Notes: You can buy pappadums - dried lentil wafers--plain or seasoned; sometimes they are even sold in regular supermarkets. Stored airtight, they keep almost indefinitely, ready to use for instant appetizers. When toasted or fried, they become crisp, like potato chips; you can store the cooked wafers airtight up to 1 week.
How to Make It
To toast: Lay pappadum wafers (see notes) slightly apart on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until they begin to blister or buckle, 20 to 25 seconds (watch closely--they scorch easily). Turn wafers over and broil again until surface is blistered, 8 to 12 seconds longer. Transfer toasted wafers to a rack.
To fry: Pour about 1 inch of vegetable oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat; when oil reaches 375º on a thermometer, adjust heat to maintain temperature. Lay 1 pappadum wafer in hot oil; when it puffs up (almost instantly), turn it over, push other side into oil, and cook until puffed and crisp (it doesn't need to brown), 2 to 3 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.