Tracing The Origins Of The Beloved Papad
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A cuisine that is globally known but unique, papad takes on different forms depending on where it originates from. It goes by several names, including poppadom, happala, and appalams, and has a charm that may instantly make one feel better. Its widespread appeal can be seen in both culinary and non-culinary contexts, such as in the song "Pappadum" by Wiggle House and a Ramana Maharshi bhajan that centres on papads.

A papad, often referred to as a papadum, is a thin, crisp, disc-shaped Indian dish that is normally formed from seasoned dough and frequently contains components like rice, lentil, chickpea, or black gram flour. Typically, it is seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices before being rolled into thin, circular shapes. These discs are either sun-dried or dry-cooked, which inflates them. Papads are frequently included as a side dish or independent snack with Indian dinners. They come in a variety of flavours and are relished throughout India and other countries in diverse communities.

Papad is a crucial component of Indian cuisine, which people eat with great passion whether they are attending a wedding party or a meal. These papads, which are crunchy and spicy, enhance the flavour of the dish. However, have you ever wondered where the papad that you eat with chutney comes from or how it ended up in Indian cuisine?

If you are uninformed of the fascinating history of Papad to this point, we will now fill you in on that fascinating past. He will also discuss how it evolved to be a significant component of Indian cuisine.

The Origins Of Papad

Papad, beloved by individuals of all ages and backgrounds, has a remarkable history dating back to 500 BC, marking its culinary presence for over two millennia. This revelation comes to light from the scholarly work 'A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food' penned by renowned food historian and author KT Acharya. Within the pages of this esteemed book, references to the preparation of papad using lentils such as urad, masoor, and chana dal are elucidated. Furthermore, the rich tapestry of papad's journey in India is traced back at least 1500 years, underscoring its enduring significance in the country's culinary heritage.

The earliest documented references to papad are found within Jain literature, attesting to its long-standing presence in the Marwar Jain community, where it was a staple for travellers. Furthermore, the advent of papad in the Indian subcontinent can be traced back to its migration from the neighbouring country of Pakistan. Sindh, known for its favourable climatic conditions and optimal temperatures, emerged as an ideal hub for the production of papad. Following the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, a significant number of Sindhi Hindus migrated to India, bringing with them the tradition of papad-making that has since become an integral part of the culinary landscape.

Papad Today

Within the cultural fabric of India, the mention of papad often invokes thoughts of Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, an emblematic social initiative established by seven enterprising Gujarati women in 1959. This collective effort has since transformed into a flourishing cooperative, providing employment opportunities for a commendable workforce of over 43,000 women spanning the nation. Notably, this year, the esteemed Padmashri Award was bestowed upon Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat, 91, a distinguished founding member of Lijjat Papad. Moreover, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the centenarian enterprise Ambika Appalam, founded in 1915, stands as a testament to India's rich papad tradition, with its global outreach encompassing markets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.