Papdi no lot is a traditional Gujuarati dish made from rice flour. It’s essentially steamed spicy dough (this description does zero justice) referred to as Kichu or Khichya and it usually has green chilis, ajwain and cumin seeds- but of course there are a ton of variations from family to family! We sometimes enjoy it for lunch, as an appetizer, or just a snack! Some add cilantro, sesame seeds, and even the cooking method varies depending on who is making it. Growing up, summers were filled with long days in the kitchen helping my mom and masis (maternal aunts) make enough papdi to last them the entire year. As much as I love fusion cooking, I feel SO PROUD when I finally nail down one of my mom’s more traditional recipes. It usually takes me a few tries, but knowing that I’ve mastered a recipe of hers, one that I never thought I’d ever figure out, makes me feel SO DAMN GOOD.
Please take some time to read through this section before moving on to the recipe as I want you to understand fully how the recipe works so you can be as successful as I was in recreating it!
Using Green Chilis:
- My mom uses tiny green thai chilis for this recipe (found at the Indian grocery store). The variety of chili you use in the recipe will not only alter the spice level but will also alter the taste.
- If you’re using milder chilis like serrano or jalapeño you will have to most likely double the quantity called for in this recipe for flavor and spice.
- Green chilis impart a lot of color in this recipe and they are what gives you that beautiful green/yellow tint to the dough
- Also the more finely chopped/grinded your green chilis are- the more color they impart as well. I recommend using a food processor or smaller chopper to grind your green chilis
Old Flour vs. New Flour:
The amount of water this recipe will require can slightly be affected by the type of flour you use. Certain brands of rice will require less or more water. Flour that has been sitting on the shelf longer will also require more water
The consistency of this papdi no lot is more on the softer side, as we eat it in our home. If you like a more stiff consistency, you can reduce 3/4 cup of water from the amount called for in this recipe.
What to Know Before You Make This Recipe:
- My first trial of this recipe burned terribly because I used the most powerful burner on my stove and even on the very lowest setting it was too much heat for 30 minutes (the time this recipe calls for). Ideally, use your second most powerful burner on your stove!
- Because this recipe will simmer for 30 minutes un touched on the stove, use a heavy bottom stainless steel pot ! I used the Farberware pot my mom saved for years for me, lol.
- We use Swad brand rice flour and purchase it from a local Indian grocery store
- Ideally a large thick wooden velan aka rolling pin is ideal for mixing this, but back of a wooden spatula or spoon will also suffice
- TASTE the water right before you drop the rice flour in and make sure it is super salt, and super spicy- it should be VERY flavor forward because once you add the flour, these flavors become incredibly muted.
Papdi No Lot
Yield 4 Servings
- 2 1/4 cups rice flour
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 25 small thai green chilis, blended in a food processor ( roughly 3 heaping tablespoons)
- 1 heaping tablespoon sabudana, pulsed a few times in a spice grinder to result in a crushed powder
- 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp ajwain aka ajmo
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2.5 to 3 tsp salt (or more as needed)
- 1/4 tsp hing powder (aka asafetida)
- oil for serving
- achar masala / methiya masala for serving
- In a large heavy bottom stainless steel pot over high heat, bring 6.5 cups of water to a rapid boil. When the water has reached a rolling boil, add the green chilis, hing, salt, cumin, ajwain seeds, and crushed sabudana. Cover the pot and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Take the lid off of the pot, and using a spoon taste the water. It should be very salty, and very spicy. Remember these flavors will be muted significantly when the rice flour is added. Adjust salt and spice as needed.
- Reduce the heat slightly so it is still simmering but not boiling, and add the baking soda, give it a quick stir and then add the rice flour by gently placing it all over the water (do not mix).
- Once you've emptied all the rice flour into the pot, use a velan or wooding rolling pin, or back of a wooden spatula to poke 4-5 holes into the flour all the way down to the bottom of the pot, but do not stir.
- Now reduce the heat all the way to low, set a timer for 30 minutes and wait for the flour to cook.
- After 30 minutes you should notice that the water has reduced and looks thick and bubbly. Turn the stove off, have someone assist you in holding the pot with two hands on each side. Then use the velan/rolling pin to rapidly stir the entire contents of the pot while someone holds it down. Your goal is have a smooth, lump free lot and the more quickly and with force you stir- the smoother it will be. Make sure the rolling pin is touching the bottom of the pan while you are stirring and be sure to go in all directions (clockwise, counterclockwise and zig zag).
- Once everything is incorporated, turn the heat off, drop about a teaspoon of oil into the pot and give it one last stir. Serve hot, with a side of oil (canola oil or peanut oil ) and sprinkle of achar masala aka methi masala.
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