Paparia for Diwali

Anita of A Mad Tea Party made a delectable snack called paparia for Diwali. It looked simple and sounded really delicious. It seemed to be the perfect way to start making faraal for Diwali.

I halved Anita's recipe and adjusted the spices for our tastes. It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish and I had 24 crispy paparias. I did enlist my husband for help with frying the paparias towards the end.


  • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
  • 1/2 cup maida
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup oil, heated
  • 3/4 tsp salt (less, if you prefer to use less salt)
  • Oil, for deep frying
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

  2. Add the hot oil to the mixture. Do not put your fingers into this as it will be very hot. Use a spoon or fork to mix the oil with the flour.

  3. When it has cooled enough for you to handle, use only as much water as needed to knead it into a soft, pliable dough. I used less than 1/4 cup water. Allow this to rest for 10-15 minutes. I covered the dough with a damp paper towel as it is very dry here and dough generally tends to get crusty on the outside as it dries. Get your polpat-latna ready, along with maida to dust with as you roll. Put oil in a kadhai and heat on a medium flame.

  4. Make dough balls the size of a dollar coin.

  5. Dust with maida and roll out to a diameter of about 4 inches.

  6. The paparia must be rolled out as thin as possible. I found that it helps to dust with maida every so often and to turn and flip the paparia as I rolled. Dusting with too much maida is not a good idea as the flour slips off into the oil, making it very murky.

  7. Anita recommends that the entire batch be rolled out before you start frying, starting with the one that was rolled out first. I didn't read the instructions well enough and so I worked in batches of 6, a hangover I attribute to the time that I made chavde.

  8. Lay the paparia in the oil slowly ensuring that it does not fold. If it does, flip it over with a pair of tongs and hold it down in the oil on the part that was folded. If that does not work, don't worry. It will still taste just as good!

  9. Fry them till they are pink and then drain on paper towels in a vertical position. Do not drain them by piling them one on top of another, for obvious reasons!

You might notice that my paparia are not pink in color. Another part of the instructions I did not pay close attention to. Oops! My excuse? It's been a long day. We scrambled to aerate our yards before the next snow storm, which is in progress as I write this.

Just as we scrambled to drain the sprinkler system when a snow storm dropped 8 inches of snow on us earlier this week on Tuesday. What's wonderful about Colorado weather is that the day after a snow-storm, the sun comes out and melts away all the white stuff. It was 38F on Wednesday and we didn't need jackets. A warm sweater or a turtle neck sufficed.

Diwali 2006 is extra-special. It's exactly one year since we closed on our house. It's also our first 'white' Diwali!

I'm looking forward to seeing Medha's face when she sees the snow and tastes these yummy paparia for breakfast, with pohe, of course!

Thank you, Anita, for a wonderful new recipe on such a special occasion for us!


Anonymous said...

Happy Divali, to all of you. And these look great! A little colour would have helped but with your early snow storm and all, everything could use more sun!! :)

I love the Denver weather, snow on the ground and then crisp sunshine! Almost like Delhi, biting cold but sunny. I miss the snow...

indianadoc said...

A very happy diwali to you and your family manisha...There's a lot to catch up with...shall come back soon to read all your posts more patiently...

Anonymous said...

I made Anita's Paparia's too.. they are very tasty. Arent' they ! Your Paparia's look thin and crispy.
Happy Diwali to your and your family Manisha !

Anonymous said...

Yay!! I think this is the pappadavada I used to love when I was a kid. I am going to try this. :)

Anonymous said...

Anita, they are yum yum yum! I have to make something Indian for a Hallowe'en party this coming weekend. So if I don't get around to making chaklis, I will make paparia again. I won't add any chilli powder though cos most of the kids won't be able to eat it then.

Beautiful day of sunshine today, too! Simply gorgeous! But I was a slave to the stove and missed most of it.

Shynee, welcome back after your vacation! It's very good to hear from you!

Priya, Happy Diwali to you, too! The paparia are very tasty. My neighbor chomped on a few today and gave his approval, too! They are very thin and crispy and a little khush-khushith.

RP, try it and let us know if it is indeed the pappadavada from your childhood.

Unknown said...

Hi Manisha
I tried making the paparia-but my dough was very crumbly. I followed your recipe.Do I need to add more water?

Indian Food Rocks said...

Aban, I would definitely add some more water and, if necessary, some more oil, too. Try to get a texture that is similar to the one in my pictures. I hope it works for you!