In my growing up years methi leaves were not available throughout the year in my hometown in West Bengal. It was only available during winters and people of Bengal were not so familiar with methi leaves. Being an agriculture student my father knew the benefits of methi leaves and he used to bring it whenever available. My Ma innovated her own methi recipe with brinjal and potato with a dash of garlic tadka. We loved it with plain rice. When I came down to Bangalore I saw methi leaves are in abundant almost throughout the year except couple of weeks when it is expensive.
I used to bring methi often and started trying different recipes and first tried paratha and later when I became familiar with food blogging world I came to know about Methi Thepla. Since then it became our favourite. But unfortunately it was not in my blog for so long time. I realized it when I wrote my lauki thepla post last year. Have read my Lauki Thepla post where I accidentally got introduced to thepla in a train journey?
Normally we do not add vegetables in our flatbreads except stuffed parathas. But thepla is different! Here the vegetables are directly added to the dough instead of stuffing them. This makes the thepla fibrous and addition of curd makes it soft. I have also prepared another interesting thepla with zucchini. Here is the recipe of Zucchini Thepla.
As our daughter started elementary schooling, everyday I have to prepare two boxes for her in the morning. I prefer giving flatbread in one of the boxes as she is comfortable with it. At least once in a week I prepare thepla. Believe me you don’t need any sides with it except pickle or curd. At times, I prepare simple stir fried jeera aloo which goes really good with it. Methi thepla is a very good lunchbox recipe for kids as well as adults.
If you are planning methi thepla for next day lunchbox, you can prepare the dough in advance and keep it in refrigerator and next day roll the dough balls and slightly roast with oil and pack it.
Important tips when you are preparing methi thepla: Only take the leaves and avoid the green stalks of methi. If you add the stalks it becomes difficult to roll the dough as you should roll bit thin for thepla compared to stuffed paratha. Stalks you can chop and use in dal for flavour instead of throwing away.
While preparing the dough do not add water at first. Most of the time moisture from the leaves and water from curd will be enough to knead the dough. If required, you can add water spoon by spoon, not at once to avoid sticky dough.
Shelf life Thepla has a longer shelf life than any other Indian flatbread and can be preserved at least for 3 to 4 days at room temperature. You can refrigerate thepla for upto 3 months. Traveller who does not prefer to eat outside food, can carry along theplas. While making theplas for a traveller it is better to avoid adding curd to increase the shelf life of thepla. Traveller’s thepla should be prepared without curd and dough should be kneaded with enough water.
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serving: 4 to 6
Methi Thepla or How to prepare Methi Thepla
Methi Leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
Whole Wheat Flour – 1.5 cups
Besan/Gram flour – 2 to 3 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Curd – 2 tablespoon ( you can add little more if required during kneading the dough)
Red Chilli Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger – grated, 1/2 teaspoon
Refined oil – 1 tablespoon + for frying the thepla ( approx. 4 to5 tablespoons)
Green Chilli Paste – 1/2 teaspoon (optional/ I have not added it)
1. Take the clean leaves from methi stalks and wash them and allow to drain the water and later chop them. Keep aside.
2. Take whole wheat flour, besan, dry spices (cumin, coriander, red chilli, turmeric powder) and salt in a big bowl. Mix them with your fingers.
3. Now add chopped methi leaves along with its juices. Mix it well.
4. Add 1 tablespoon oil and curd and knead a smooth dough. I did not add any extra water. Moisture from leaves and water from curd was enough to bind all of them together. If you require can add 1 or 2 tablespoon of water.
5. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest it for 15 minutes.
6. Now make lemon size balls from the dough.
7. Dust your kitchen platform and roll each ball into round shape like roti (5 to 6 inches of diameter).
8. Keep the rolled thepla on a hot skillet and when brown spot appears, flip it.
9. Apply oil on both sides and cook it. Serve hot with chutney or pickle or any dip.