Sada Thepla (Spiced Flatbread)

Sada Thepla (Spiced Flatbread) – the simplest form of spiced flatbread from Gujarat. Very often the first question asked by people in the morning in any Gujarati household is “What’s for breakfast?” and every so often the answer is theplas. In Indian, thepla are prepared on average every alternate morning. Here in the UK, thepla are a treat and are made less often.

Thepla are made with whole wheat flour otherwise known as atta or chappati flour with a mixture of dry spices like turmeric, red chili powder and asafoetida and fried to make sada thepla. The more popular version of thepla is methi thepla where fresh fenugreek is added to the flour.

Earlier in the week, I was having a debate about whether thepla and paratha are the same type of flatbread with different names in according to different regions of India. The answer is no. Thepla & paratha are two very different Indian flat-breads from difference regions of India. Thepla are primarily a Gujarati flatbread and have an authentic yellow colour whereas parathas are primarily Punjabi and are brown in colour. Also when making thepla, ingredients are usually added into the flour and kneaded into the dough. Parathas are usually stuffed with potatoes, veggies or dal. While whole wheat flour is the base of theplas, they can also be made with a combination of flours whereas parathas are made with whole wheat flour alone. Lastly, thepla can be kneaded with yogurt and water whereas parathas are kneaded with water. So as you can see there are differences which can make a world of difference when make and cooking these two breads. The texture is very different when you consume them too.

The best manner in which to make Gujarati thepla is in the dough and the way in which they are fried on the tawa. Here are some tips to ensure you make the best theplas:

  1. The dough should be kneaded using hot water which will aid in making the theplas nice a soft.
  2. Ensure the dough is nice and soft. Stiff and firm dough will make the thepla hard and crispy.
  3. Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes before you begin to roll them.
  4. Fry the thepla on a medium heat without too much pressing to prevent them from becoming hard.
  5. If you are making thepla for travel, adding extra oil when fry will increase the shelf life of the thepla.

Enjoy with yogurt, chaas, or pickle and a nice mug of masala chai.

Sada Thepla (Spiced Flatbread)

  • Servings: 5-6 people
  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Print

Ingredients
500g whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons red chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon asafoetida
1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds
Salt as required
Olive oil

Olive oil for roasting theplas, as required

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour. 

    Whole wheat flour or chappati flour
    Whole wheat flour or chappati flour
  2. Add all the spice powders, sesame seeds and salt. 

    Chappati flour with turmeric, red chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and sesame seeds
    Chappati flour with turmeric, red chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and sesame seeds
  3. Add 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil. 

    Olive oil added to flour
    Olive oil added to flour
  4. Add hot water. 

    Hot water added slowly to knead the dough
    Hot water added slowly to knead the dough
  5. Start mixing together the flour and spices with a rolling pin or wooden spoon. 

    Mix dough with wooden rolling pin or spoon until cool enough to handle
    Mix dough with wooden rolling pin or spoon until cool enough to handle
  6. Continue to combine and add more hot water as required slowly. 

    Additional hot water added to flour
    Additional hot water added to flour
  7. Once the dough begins to bind together and is cool enough to handle, start kneading with your hands. 

    Kneading the dough with hands
    Kneading the dough with hands
  8. Continue to knead with your hands to bring the dough together. 

    Knead the dough for 5 minutes for a smooth soft elastic dough
    Knead the dough for 5 minutes for a smooth soft elastic dough
  9. Add some oil to the dough to smooth and seal it. 

    Oil added to seal the dough
    Oil added to seal the dough
  10. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. 

    Dough sealed with oil
    Dough sealed with oil
  11. Make a small lemon sized ball with the dough and flatten. 

    Dough ball flattened
    Dough ball flattened
  12. Begin to roll softly and then lightly dust with plain whole wheat flour. 

    Dough dusted lightly with flour
    Dough dusted lightly with flour
  13. Roll to a 5-6’ diameter. 

    Dough rolled to a 5-6' diameter
    Dough rolled to a 5-6′ diameter
  14. Place on a heated tawa or skillet. 

    Placed on a heated tawa
    Placed on a heated tawa
  15. After about 5-7 seconds turn to the other side. 

    Thepla turned
    Thepla turned
  16. On the cooked side, lightly spread some oil. 

    Oil spread on slightly cooked side
    Oil spread on slightly cooked side
  17. Turn once again. You will hear the oiled side sizzle and splutter slightly. 

    Oiled side turned to cook
    Oiled side turned to cook
  18. Spread oil once again on the dry side. 

    Oiled on second side
    Oiled on second side
  19. Turn once more to cook the final oiled side. 

    Turned for a final time
    Turned for a final time
  20. Remove from heat and place on paper towel. The thepla should be golden brown and soft in texture. 

    Thepla placed on paper towel
    Thepla placed on paper towel
  21. Repeat this with the entire dough.
  22. Thepla are now ready to serve! Thepla go well with sweet mango pickle called chundu, bateta nu shak, sweetened yogurt, masala chai or chaas. 

    Sada Thepla (Spiced Flatbread)
    Sada Thepla (Spiced Flatbread)

Best Wishes,

Krishna

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