Papad is one of the essential ingredients of the traditional feast of South India, especially in Kerala. Normally sadya (feast) begins with parippu( dal curry) and ghee with fried crispy papad ,which looks like a small burger . The smell of frying papad in coconut oil itself stimulates our taste buds. Old generation preferred kanji (rice porridge) with green gram and papad as dinner, though the takers are a few at present. Certain Kerala hotels still serve porridge with papad as dinner and are in big demand in cities.
Papad is generally made using black gram flour, rice flour, salt, water and baking soda. The mixture is kneaded to make dough and flattened it to very thin rounds and then dried and stored for later preparation and consumption. In North India, the preparation is very different. There black pepper, peanut oil, chili, cumin and garlic are used with black gram flour to make the papad. These papad are used either fried in oil or bake in coal or open flame.
Even though the black gram variety is very common, chickpeas, green gram, potato, rice, cassava are also used for making papad. Bikaner is the hub of chickpea and green gram papad .Varnasi is famous for potato papads. Papad is known as appalam in Tamil Nadu, pappadam in Kerala, appadam in Andhra and Telangana, happala in Karnataka.
Now, in South India, the demand for cassava papad is growing day by day. Central Tuber crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Sreekaryam, Thiruvananthapuram Kerala is the agency which made researches and promoted the cassava papad. The mini papads developed by CTCRI is protein rich as the mix contains cheese, defatted soy flour, prawn powder and whey protein concentrates along with other spicy condiments. The papads, after preparation allowed to dry for 36 hours in normal sun light and then packed. This can be used by deep frying in oil. This mini papad has 7-15 percent protein and 420-775 kilocalories of energy in 100 gram papad.
Another variety of cassava papad developed by CTCRI is fibre rich papad. It has wheat bran, rice bran, oat meal and cassava fibrous residue. It is prepared by adding the fiber sources to the gelatinized cassava slurry and by mixing of the dough. The spicy condiments are also added and the dough is spread on plastic sheets which are then dried in the sun for 36 hours. The papads are peeled off from the sheets and packed. The deep fried products have soft and crisp texture. Its nutrition content is 10percent protein and 8-14 % dietary fibre and its energy is 330 kilocalories per 100 gram of papads.
Cassava can also be used for popups. Wet cassava paste is used for popups than the flour. For making popups, the wet cassava tuber paste is mixed with ingredients like maida, cheese, salt, sugar, baking powder and white pepper. The dough after proofing for one hour is spread into sheets and cut into small discs of one centimeter diameter. These are then deep fried in oil and packed. It has 22.23 percent protein and the energy level is 550 kilcalories per 100 gram of papads.
CTCRI has made some research in softening of the cassava chips also. Fried cassava chips presently available in the market are often too hard to bite and not at all a competitor for potato chips. The excellent quality fried chips can be made from cassava tubers by subjecting the chips to mild acid treatment. This facilitates in the removal of excess starch and sugars from the cassava slices and makes it light yellow and crispy, having soft mouth feel and good texture. Over mature tubers having high starch content are less preferred for making fried chips, ideally 7-8 months old tubers are the best.
Those who like to start cassava related business can contact the persons given below:
Dr.G.Padmaja, Head and Principal Scientist and Smt. Rajalekshmy, Technical Officer, CTCRI, Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram – 695017
Ph- 0471-2598551-4/ Email- firstname.lastname@example.org, website –www.ctcri.org