Rajasthani Papad ki Sabji

Spicy poppadum curry cooked with turmeric, coriander and chilli

The idea of adding papad to a curry may not sound appetising although on my recent trip to Rajasthan this is one dish I couldn’t get enough of. I was there during the summer months of April travelling across the region, cooking and eating with locals. Discovering spices, markets and family recipes along the way. Papad ki sabzi is a staple in homes across the north west of India and primarily made with turmeric, coriander and fenugreek in a rich gravy simmered along with cooked papad or poppadum as it is known in the UK. A genius idea if you ask me! Yoghurt added to the curry is cooling and also thickens the gravy. It’s a simple recipe and just what a mid week meal needs on days when I don’t have much in the kitchen.

Traditionally papad added to the curry is fried. I have roasted them in this recipe. You can dry roast them over the hob or in the microwave. If you’re cooking in the microwave just follow the instructions on the pack. Don’t be too concerned about the edges that are charred slightly. For me that’s what adds the flavour to the gravy/ sabzi.  You can also add uncooked papad to the curry, just make sure they cook completely while they simmer. The fenugreek leaves lend a wonderful flavour to the dish; I use the dried variety known as kasoori methi although you can also add fresh methi/ fenugreek. Add just ½ tsp of chilli powder if you prefer it a little less spicy.


  1. In a blender add the garlic, ginger and green chilli along with a splash of water and blend to a smooth fine paste. Set aside. In the same blender add the tomato along with the tomato puree and blend to a paste

  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom non stick sauce pan over a low heat. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Fry for a couple of seconds.

  3. Add the garlic ginger paste and fry for 20 seconds. Now add the blended tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes stirring well. As the oil leaves the sides of the pan add the powdered spices and fry for 1 minute

  4. Now add the yoghurt a little at a time and stir well. Cook on a low heat and stir for 3-4 minutes

  5. Add the water, season to taste and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves along with the roasted papad. Cover and cook for 2 minutes on a low heat. Garnish with coriander and serve warm with roti or rice.

    Note: Make sure to whisk the yoghurt well so there are no lumps this way it wont split as it cooks


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