If you've ever eaten at an Indian restaurant, chances are, you were served papad! Papad are like tortillas, only they are made out of ground lentils (or in some cases rice flour) instead of corn or flour. Papad are often served as an accompaniment to a meal, or as an appetizer with tamarind, coriander or mango chutney. My favorite brand is Lijjat, or as I like to refer to it: the one with the crazy pink bunny! I especially love the "Punjabi Masala Special Papad" which has tons of black pepper, adding bit of kick to every bit!
There are several methods of cooking papad. The first is to deep fry them for a few seconds until they bubble up. The second is to cook them over an open flame (you've got to watch them carefully here, so they don't burn!), and the third, newer method, is to cook them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds at a time until they bubble up. I actually prefer the last method because I have an electric stove, so I can't cook them on an open flame and I also like that they don't turn out greasy!
Indian grocery store because very few people actually make them from scratch! In fact, when I lived in India, I asked everyone I knew for a papad recipe and they all told me that they just buy them from the store! Apparently it's a bit of a time consuming process to make them (just like how most people don't make corn tortillas from scratch). You have to grind the lentils into a flour, mix the ingredients and then lay them out to dry in the sun for several days. In doing my research for this post, I actually came across a angry response to a papad "recipe" on Epicurious which basically gave instructions on how to cook the pre-made ones from the store! I agree with "A Cook from TEXAS," that it would be nice to find an actual recipe for papad! That said, I guess I have my work cut out for me! Wish me luck!