METHI CORRIANDER THEPLA (FENUGREEK CILANTRO BREAD)
Thepla is a dish that we learned to make from our Gujarati neighbors. I love the fenugreek flavored spicy-sweet taste of the Thepla and always order for homemade theplas from Shilpaben who specializes in this Gujarati delight and even supplies to shops. I buy it directly from her when I am flying back to
from Singapore as I am assured of its freshness. Theplas have a long shelf life. They stay for as long as 4-5 days if the dough is made in the proper consistency.After that you can keep it in the fridge for another 10 days and later in the deep freezer for as long as you want it. Heat and eat this dish hen removed from the refrigerator. India
Ask the connoisseur Shilpaben and she says, “It all depends on the “mon” (“mon” is the procedure of kneading the dough with the masalas and oil, prior to adding the fenugreek leaves and water. If the mixing and kneading is done properly then the theplas will be perfect.).
Usually I add 2 tbsps of Gram Flour (Besan) to the wheat flour, Gram flour adds to the softness of the dough, but this time I avoided it, I thought I will make it with whole wheat flour only.
My very good friend Deepali (who is a Gujarati by the way) says that, “Adding 2 tbsps of yogurt while kneading the dough, makes the theplas soft.
I love the spicy-sweet taste so I add jaggery to my dough and so does Shilpaben, but my friend Deepali says that Jaggery can be replaced with 2tbsps of sugar. Sugar retains the softness of the dough whereas jaggery makes it tougher, but I am partial to jaggery. Using jaggery or sugar reduces the bitterness imparted by the fenugreek leaves.
She also says that adding fresh green chillies ginger and garlic ground to a fine paste to the dough enhances the taste, but I have used only the dried powders in my recipe. I am definitely going to try using the freshly ground paste minus the garlic (as I don’t like garlic in my cooking).
I use white sesame seeds while kneading my thepla dough. Sesame seeds add a whole new dimension to the taste of the Thepla.
The gamut of flavors that explode in your mouth when you bite into your theplas with some juicy hot-sweet tangy chundo(Click on the link for recipe) is second to none.
Here Iam adding Corriander leaves(Cilantro) which is an absolute favorite of mine. So here is the traditional Methi thepla with a twist.
Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Fresh methi - 1 bunch / Kasuri Methi – 3tbsps
Corriander leaves – a small bunch
Jaggery, finely grated – 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds (Til) - 2 tsp
If you are using ginger, garlic & green chillies
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic – 1-2 cloves
Green chillies – 2
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilly powder – 1tsp
Cumin powder – 1tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt to taste
Pluck out the methi leaves only and wash it well. Chop it finely. If you are using Kasuri methi(dried methi leaves) then soak the kasuri methi in some warm water with salt for about 15 minutes, then drain the water and use the leaves only. Wash the coriander leaves and chop finely.
If you are using the fresh masala, grind the garlic, ginger and green chillies into a paste and mix with the wheat flour.
Mix the wheat flour, salt, Asafetida, the dry masalas(Turmeric, Red chilly powder and cumin powder, the fresh masala(ginger, chilly, garlic paste) if your are using, the sesame seeds and mix well with the flour, add grated jaggery and mix well, Add about 2 tbsps of oil (Adding oil keeps the theplas moist, soft and fresh for a longer shelf life), blend well and then add the freshly chopped methi leaves or the kasuri methi whichever u r using, Add the chopped coriander leaves also and mix well, If you are using yogurt add at this point. Now slowly add in some warm water to make the dough. Knead it well till it becomes one uniform dough mix (see the picture on your left). Keep aside for half an hour to an hour, for everything to marinate and the masalas to emanate its flavors. After this knead again well. Make small balls of the dough and roll it like you do for chappatis (click on the link to see the recipe for Chappatis in my blog). Then cook the theplas on a flat bottomed pan (tava) using a few drops of oil, till u see brown spots appear on both sides as in the picture. Serve the hot theplas with chundo(grated sweet mango pickle).
As it is a healthy and nutritious dish I would like to pack some theplas to "Lunchbox Treats" event by Smitha.