Methi Thepla/Roti

Last week, everything came together to make it a perfect day to make Methi theplas. An unusually cold evening, an empty stomach, and fresh bunches of methi at the local grocery store. Methi thepla is one of my favorite gujarati dishes. Whenever I see fresh methi, I think of methi theplas and methi theplas take me back to immaculate gujarati kitchens with shiny stainless steel containers, round clay pots filled with water, and of course the famous roti and pickles dabba. When the theplas are being made, they fill the kitchen with an aroma that will whet anyone’s appetite. Left over theplas become a great breakfast item the next day. I always  look forward to having them with my morning tea.

This recipe is  blogged especially for my south indian friend Shanta who loves these theplas and had been asking me for the recipe.

2 cups wheat flour
1 table spoon besan (optional)
1 bunch fresh methi/fenugreek leaves  finely chopped (approx. 2 cups)
7-8 small green chilies cut finely (use less if you prefer mild rotis)
4 table spoon oil
1/2 tea spoon turmeric
1/2 tea spoon red chili powder (use less if you prefer mild rotis)
1 table spoon sesame seeds
3/4 tea spoon sugar
1 tea spoon salt
1/4 tea spoon hing/asafoetida (optional)
1 cup water

Method:

Mix wheat flour, besan and salt.
Add oil and mix well into the flours.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients except water
Now sprinkle about 3/4 cup of water all over the flour and knead into a smooth dough. If you are very comfortable with rolling rotis, you can add 1/4 more cup of water and knead it again. Keep the dough aside for about 1/2 hour.

When ready to make the theplas, take a golf-ball size dough and roll into a thin roti. You will need some extra wheat flour on the side to sprinkle on the rotis to roll them and to keep them from sticking to the surface. (Seasoned Indian cooks, please don’t get offended at this. This tip is only for the sweet and innocent beginners!)
Heat the roti on a medium hot tava for about 15-20 seconds. Smear 1/4 tea spoon of oil on roti and flip it. Smear oil again on the other side of the roti and keep on the tava until brown dots appear all over the roti. (another 15-20 seconds or so)

Note: Keep the tava reasonably hot while making rotis. Typically these rotis are not kept for more than a minute on the tava.

This recipe makes about 24 theplas and will stay fresh for at last 2-3 days on counter.

A Simple Gujarati menu Suggestion:
Methi Thepla
Cabbage or eggplant curry
Gujarati Kadhi
Rice
Papad
Sweet pickle