I've seen raw pappadam sold in cans with a resealable lid in India
and Malayasia. Everywhere else they seem to be sold in plastic/cellophane packaging.
If you don't want to fry your papadam, another traditional way to prepare them is by holding them over the flame of your cooker. You can use tongs, but that gets a bit tricky as they get soft while cooking
so you have to keep them moving over the flame to avoid burning. I bent a wire hanger into a "U" shape and use that as a rack to hold the papadam (or chapati) over the flame. On land I bake the papadam in the toaster oven. Pull them out just as they are starting to colour up. Quick and easy that way.
Papadam can also be used as noodles in a soup. When we make "Papar shorba", we make a soup broth of green chilis, ginger root, blanched almonds, tomatoes, bell pepper with cumin, coriander, tumeric and salt
. When the broth is done, we cut up the papadam into ribbons (cut them up in humid climate, break them up in dry climate) and toss them into the soup and simmer for a minute. Add chopped cilantro just before serving. The hing in the pappadam will add flavour to the broth as well.
I've only seen commercial
pappadam made from urad dal (lentil that is black on outside and white on inside). Urad dal is much stickier in texture than chickpeas which allows them to be rolled out much thinner.