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Kerala Style Pappadam Thoran Recipe

Pappadam Thoran

Pappadam thoran - Urad dal flat bread saute with spicy coconut masala.

Pappadam is the black gram flat bread . The fried pappadam is one of the most common side dish in most Kerala houses. These puffed breads are also served in Kerala feast, the sadhya. You will find pappadam only in Kerala, others serve some similar deep fried flat breads, but that can't be called as pappadam. The appalam or Pappad served in other states of India are thicker than pappadam and will not puff up while frying. We can't compare light, melt in mouth pappadam with hard flat appalam.

So many dishes are made in Kerala using pappadam from snacks to curry. But normally served  deep fried flat breads as  a side dish for lunch, sometimes with breakfast items like puttu, upumavu etc. Today's recipe, pappadam thoran is a delicious modification of this crispy bread. Very easy method and yummy too.

One of the most common problems while making pappadam is to maintain its crispiness. When exposed to air, often losses its crunchiness. So It will be better to make the coconut masala dry before adding pappadam and serve immediately once you prepare.
Pappadam thoran recipe | How to make Kerala style pappadam thoran | How to make Tasty thoran using Kerala's deep fried black gram flat bread

Deep fried black gram flat bread sauteed in spices

Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time| 10 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes


  • 10 small pappadam (Black gram (urad dal) flat bread from Kerala)
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup shallots
  • 1 green chilly, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • Oil for frying


Preparation of pappadam thoran

Preparation of Pappadam for thoran

I used ready-made pappadam for this recipe, we usually do not prepare pappadam at home, even though it is a really easy process. It will be available in almost all shops in Kerala. We need to deep fry pappadam before making thoran.

  • Cut the pappadam into small pieces using a scissors or knife. We usually serve this kind of deep fried small pieces along with kanji. Then separate pieces with your hands, hands must be dry and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, put pappadam. Use oil just enough to fry these small pieces, it will be better to fry them in batches as we cannot reuse this oil in any of our dishes. 
  • Saute if the oil is not enough to fry them. Pappadam will puff up and turn crisp immediately.
  • Transfer into a clean and dry bowl and keep aside. If you are not serving immediately, store in a clean and dry air tight container.
Preparation of thoran

Once you have finished frying pappadam, we can go for thoran preparation. I will suggest you to do this step just before you serve the dish. As the pappadam will lose its crispiness when come in contact with air. 
  • Heat one or two tablespoons of coconut oil in a thick bottomed wok. I don't recommend you to use much oil as the pappadam is already deep fried. Once the oil turns hot,  put mustard seeds. Mustard seeds will crackle if the oil is hot enough. Now put two dried green chilies followed by one spring of curry leaves. Wait till the spluttering sound stops.
  • Immediately add chopped shallots and saute till they turn translucent. 
  • Then put green chilies to your taste. I used one medium green chilly and if you want, you can use chili powder also. Saute till the onion turns light brown. Do not over cook onion, it should not be dark brown. Now you can put turmeric powder to alter the taste and color.
  • Add grated coconut and cumin seeds. Try to use matured coconut as this will have less amount of moisture in it.
  • Fry on medium flame till the raw smell of coconut vanishes and it turns a little bit dry. 
  • Now you can put fried pappadam. Mix well and try to break the pappadam with the back of the spoon. If you feel any difficulty doing this step, you can powder one quarter of fried pappadam with your hands and then add. Note :- We will  not use salt in this recipe because papadam was already salty and that will be enough for the dish.
  • Mix well till everything is well combined. Serve immediately with steamed rice or puttu.
  • Enjoy.
Happy cooking


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