Sun-Dried Potato Chips or Potato Wafers is a summer special snack that is made using potatoes as the main ingredient. The other main ingredient for this is the Sun :-). It is perfect as a side to the main meal or goes best for your Vrat or Fasting days.
Living in Ireland Sun is a very difficult thing to source. Yes, you realize the importance of things when you do not have them. Right? Ireland it can rain any time. It is windy and even during summers we do not have sun on days. So a very difficult ingredient :-).
Still, I managed to make these Potato Chips, Farali Aloo Sabudana Papad, Mangodi and a few more papad last year. Yes, Lockdown gave me the opportunity. I had to check the weather for some good weather for 4-5 days continuously.
So for this Aloo wafers or Sun-Dried Potato Chips, a little planning is needed especially if you are not in a sun friendly country. Rest the process is simple.
Recipe process of Sun-Dried Potato Chips
My recipe involves peeling and slicing the potato a day before and soaking it in cold water along with a pinch of alum. Soaking helps to remove the starch from the potato. Alum helps in getting white chips or else the potato might get a bit black or dark in colour.
Soaking the prior day is not necessary, and one can do it the same day and soak only for half an hour. I always do it the previous day as the way my mom has been doing for ages. Doing it the day before also saves your morning time.
The next day you would need to rinse the potato again with clean water 2-3 times. After that, you cook them for 6-7 minutes in boiling water. You are not cooking the potato completely here, but just a little. Something like it should have a bite. If you cook it completely you will end up having a potato mash. We do not want it.
Once they are boiled, we remove them in a colander and wait for 1-2 minutes. Then sundry them on a clean piece of cloth. You would need to separate individual chips/wafers and dry them out.
It is best to use a cloth here instead of a plastic sheet. I reuse my old bedsheets for this. Just clean them nicely and you are good to go.
If you have strong sunshine, and you will see that in 3-4 hours the wafers would appear dry. At times you might need to cover them up with another light cloth on top of it so that they do not fly off. Also if you have some wind, or might think dust might go on it, you can just cover it with a light cloth.
The chips or wafers must be thoroughly sun-dried for a couple of days more. It should be completely moisture-free.
Farali Potato Wafers or Chips
These Potato chips can also be consumed on your fasting or vrat days. As they are just made using potato and nothing else. I do add salt or any other flavouring agent after it is fried.
Flavouring Sun-Dried Potato Chips (Potato Wafers)
I do not add any flavourings to the chips initially as I like to add them once they are fried. After frying, we can add salt for the basic flavouring. One can add red chilli pepper, black pepper, herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, sumac etc. The possibilities are endless, just add what you like.
Consuming Potato Chips
Once they are dried completely, one can fry them in hot oil.
How to fry Chips in Oil
Heat the oil. Once the hot is oil, fry the chips for 30-40 seconds until they puff up and are cooked evenly. Do not over fry it or it will burn. As it has potato it gets fried or cooked faster. Drain excess oil and remove it on an absorbent paper or a strainer.
Once Fried they can be stored in an air-tight container for 10-15 days after they are cooled completely.
Sun-Drying of Potato Chips
It is best to sun dry these wafers. So after cooking in boiling water, we just dry them on a big clean piece of cloth. Let them sundry the whole day, turning mid-afternoon. It is best to start the process of making these chips early in the morning, so you take the advantage of full sun for the day and you are not even sun-burned if you start early.
After day one you would need to dry them for 2-3 days more in the sun. This helps to remove any excess moisture in them and dry them completely. Then you store them in a clean air-tight container
Options for Drying
One can dry these chips at home without Sun too. But you would need to keep the fan on. Which I do not suggest, as It does waste energy. But if you have no option and want to make this you can do this. You would need to make sure that they are dried completely before storing them.
Type of Potato Used
In India generally, the potato available in the month of April and May month is used to make these papads. The potato is available in abundance and cheap during this month as well they are the best to use for papads. Here in Ireland, we have loads of varieties. I like to use white potatoes instead of the rooster variety. The rooster variety is drier and I do not prefer that.
Few Things to take care of / Pro-tips
- The wafers/chips should be thoroughly dried. If there is some moisture or they have not dried properly, they will go bad. You would have mould or fungus.
- While storing, make sure the box you use is completely clean, dry and sterile and free from any moisture.
- It is always advisable to use an air-tight container.
- While storing them make sure your hands are clean and dry as well.
- Any moisture or water content will decrease its shelf life.
- Use clean sheets/cloth for drying.
Weather is very crucial while making this. If you have good sunny weather you need not worry much, but if you are in a country where the weather is unpredictable you need to check the weather before. You need a good 4-5 days of sunny weather before making any papad or wafers. So do keep that in mind.
Shelf life of Chips/Wafers
If everything is followed correctly, the chips/wafers stay good for a couple of years. However, I only make it for a year and make fresh the following year.
I think I have covered all, if you still have questions do let me know in the comments below.
Sun-Dried Potato Chips (Potato Wafers)
- 1 Kg Potato
- Water as required for cleaning & for boiling and cooking next day
- A pinch of Alum -Fitkari in Hindi
Slicing the Potatoes
- Fill a large pot with water.
Peel the potatoes.
- Using a Mandoline slicer or a potato slice, slice the potatoes to thin chips.
- Add the sliced potatoes to the water.
- Fill the pot with water and add a pinch of alum to it.
- Add the sliced potatoes and let it soak overnight. (If not soaking overnight, soak for at least 30 minutes)
Cooking the Potato Chips
- The next day, rinse the potatoes again in clean tap water a minimum of 3 times.
- Drain the chips in a colander to remove excess water.
- In a big pot add water and let it boil.
- Once the water starts boiling add the sliced potato chips.
- Do not overcrowd add according to your pot capacity
- Once the potato chips start coming up, around 6-7 minutes, they start cooking.
- Do not overcook them. We just need it to be slightly cooked. They just need a bite.
- Remove the chips to a colander and let them cool for 1-2 minutes.
Drying the Potato Chips
- After that, arrange them on a clean cloth side by side and let them sun-dry.
- Repeat the above steps for the remaining batches of potato slices.
- Once they are dry for 1 day, remove them on a clean big plate or a tray or a cloth.
- Sun-dry them again for 2-3 days until they are nice and crisp and there is no moisture left.
- Once dried completely, store them in an air-tight container.
Frying the Potato Chips
- Heat the oil. Once the hot is oil, fry the chips for 30-40 seconds until they puff up and are cooked evenly.
- Do not over fry it or it will burn.
- Drain excess oil and remove it on an absorbent paper or a strainer.
- One can sprinkle salt, red chilly powder, black pepper powder or herbs as required.
- I have included the recipe only for 1 kg, but these can be done for as much as you want.
- Do read the tips and tricks mentioned above for rolling and sun-drying the papads.
- Do follow hygiene and all tricks for the best results.
- If sun-drying is not an option one can dry at home too. I have detailed above in the post.