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Soft Gujarati Thepla

Soft Gujarati Thepla

Soft Gujarati Thepla are a staple any-time-of-the-day flatbread in Indian homes. Fresh fenugreek leaves give them their signature bitter caramel flavour. Paired with a handful of ground spices like turmeric and chilli powder takes them from everyday roti to a masala-rich paradise.

I have the best memories of waking up to the smell of Theplas at my husband’s home. Whenever would visit, my father-in-law would wake up early to make them, along with crispy Bateta Vada and sweet chai. It was the best breakfast and something I miss dearly.

Gujarati Thepla Recipe

What are Thepla?

Thepla are traditionally bound into a soft dough which is then roasted on a hot tawa or frying pan. During the cooking process, the Thepla are brushed with oil to help them achieve a leopard-spotted finish all over the surface. It’s this oil that ensures the Thepla remain soft and delicious for days.

You can make Thepla with methi (fenugreek leaves), as well as any of these other popular variations:

  • Thepla with leftover rice
  • Leftover khichdi Thepla
  • Thepla with millet flour (bajra)

What should I serve Thepla with?

Thepla can be served a number of different ways; the most popular being with masala chai, potato curry (bateta nu shaak) or simply with your favourite chutney and plain yoghurt. As they are a common breakfast or lunch dish, it’s not uncommon to enjoy thepla with sweet masala chai.

In Gujarat, these are known as methi na thepla and are traditionally enjoyed with either yoghurt or Keri No Chhundo (sweet and spicy mango pickle).

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Gujarati Lasan ni Chutney is the condiment to rule all condiments. It’s made with a tonne of crushed raw garlic, chilli, fresh coriander, salt and oil. That’s it. No cooking and no fancy spices. This is simple Kathiyawadi village fare from the heart of Gujarat.
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Very Good Homemade Masala Chai
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How to make soft Thepla

The key thing to remember when making Soft Gujarati Thepla at home is that the dough must be soft. Unlike poori making, the Thepla dough needs to be bound with sufficient water and oil. Some cooks also add plain yoghurt (dahi) to the dough for added richness.

Tips for making the softest Gujarati Thepla

I like to use a combination of warm water and warm almond milk to bind my dough. This is not traditional but my way of ensuring my Thepla are super soft and delicious. Using almond milk also means these Thepla are vegan due to the lack of yoghurt used to bind the dough.

Another ingredient I like to add to help achieve this is chickpea flour. The chickpea flour gives these Thepla an incredible, nutty flavour.

Where to buy fresh methi (fenugreek) in the UK

Fresh methi leaves fenugreek
Fresh fenugreek leaves (methi)

I recommend visiting your local fruit and vegetable market. South Asian food shops and greengrocers will certainly have bunches of fresh methi.

Many large supermarkets now stock fresh methi in their ethnic produce sections.

How to clean fresh methi

How to prepare fresh methi
How to clean methi
  1. Pick and pluck though the fresh methi – Start by picking through the methi. Pluck off only the leaves and young stems. The thick stems are edible but I don’t tend to use them for curries like this, since they require long cooking and can be tough to chew. Pick out any methi that looks less than fresh, too — large bunches will usually have a few of these.
  2. Wash the methi leaves – Thoroughly wash fresh methi in plenty of cold water, either under running water or in a large basin or bowl. If you use a bowl, change the water 3-4 times to clean all surface dirt.
  3. Drain the methi – Drain the methi leaves in a colander or sieve because we need all the water out.
  4. Chop the methi – Finely chop the methi leaves. They are now ready to use in this recipe for Methi Thepla.

How to freeze fresh methi

How to prepare fresh methi fenugreek leaves
Fresh methi ready to use or freeze

Follow all the steps in the how-to above. Ensure the methi leaves are completely dry before packing into a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for 6-8 months.

Can I use dried methi to make Thepla?

Of course. However, they will lack the beautiful green-speckled surface achieved when making them with fresh fenugreek leaves. While kasoori methi is fine to use, remember that the flavour is incredibly strong in comparison to fresh methi leaves. Therefore, you will need to use much less.

I’d recommend using 1 tbsp dried methi in this recipe, ground finely between your palms. Remove any sharp, dried stalks as they will affect the way the Thepla roll.

Reconstitute the methi in 1 tbsp hot water and allow to stand for 5 minutes before adding it to the dough. For a burst of green colour, you can also add a handful of freshly-chopped spinach leaves or fresh coriander leaves. Ensure any leaves are very finely chopped.

Delicious Methi Thepla

Ingredients you’ll need to make Soft Gujarati Thepla

  • Wholewheat chapati flour (roti atta)
  • Fresh fenugreek leaves
  • Chickpea flour (besan)
  • Garlic
  • Jaggery (gor) or brown sugar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Almond milk
  • Water
  • Oil
Gujarati Thepla Recipe

Soft Gujarati Thepla

Thepla are a staple any-time-of-the-day flatbread in Indian homes. Fresh fenugreek leaves give them their signature bitter caramel flavour.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: bread, chickpea flour, fenugreek leaves, flatbread, gujarati, methi
Servings: 20 thepla

Ingredients

  • 500 g wholewheat chapati flour I use Pilsbury Chakki Atta
  • 75 g fresh fenugreek leaves very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 1 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150 ml almond milk warm
  • 275 ml hot water
  • 3 tbsp oil + more for cooking

Instructions

  • Mix together the chapati flour, chickpea flour, sesame seeds, garlic, chilli powder, methi leaves and salt.
  • In a separate jug, stir together the hot water and jaggery until completely dissolved.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the jaggery water and almond milk. Stir with a spoon to combine. Once cool enough to handle knead to form a smooth dough, about 5 minutes. Add the 3 tbsp oil and knead for a further 3-4 minutes. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Make golf ball-sized pieces with the dough. Keep some flour on a plate for rolling.
  • Get another plate lined with kitchen paper.
  • Place a steel tawa or a frying pan over a medium heat. Leave it for 5 minutes.
  • To start rolling, take a piece of dough and roll it between your palms, flattening it slightly. Dip each side in flour. Roll to about 6cm in diameter, place a pinch of flour in the centre and spread it around a little. Starting from the outermost edges, pinch the dough to the centre, covering the flour. Flatten with your palm. This will ensure the edges of the Thepla are perfectly smooth.
  • Roll out into a large circle, about 20cm (8”) in diameter.
  • Cook on the preheated tawa until bubbles appear on the surface (5 seconds), Spread a small amount of oil over the surface and then flip and cook until small brown spots appear on the base (20 seconds). Flip again and spread oil on the second side. Cook until larger brown spots (like what you see on a super ripe banana) appear on the surface. Transfer to a lined plate and repeat for the remaining Thepla.

Recipe Video

Sanjana’s Notes

  • To ensure the Thepla remain soft, keep them in an insulated container for up to 12 hours. If you’re eating the Theplas the next day, wrap them in foil and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, microwave the stack for 30 seconds. Individual Theplas will only take 10 seconds.
  • To freeze, place sheets of baking parchment between each one and wrap well in foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost before reheating.
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Soft Gujarati Thepla

If you like these, you’ll love my Soft Spinach Roti recipe

Soft Spinach Roti

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Recipe Rating




Jaimini

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

I’m not a confident cook. I’m actually not very good at all. But my kids love a good thepla anyday which my mum would make for them. But, for them I tried this recipe and I honestly thank you as your measurements made it easy for someone like me to follow which in turn (all thanks to you) meant that the thepla were a massive hit with my kids. Thanks so much Sanjana. Jaimini

40+ Fantastic Vegan Indian Recipes | Rainbow Plant Life

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

[…] Soft Gujarati Thepla […]

Nipa

Tuesday 13th of July 2021

I've made these theplas for a roadtrip as my little one asked for them. I make my own version but I love the roast flavour of these even more so. These are absolutely epic Sanjana ❤️

Sanjana

Monday 19th of July 2021

Thanks so much, Nipa. I'm so pleased you enjoyed them! x

V

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

Love your recipes! Can I use yoghurt instead of almond milk, and if so do I need to adjust the amount of water?

Supriya Chaudhari

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Managed to successfully make theplas for the first time! Thank you Sanjana for all the tips and tricks!