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Thepla/Methi Thepla/Gujarati Thepla

Thepla/Methi Thepla/Gujarati Thepla

Gujaratis are known for carrying their 'tiffin' on flights or during long road trips. Thepla tops the list of the most popular dishes that Gujaratis travel with. I am no exception, I try and make an effort to get some thepla ready before travelling. They make the perfect meal or snack; easy to carry, long shelf life without refrigeration, full of flavour and goes well with tea,coffee,yoghurt or even a soft drink. I mean if you get your hands on some athanu nothing like it, if not they are just fine as they are.

When we travelled to America a couple of years ago, thepla and a cup of coffee were my life savers for breakfast. While in San Francisco, all I could see on breakfast menus was eggs, eggs and more eggs. I was definitely missing the option of avocado smash on Australian menus.

I am due to travel soon but this time without thepla as it is not going to be too long a flight and I am expecting decent food once we land. The thepla has appeared on the menu for no specific reason. Just what came to my mind. This recipe is pretty straight forward with only one type of flour and water to knead. So here it is.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fenugreek/methi leaves
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt ( adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped green chillies
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 125mL  of water to knead to a soft dough
  • Extra oil to cook the theplas
  • Extra flour to roll the theplas

Method

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl:  flour, ajwain seeds,sesame seeds turmeric, chilli, grated ginger, salt and fenugreek leaves.
  • Add the oil and knead into a soft dough with water. Set the dough aside and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into about 17 equal parts. 
  • Roll each into a smooth ball betweens your palms and press flat.
  • Cover both sides of the flat ball with dry flour and roll into a 16 cm diameter thepla using a rolling pin. If the dough starts sticking, dust it with more flour. Do not use too much flour as it will dry out the thepla while cooking.
  • Heat a non stick pan/skillet over medium high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, place the thepla in the pan. As it cooks, the colour will change and you will see a few bubbles.
  • Flip the thepla using a spatula and let it cook for a few more seconds.
  • Pour about 1/2 a teaspoon oil onto the top side of the thepla and flip.
  • Gently dab the surface of the thepla using the spatula for a few seconds.
  • Flip the thepla over again and press with the spatula. You want a few golden-brown spots on both sides.
  • Remove from the pan and place in a plate.
  • Repeat until all the theplas are done.
  • Serve with homemade yoghurt and pickle.

Tips

  • Fresh methi is always best. However, in the summer months I use frozen methi from the garden. The packet stuff is pretty awful. If you are using that, keep in mind it has  a lot of water and you will need to adjust the quantity required to knead the dough.
  • The theplas can do dry and hard if they are left out for too long
  • Once a few thepla are done, I start to place them in a steel warmer ( rotli nu garmu,in gujarati) as it keeps them softer. I also place a piece of paper towel under the lid to absorb the steam.
  • Make sure not to over cook the thepla as they will go dry and crispy. 
  • Don't be stingy on the oil. It makes the thepla soft.
  • The frozen methi has water in it and I used the full 125mL of water, I like the dough soft. If you are having trouble rolling the thepla, try using less water maybe around 100mL. 
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Homemade Enchilada sauce