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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Methi Thepla/Fenugreek Greens Flat bread

If you ever travel by train in India from Mumbai to Gujrat or vice a versa or anywhere in Gujrat, you will see people on the train who do not like to eat train food, bring their packed snack/lunch. You will see them opening these round stainless steel containers with stack of round greenish yellow bread and enjoying this bread with side of sweet/savory pickles and relishes. That is my memory of Thepla.

It is a very popular Indian bread which keeps good for at least 3 days at room temperature. This food originates from the state of Gujarat in India. Thepla is also a very good Travel Food and classified as side dish for main course food usually eaten after dinner or with tea. It is easy to cook and has a divine taste. Thepla is a nutritious food as well. Spicy plain Thepla and Methi Thepla are the different variations of this dish. Methi (fenugreek) is full of calcium and Magnesium.

I myself never particularly cared for Thepla until I tried my sister’s recipe. Yes my baby sister, who never cooked anything when I was growing up, and never really liked to cook. Now she is cooking all the time. She is married to a Guju and few years after getting married she mastered this recipe. She gave me a taste of her Thepla from this recipe which made a true Thepla lover out of me.

This recipe is my modified version of her recipe. It takes 30 minutes for cooking and makes about 25-26 rounds of Thepla.


To make thepla dough:

• 5 cups Durum chapatti flour (wheat flour)(Atta)

• 1 large bunch fresh Fenugreek leaves (remove leaves from stems, wash and dried on a paper towel)

• 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves (remove leaves from stems, wash and dried on a paper towel)

• 4-5 clove of garlic

• 1" piece of peeled ginger

• 1-2 medium Serrano or small Jalapeno pepper (to taste)

• 1 ½ cup plain yogurt

• 1 table spoon of dried Kasuri Methi leaves (available at local Indian grocers)
• 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice

• 1 tsp roasted cumin powder

• ½ tsp turmeric powder

• ¼ tsp asafetida powder

• ½ tsp cayenne pepper powder

• 1 ½ tsp salt or to taste

• 1/2 cup vegetable cooking oil to add in the dough

• ½ cup Warm water

To roll and cook Thepla:

• 1 cup of rice flour and chapatti flour mixed for rolling

• ½ cup vegetable oil (to cook Thepla) on a griddle /”Tava”


• Make paste of garlic and ginger in small food grinder/food processor.

• Chop washed fenugreek leaves and cilantro in a large food processor.

• Mix the fenugreek leaves and chili ginger garlic paste with all the listed ingredients (except 1/2 cup oil/ ghee) into a large mixing bowl.

• Add a little warm water at a time, mix the flour with all the ingredients have all come together, and begin to knead.

• Continue kneading the flour until you have a medium-soft, smooth dough.

• Once the dough is formed, you can coat the dough with some oil.

• Set the finished dough aside for 30 minutes.

• After 30 minutes, divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions and roll between your hands till the balls are smooth and without cracks.

• Very lightly roll the ball in flour. (I use mix of rice flour and chapatti flour for coating)

• Flour the rolling board or clean counter surface with same flour.

• Roll each ball into a circle of 7-8" diameter. (~2-3 mm in thickness)

• Heat a griddle/Tava on medium heat and place Thepla on the griddle.

• When you see tiny bubbles rise on the top surface of the Thepla flip the thepla to other side.

• As soon as the first flip is done, drizzle a ½ teaspoon of cooking oil/ ghee on the top and spread evenly over the surface of the Thepla with back of a spoon.

• Flip again in 30 seconds and drizzle ½ teaspoon of oil/ ghee on other surface as well.

• Press it with wooden Thepla press if you have one, otherwise just use back of spatula to cook the entire surface evenly on both sides.

• The Thepla is done when both sides are golden brown.

• Stack them up in an insulated container.

• Please note that the Thepla are supposed to be soft and can be folded easily without cracking. They are supposed to be cooked well but NOT crispy to bite.

• Serve with Plain yogurt or Cucumber Raita or Hot pepper jelly (all these recipes on this blog) or with your favorite Indian Pickle.

• Can be made ahead of time and stack them in aluminum foil and warm up in microwave in plastic wrap (remove the aluminum foil before putting it in microwave)

• These stacks of theplas in aluminum foil freeze well too.

Recipe modified by Surekha from a recipe from her sister Heena.
Photographs by Surekha.

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