet.

Here’s how papad can be integrated healthily into your meals:

  • Protein Content: Papad, especially those made from lentils or chickpea flour, include a modest amount of protein, which is vital for muscle repair and growth.
  • Calorie Considerations: Opt for roasted papad over fried to keep calorie intake in check. Roasting preserves the crispiness without adding the extra calories that come from oil.
  • Healthy Snacking: Swap out less nutritious snacks with a roasted papad topped with diced vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and onion.

Incorporating Papad Moderately:

Meal OptionSuggestion
AccompanimentServe alongside main courses.
SnackEat as a snack with toppings or salsas.
Portion ControlInclude one papad per meal to maintain balance.

To integrate papad into a balanced diet, be mindful of its preparation and presentation.

Ensure that your meal has a variety of other components such as vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to maintain a well-rounded nutrient intake.

In moderation, papad can add both flavor and texture without compromising on your health goals.

Remember, balance is key in any diet, and papad should not be the centerpiece but rather an accompaniment to a nutrient-rich plate.

Creative Papad Recipes

Experience the versatility of papad through these innovative and flavorful recipes. Perfect for a quick snack or accompaniment, these dishes showcase the traditional Indian papad in new and exciting ways.

Masala Papad Recipe

Masala papad is a quick and easy-to-make Indian appetizer. Begin by lightly roasting or microwaving your papads until they’re crispy.

Top them with a mixture of finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, and coriander leaves.

Sprinkle with a dash of chaat masala and freshly squeezed lemon juice for an extra zing.

Serve immediately to maintain the crispness.

Papad Ki Churi

Papad Ki Churi is a simple yet delectable Indian style snack.

Crumble roasted papads into a bowl, and mix in a generous amount of finely chopped coriander, a couple of teaspoons of red chili powder, and some melted ghee.

Season with salt to taste.

This dish is best savored fresh, combining the crunch of papads with the heat of the spices.

Papad Rolls and Wraps

Transform your papads into an unconventional snack by using them to create rolls and wraps.

Start with roasted papads, and layer them with a filling of your choice, such as spiced kebabs or tikkis.

Add a drizzle of your favorite chutney or sauce.

Roll them up carefully, securing with a toothpick if necessary.

These wraps offer a delightful crunch and a fusion of flavors in every bite.

Essential Tips for Papad Preparation

Papads arranged neatly in airtight containers on a shelf. A label with "Essential Tips for Papad Preparation" is visible

When preparing Papad, your approach should ensure they are not only delicious but also stored properly for longevity and health:

  1. Dryness is Key: Ensure papads are completely dry before storing, to prevent microbial growth.
  2. Temperature Control: Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain freshness.
  3. Air-Tight Containers: Use containers with tight-sealing lids to protect from humidity and odors.
  4. Avoid Contaminants: Keep papads away from strong-smelling foods to prevent odor absorption.
  5. Maximize Longevity: For extended storage, consider vacuum-sealing to further reduce air exposure.
DoDon’t Do
Store in an air-tight containerExpose to moisture
Keep in a cool, dry placeStore near strong odors
Check for dryness before storingOverlap them when wet

For a quick and easy snack, you can microwave papads on an inverted plate for around 30 seconds—making them a fantastic oil-free option.

Additionally, using a fan to speed up the drying process is both efficient and effective in ensuring the readiness of your papads for storage.

Remember, maintaining the integrity of the papad’s texture and flavor while considering healthful practices are paramount in their preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Storing papad properly ensures its freshness and crispiness for a longer duration. Below are some common storage-related queries answered to help you maintain the quality of your papad.

What is the best way to keep papad fresh for a longer period?

To keep papad fresh for an extended time, store them in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture.

Is refrigeration necessary to preserve the quality of papad?

Refrigeration is not typically necessary for papad but can be used if you live in a very humid climate. Ensure they are sealed in airtight packaging to prevent them from absorbing moisture.

How can I maintain the crispiness of fried papad?

After frying, lay the papad out on absorbent paper towels to remove excess oil. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and keep it at room temperature to maintain crispiness.

What are the guidelines for storing papad in the freezer?

To store papad in the freezer, place them in heavy-duty freezer bags or an airtight container. This can extend their shelf life significantly, however, ensure to thaw them to room temperature before frying or roasting for the best texture.

Can you explain the proper technique for preserving papad overnight?

For overnight storage, simply put the papad in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag to protect against moisture and other contaminants. Keep the container at room temperature in a dry place.

What should I be aware of regarding the shelf life and expiration of papad?

Most papads have a shelf life of several months as long as they are stored in the right conditions.

Check the expiration date and look for any signs of moisture or spoilage if they have been stored for a while before consumption.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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