Papadum is a very simple Indian snack dish served often with meals. Also known as Appalam or Papad, it is a light and crispy snack, often deep-fried in any vegetable oil, and sometimes toasted over fire. When fried, the papadum's flour forms hundreds of tiny bubbles all over the disc, letting each disc take on its own distinctive shape.
South Indians love to crumble the crispy fried papadum with their hands and drizzle it over their curry-soaked rice to give their meal a crunchy texture (when eaten quickly before the papadum becomes soggy!). North Indians take a different approach by adding toppings on a whole fried papad (as they call it), and having it as a snack. Toppings include chopped onions, chopped carrots and chutneys. Papadum is often served as an appetizer with mango chutney in Indian restaurants in other countries. Uncooked papadum can also be cut up into pieces and added to curries while cooking to give them an interesting twist.