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Methi thepla recipe – Learn to make this delicious savory Indian flatbread that you can enjoy any time of the day. It preserves really well, making it perfect for long-distance travel.
What is methi thepla?
Methi thepla, a flatbread made from fenugreek leaves (methi), is one of the iconic dishes from the western Indian state of Gujarat. It is similar to parathas but not entirely the same.
Thepla is an unleavened flatbread made from wheat flour and finely chopped green leafy vegetables or grated vegetables.
To make methi theplas, aromatic green leaves of fenugreek, along with yogurt and spices, are added to whole wheat flour. The predominant herb in this thepla is fenugreek or methi, as it is called in India.
Are thepla and parathas the same thing?
I know it sounds like paratha, but it isn’t. The two have some elements in common, but there are quite a few differences –
- While paratha is made only with whole wheat flour, thepla may include bajra (millet) and besan (Bengal gram flour).
- Paratha dough is made using water and is soft and more pliable, while thepla dough is kneaded with yogurt and is a harder dough.
- Parathas don’t last long unrefrigerated, whereas thepla can be stored for many days, which makes them perfect food items for long journeys.
- Both are cooked on a griddle. They are shallow fried in oil or ghee. While paratha is allowed to puff up to create the layers, thepla is pressed down with a spatula on both sides to make it crispy.
How does methi thepla taste?
Methi thepla is a perfect balance of spicy and savory. It derives its distinctive taste from fenugreek leaves. Methi leaves on their own have a bitter taste that makes them unpalatable, but when mixed into the dough or with other vegetables, add a delightful aroma and taste to any dish (for example – Aloo methi ).
What to eat with methi thepla?
Methi thepla is usually accompanied by chundo ( a sweet and tangy pickle) and sometimes yogurt.
How do you make methi thepla soft?
Theplas are usually not as soft as rotis are, but if you prefer your theplas soft, you should knead the dough with a generous amount of oil to make it pliable.
Can we substitute Methi leaves with Kasoori methi?
Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) are about three times more potent than fresh leaves. So make sure you use 1/3rd the quantity if you are substituting for fresh fenugreek leaves.
How to make methi thepla for travel?
When cooking thepla for traveling or to store for more than a week, make the dough with water instead of yogurt. Also, add more than the usual amount of oil to the dough to prevent the theplas from becoming too dry or going off. If made properly, theplas can be stored for almost 15 days.
How many calories are in Methi thepla?
If you follow this recipe, each thepla comes out to be 126 calories.
Tips on preserving methi leaves
Methi leaves cannot be stored in fresh form for very long. You can store them in a bag in the refrigerator for a few days, but beyond that, they start to rot. To preserve fresh leaves, wash them thoroughly in water and make sure there is no moisture on them before placing them in a bag and refrigerating or freezing them.
Another way to store methi leaves is to dry the leaves. Dried methi leaves store well and can be kept for several months. Drying the leaves in the shade will preserve the color and flavor of the leaves. Once completely dry, store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Soak them in warm water for a few minutes before using them as usual.
How to make methi thepla
I grew up in a predominantly Gujarati-speaking neighborhood which meant dhoklas, khamans, and theplas were as commonly eaten as idlis and dosas. We never made them at home – either I would eat at a friend’s house, or mom would buy theplas on her way back from work.
When I moved to the US, I craved theplas, and after asking around, I found a recipe that I liked and used for years until I ate theplas made by our nanny. Her theplas were a class apart, and that’s why I have updated my old recipe with hers.
Whenever we take a road trip, I whip up a batch of 20-25 theplas for us to enjoy on the road. It is perfect for times when you want to take a break from eating out. They store well for up to a week without being refrigerated, and that’s what makes them a popular travel food.
Note – This recipe makes around 28-30 theplas. They refrigerate and freeze well. That’s why I make a huge batch every time.
Step 1 – Add whole wheat flour, yogurt, and oil in a bowl and mix them together. Add all the remaining ingredients except methi leaves and water till they are well combined.
Step 2 – Add methi leaves and knead the mixture into a dough using water as needed.
Step 3 – Divide the dough into 30 equal-sized balls.[Cover the dough while working with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying]. Roll out each ball into a circle (roughly 5-6 inch diameter circle), dusting it with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking.
Step 4 – Heat a griddle over medium heat. When it turns hot, place the thepla. When one side starts to bubble up (approx 60 seconds later), flip it to the other side, carefully pressing the thepla down with a cloth or a ladle to make sure it is fully cooked.
Flip the thepla; add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook on both sides for about 15 seconds each. Use a spatula to press the edges to ensure the sides are cooked through.
Serve hot with chundo.
Methi thepla recipe
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup yogurt
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds jeera
- 1 tablespoon ajwain
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 12 garlic cloves minced
- 6 green chilies finely chopped
- ⅓ cup besan / chickpea flour Bengal gram flour, optional
- ⅓ cup bajra millet flour, optional
- 6 cups methi leaves rinsed and finely chopped
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup olive oil for frying
- Mix together all the ingredients except methi leaves and water till they are well combined. Add methi leaves and knead the mixture into a dough using water as needed.
- Divide the dough into 30 equal sized balls.[Cover the dough while working with a damp cloth to prevent them for drying]
- Roll out each ball into a circle (roughly 5-6 inch diameter circle) dusting it with flour as needed to prevent them from sticking.
- Heat a griddle over medium heat. When it turns hot place the thepla.
- When one side starts to bubble up (approx 60 seconds later), flip it to the other side carefully pressing the thepla down with a cloth or a ladle to make sure it is fully cooked.
- Flip the thepla and add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook on both sides for about 15 seconds each. Use a spatula to press the edges to ensure the sides are cooked through.
- Serve hot with chundo.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.