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Indian Pappadam Crackers with Curried Cashew Dip {gluten free and vegan}

Think chips and dip, but different. Think like tortillas and sour cream went to India and came back gluten-free and vegan! Surprise and delight at parties when you serve Indian pappadam crackers with curried cashew dip! 

Indian Pappadam Crackers with Curried Cashew Dip

Crunchy pappadam crackers are made from lentil, chickpea, or rice flour, and are commonly served as bread in southern India. Pappadams as appetizers are unique, get people talking, and pair well with spicy sauces, like this fresh chile and cilantro curry. You can count on them for foodie entertainment.

This pale green curried cashew dip is a cinch to make. Plan to soak the cashews in water ahead of time–you can do that the day before and let them soak in the refrigerator. In between cooking the pappadams, sauté shallots and curry powder to puree with the cashews, fresh ginger, and serrano chile. Stir in chopped cilantro at the very end.

Ingredients for Curried Cashew Dip

Spicy curried cashew dip adds gusto to grain, bean and veggie meals. You can spread it generously on thick slices of bread, or turn it into a delicious salad dressing, simply by thinning with water. Make it as picante spicy as you like–one chile brings pleasant zippy heat, two chiles make it fiery hot.

Shallots with curry for Indian Pappadams with Curried Cashew Dip

Pappadam crackers come as flat dry wafers and magically puff up and bubble when cooked. They can be fried in oil, toasted on the grill, or popped in the microwave. Each method puffs up a little differently: Crackers fried in hot oil expand the most; cooking over an open flame adds a smoky char flavor. They are done as soon as the entire disk has bubbled and puffed.

Pappadams for Curried Cashew Dip

The easiest way to cook pappadams is in the microwave–in just 30 seconds they inflate from paper-thin wafer into a light and delicate ruffled snack. For a slightly more sturdy texture, brush the uncooked wafers lightly with oil before cooking in a microwave. Remember that in a microwave oven, pappadams cook very quickly!

If you don’t want to use the microwave, toast them over a stovetop flame or fry them in oil as directed on the package.

You might see the crispy chips spelled differently–puppodom or pappadum–on the package and on Indian restaurant menus. Pappadams come plain or spiced; my favorites are the black pepper speckled ones. Find them in well-stocked grocery stores—check the international sections. Or you can order pappadams online through my Amazon link.

Amaze your friends—puff pappadam and dip away. Chips and dip, but different.

Indian Pappadam Crackers with Curried Cashew Dip

Indian Pappadam Crackers with Curried Cashew Dip notes:

  • Soften cashews by soaking in water so they easily blend into smooth purees. If you have a high speed blender, e.g. Blend-Tec or Vitamix, cashews only need to soak a couple of hours. If using a regular blender, it helps to soak cashews overnight, and it can take up to 3 minutes to puree into smooth and creamy.
  • You might want to serve pappadams as the “bread” to go along with an Indian themed dinner. Like this curried chard and chickpea combo.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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  • Judi G

    Great idea for the surplus of pappadams I have in my cupboard. Reply · 26 May, 2015

    • Letty

      Puff some pappadams! They do have a lot in each package–I whittle away at them–sometimes serve with curry dinners as I am sure you do. Reply · 27 May, 2015

  • I’ve not tried pappadams, but I’m going to look for them next time I’m grocery shopping. They sound like a healthy alternative to potato chips. The dip sounds really good too. Reply · 29 May, 2015

    • Letty

      Valerie–you can flavor the cashew base with a wide range of ingredients for dairy free dips and sauces. Reply · 1 June, 2015

  • You were totally talking about this recipe. I HAVE to try it. Thank you! Reply · 4 June, 2015

  • Alex

    This rating is for the dip only. It was excellent. Fragrant, creamy, flavorful. My guests loved it. I served it with tortilla chips. Strange maybe but it worked really well. Reply · 2 April, 2022

    • Thank you Alex! I’m delighted you liked this vegan cashew dip! Reply · 5 April, 2022

5 from 6 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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