Methi Thepla is an Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour and fresh fenugreek leaves. The Gujarati Methi Thepla is a healthy breakfast staple and can be enjoyed hot or cold. These theplas have a long shelf life and is just perfect for train journeys or travel.
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What is Thepla?
To put it in a nutshell, thepla is to every Gujarati home like Idli is to every Tamil household. These soft and slightly thick flatbreads are a breakfast staple and tea time treats in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Thepla is different from the regular parathas. We add besan, that is, gram flour or chickpea flour and yogurt (curd) to Thepla dough. Generally, thepla is a no onion- no garlic recipe. But variations to this humble yet wholesome bread exist and one of them is where you can add garlic.
What vegetables can be added to Thepla?
During my stay in Baroda, I have eaten Lauki (grated bottle gourd) na Thepla and Beetroot na thepla. But traditionally, the first choice for Gujarati Thepla recipe is fresh fenugreek leaves. The finer they are chopped, the better the theplas.
Vegan Methi Thepla
Unlike other flatbreads, the Thepla is not naturally vegan. We add curd while kneading the dough. But we can easily make this vegan by skipping the yogurt. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil instead of the yogurt, while kneading the dough to make it soft.
Or you can use your choice of non-dairy yogurt in place of the dairy yogurt in this recipe.
When it comes to variations, the sky is the limit for Thepla.
Skip the fresh methi leaves in this recipe and you will have the recipe for Masala Thepla. You can also add ½ cup of Jowar flour or Bajra flour to the dough. Just adjust the water as required.
Kasuri Methi Thepla
If you live outside India, it may be difficult to source fresh fenugreek leaves. While frozen methi is easily available in Indian grocery stores, it is not a practical solution. Use dried fenugreek leaves instead and make Kasuri Methi Theplas.
However, kasuri methi has a much stronger flavor than fresh fenugreek leaves. Use only ⅓rd of the amount of fresh fenugreek leaves if you are substituting them with Kasuri methi.
How to make Theplas for travel?
Theplas have a long shelf life unlike Parathas. These come in handy, especially if you are a vegetarian traveling abroad. When making theplas for travel, skip the gram flour (besan). The besan makes the theplas hard and dry.
So if you are going to consume them straight away, you can add Besan. If you are packing them for travel or you intend to store them for a few days, then give the Besan a miss.
Methi Thepla without curd
When making theplas for travel, it is best to avoid adding curd to the dough. Adding yogurt reduces the shelf life and there is a chance of the theplas becoming moldy sooner.
Tips to pack theplas for travel
- As mentioned above, skip the Besan and yogurt if you are making theplas for traveling.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoon oil while kneading the dough. This increases the shelf life and also keeps them softer. The more the oil, the softer your theplas.
- Never pack theplas while hot or warm. Allow them to cool on a cooling rack before packing them. Hot theplas sweat and this in turn makes them moist. Moisture drastically reduces shelf life of any dish.
- Pack them in batches of 3 to 4 in aluminum foil wrappers. This way, you can avoid handling the whole batch and take out whatever is required. Read longer shelf life.
- The best sidekick for Theplas has to be Mango pickle. However, pickles and travel do not go together. So give the pickles a miss.
- Theplas stay fresh at room temperature for upto 2.5 days. They last upto 15 days in the fridge.
- How to store Methi Thepla?– Make sure to pack the foil-wrapped theplas in an air-tight container. This will make sure that there is no mold or fungal growth.
- Theplas are made with groundnut oil ( peanut oil) and not ghee, unlike Parathas. This has a rustic flavor that makes theplas outstanding. Use cold pressed coconut oil for kneading thepla dough and for making the theplas.
- Traditionally, theplas are a mix of sweet, spicy and sour. In Gujarat, they add a mashed banana or some jaggery or sugar to the flour while kneading the dough. If you want, you can add 1 tablespoon jaggery for the quantity of flour mentioned here.
- For more flavors, you can also add 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves.
- You can add a combination of flours to the dough. Bajra, Jowar, Barley flour and even oat flour can be added. Use 1 cup of any of these flours in place of 1 cup of whole wheat flour in this recipe.
- If you are allergic to sesame seeds, give it a miss.
- You can also add grated garlic to the thepla dough to make some methi thepla with garlic.
- Theplas are slightly thicker than Rotis but thinner than parathas. Make sure that you do not roll them too thinly since these become dry and brittle soon.
- Avoid dusting them with too much flour while rolling. When you use too much flour for dusting, the theplas turn out to be hard and dry.
Prepping the methi
Place the chopped and cleaned methi in a large mixing bowl. Pour 3 cups water and add salt.
Rinse well. Let it sit for 15 mins. After 15 mins, drain the methi in a colander. Squeeze the methi to get rid of all the excess moisture. Set aside.
200 g cleaned methi leaves will give you approximately ½ cup chopped methi leaves.
This step will make methi less bitter. I follow this for making Methi pulao and pretty much any recipe with Methi.
Ginger green chili paste
Place the ginger and green chili in a mortar and pestle. Pound this to a slightly coarse paste.
Mixing the thepla dough
Place 2 cups whole wheat flour along with the besan( gram flour),turmeric powder, red chili powder, crushed kasuri methi and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the pounded green chilli and ginger paste.
Mix roughly using your hands. Now, add the finely chopped methi leaves, that has been squeezed to this and mix again.
Make sure the methi has been evenly mixed into the flour mixture. Now, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and curd to the mixture. Add water little by little and mix till you get a rough shaggy dough.
Now, add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil and begin kneading. Knead for about 5 mins till you get a smooth pliable dough. Cover the dough with a moist kitchen towel. Let it rest for 15 mins.
After 15 mins, open and knead again for 1 to 2 minutes. This second time kneading will give us a soft dough.
Shaping and rolling the thepla
Divide the dough into equal parts. Make small balls of the divided parts. Now dust the balls with a little flour and start rolling into thin rounds on a flat surface. Repeat the same for the remaining dough.
Heat a tawa. Place a round and drizzle oil on the sides. Cook till brown spots appear on the surface of the thepla. Then flip over and repeat for the other side too. Serve hot with pickles and yogurt or raitha. Makes a great travel food too as it has a shelf life of 2 to 3 days.
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For the dough
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ c Besan Chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi
- 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 cup Water for kneading you may need anywhere between ¾ c to 1 c water
For the green chili ginger paste
- 1.5 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 2 green chilis
- ¼ c yogurt
- 2 tablespoon peanut oil divided use any neutral flavored vegetable oil as a substitute
For prepping the Methi
- 200 g cleaned Methi leaves ½ cup approximately
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
For cooking the theplas
- 1 teaspoon Oil or ghee for each thepla
For rolling the Theplas
- ¼ c wheat flour
Prepping the methi
- Place the chopped and cleaned methi in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour 3 cups water and add salt.
- Rinse well.
- Let it sit for 15 mins.
- After 15 mins, drain the methi in a colander.
- Squeeze the methi to get rid of all the excess moisture.
- Set aside.
Ginger green chili paste
- Place the ginger and green chili in a mortar and pestle.
- Pound this to a slightly coarse paste.
- Set aside.
Mixing the dough
- Place the wheat flour along with the besan,spice powders, crushed kasuri methi and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the pounded green chilli and ginger paste.
- Mix roughly using your hands.
- Now, add the chopped methi to this and mix again.
- Make sure the methi has been evenly mixed into the flour mixture.
- Now, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and curd to the mixture.
- Add water little by little and mix till you get a rough shaggy dough.
- Now, add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil and begin kneading.
- Knead for about 5 mins till you get a smooth pliable dough.
- Cover the dough with a moist kitchen towel.
- Let it rest for 15 mins.
- After 15 mins, open and knead again for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Divide the dough into equal parts. Make small balls of the divided parts.
- Now dust the balls with a little flour and start rolling into thin rounds on a flat surface.
- Repeat the same for the remaining dough.
Cooking Methi Na Thepla
- Heat a tawa. Place a round and drizzle oil on the sides.
- Cook till brown spots appear on the surface of the thepla.
- Then flip over and repeat for the other side too.
- Serve hot with pickles and yoghurt or raitha.
How to serve Thepla?
Undoubtedly, Aam ka achar or Keri nu chundo is the best sidekick. But you can also serve this with a simple potato curry like Aloo Jeera or some tangy Gujarati Kadhi. Theplas taste good when eaten hot, warm or even cold. We love having theplas with piping hot masala chai. Yes. That is a thing.