This is my first entry into the “Breads and Pancakes” category of recipes. Rolling out and cooking Roti‘s and Paratha‘s are everyday basic skills we learn in the Kitchen…and its fun to do too, but if you are a supermom and superwoman, or at least try to be one to manage those endless tasks at hand in office and at home, you will be robbed of this pleasure many days. The pleasure of preparing that dough and rolling each circular roti…toasting and puffing them each individually, with love and utmost care for your kin. They need not be all perfectly circular because they’ve all been carved with tender affection and that is all that really matters.
And then comes real life’s days, bringing on the “more-work and less-time” situations and swoosh……you’re blown away. End of the day, your arm muscles would be too exhausted and your legs would badly need some rest.
Standing at the kitchen counter and doing the dough plus the breads will be a distant thought. If the Indian store next door sells some lovely frozen Parathas, you have more reasons to feel lazy and tire out! Yes, have survived on them since a good few weeks now. I am one who’d do as much as possible to eat fresh, home-cooked meals, and prepare the food from scratch, however, making Indian breads on weekdays with day long work and 2 kids at home, seems too much of an overwhelming idea to me. And I can’t complain – the local brands that sell these frozen stuffed home-style Parathas claim to be preservative-free and taste just as great. That makes me guilt free and give me more reasons to go slow on a tiring day.
Mr. Man brought home some lovely fresh green Fenugreek leaves (Methi leaves) yesterday. But he got me just a bunch. So I didn’t have enough to do a vegetable side with it. But I could of course do Thepla! And it’s been a couple months we’ve had any.
Thepla is a popular Gujarati bread that is often made with Methi or Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek) leaves and called “Methi nu Thepla“. I like to spice it up a little to enhance the regional flavor in it. Love how in most food preparations in Gujarat, they play with the sweet, spice and salt quotients and balance and blend them together. Thus, many dishes predominantly contain salt, sugar/jaggery and yogurt/lemon juice in one. It is said that this medley helps people sustain through the extremely hot climatic conditions prevailing most part in a year, across the state. Thepla‘s are tasty flavored breads that are considered healthy and is usually made with veggies/green leaves.
I make Thepla, ramp up the spice level a bit and prefer using fresh Methi leaves. When Methi isn’t available to me, I use some Kasuri Methi. I use a good quality non-chipping non-stick pan to make Thepla’s using minimal to no oil. And because I pep-up my Thepla, I compliment it with a rather simple and plain accompaniment like the sutle Strawberry-Yogurt dip, Gor-Keri, or Tamarind sauce or plain yogurt. My little girl loves her Thepla’s lightly brushed with butter. She also insisted that I save some dough to make her some for her Lunch-Box to school the next day.
Makes 14 – 16 Theplas; Serves 4 – 5
- 2 US cups (280 gms) Whole wheat Flour (Atta)
- 1/2 US cup (70 gms) Gram Flour (Besan)
- 3/4th US cup (75 gms) washed, cleaned and shredded fresh Fenugreek (Methi) leaves or Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
- 1 tsp Ginger powder or paste
- 1 tsp Garlic powder or paste
- 1/2 tbsp Chilly flakes or Green Chilly paste or Red Chilly Powder — I used the flakes
- 1/4th tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
- 1/4th tsp ground Asafoetida (Hing)
- 1 tsp Carrom seeds (Ajjwain)
- 1/2 tsp roasted or plain Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1/2 tsp roasted and pounded Fennel seeds (Saunf) or fennel powder
- 1/2 tbsp ground Coriander (Dhania powder)
- 1 tsp ground Cumin (Jeera powder)
- 1 tbsp ground Sugar
- 1 US cup ( 350 gms) whipped Plain yogurt
- 1 tsp or more salt (per taste)
- Half cup Wheat or Rice Flour for dusting dough balls (Rice flour will make the Thepla’s a little more crispy) – I used wheat flour
- Light Olive oil for greasing the frying pan or skillet or Tava
- In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients except for the last 2 ingredients (olive oil that we shall use later while cooking Thepla’s
- Mix and knead into a tight dough. If the dough is too hard and dry, add just a little bit of the yogurt or sprinkle a little water sparingly and work the dough into a smooth tight one. Additionally, if the dough is too sticky, sprinkle and dust some more wheat flour or gram flour to make the dough how it should be.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes (half hour)
- 30 minutes later, take out dough from refrigerator. Knead one to make sure the dough is still smooth and tight (if not then use flour or yogurt/water as explained in step-2).
- Divide the dough into 14 to 16 golf-sized balls.
- Dust each dough-ball with wheat or rice flour. Roll out into a circular flat-bread using a rolling-pin (Belan) on a dusted plain/clean surface. Cook them each on a lightly greased pan/skillet/Tava like you do for Paratha’s.
- Serve the hot Masala Methi Thepla immediately with a side and accompaniment of your choice.