Thursday, January 26, 2012

Methi Na Thepla/Gujarati Dhebra/Fresh Fenugreek Leaves Flatbread

Dhebra is one of the most loved Gujarati tea time snacks/dishes. It is a type of paratha which has bitterness from fenugreek/methi leaves, sweetness from the sugar, sour taste that come out of curd and heat from the green chili paste. In addition to this, this paratha has the goodness of garlic & ginger, pearl millet and whole wheat flour, not to forget all the green leafy veggies going into it. It can't be healthier than this.
Gujarati's are well known for their handva, muthiya, dhokla and thepla/dhebra. Dhebra can serve different purposes like tea time snack to midnight snack and from travel food to picnic munchies. Dhebra are popular with kids to grown-ups alike.
I remember having dhebra in my school lunch box prepared by my mom, BTW she makes the most flavourful dhebra I've ever tasted. This is her recipe. So here's some recipe which just can't go wrong.

Makes 20-22, 6" diameter dhebra.
3 cups firmly packed chopped fresh fenugreek/ methi leaves
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour/ chapati flour
1 1/2 cups pearl millet/ bajri flour
2 tbs of oil
3 pinches of hing/asofoetida.
2 tbs green chili, ginger & garlic paste
1 1/2 tbs sugar
3 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste, usually requires 2 to 3 1/2 tsp of salt but it can be adjusted according to taste.
1/4th cup yoghurt (a little bit of sour yoghurt is best for this recipe)
Few mls of water for kneading the dough.

For cooking we shall require a few more tbs of oil for shallow frying. About 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for dusting.

In a deep bowl all both flours and 2 tbs of oil, give it a nice rub till the oil is nicely incorporated in the flour.
Now add all the spices, ground paste, sugar and salt and give it a nice rub once again.
Add fenugreek/methi leaves and mix it well.
Now start to knead a semi soft to hard dough adding a tablespoon of yoghurt at a time, till you run out of 1/4th cup of yoghurt. Add water to knead dough after this, remember pearl millet doesn't need too much liquid to form a dough hence add few tbs of water at a time.
Dough should not be runny at all, you should be able to make ping-pong sized balls out of it.
Let this dough rest for 20-30 mins.

Now make ping pong sized balls out of the dough and roll out 1/4th cm thick paratha, using whole wheat flour for dusting. Heat tava/griddle/non stick pan (if planning to make oil free dhebra) and place rolled out dhebra/paratha on to it. After 30 seconds turn dhebra with spatula and let it cook on the bottom side. Apply 1/4th tsp of oil on the top surface and turn it to shallow fry, press your spatula and keep turning the paratha every 20 seconds till golden brown spots appear on them.
Repeat this with all the remaining dough balls.

Dhebra can be served with pickles,jam, coriander chutney, garlic chutney, spiced curd, sweet curd or any dal or curry of your choice. This paratha/dhebra goes very well with masala chai/tea.
Shallow fried with golden brown spots

Dhebra served with sweet & spicy lemon pickle

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