Today’s Tarot revisits a weight loss plan that worked as long as I followed it. Regrettably, 2 of my best pairs of pants must remain on the shelf until I can fit them again. Change must come, and it’s time to revisit the low-carb, low-wheat diet that worked for me before.
Potato chips are about 200 calories per handful. Papadam is a salty and crunchy low-calorie appetizer you can get at Indian restaurants. Recently the New York Times Magazine food section reported that papadam can be bought in Indian markets and prepared at home. I live near Not Just Spices. Coincidence? I think not.
Don’t let your kids see you do this.
Papadam needs to be toasted to reach its fulfillment as as snack. You can toast it in the oven or microwave, but the faster and more exciting way is to turn on your gas burner and rotate the cardboard-thin papadam wafer over a low flame till it turns pale, pebbled and almost singed. WHEN IT CATCHES FIRE turn off the burner and blow it out. You left it on the flame too long. You have to develop technique. You don’t have your smoke alarm in your kitchen, do you? If so, maybe the microwave is better. Pyrotechnics and a sense of risk add to the exotic thrill of these spicy chickpea wafers.
But there’s more! I noticed a tiny logo on the scary rabbit plastic wrapper of the papadam–
These snacks are made by a women’s collective, Lijat Papad that was founded in 1959.
Lijjat Papad, registered as a public corporation, is a familiar name to Indian women, especially in the cities, and the pancakes are sold at most grocery stores. Mrs. Popat, who is the organization’s secretary, said the emphasis on quality had helped Lijjat capture 75 percent of the market nationwide; $2.5 million of 1983 earnings represented earnings from exports. Indian stores and restaurants abroad, a large number in the United States, are the main overseas buyers.
The organization is almost entirely managed and staffed by women: they are responsible for the preparation of the dough, the rolling of the papads, packaging and accounts. Male employees are largely clerks, loaders, drivers and cleaners. One of the few men holding influential posts is Ramnik Nathwani, the advertising manager. ”Lijjat is a place where women can work with dignity and honor, where they are in charge,” he said.
How cool is that? A cheap snack leads to a history and geography lesson and a way to move my dollar from Food Inc. to a local market with global connections.