Come winter, and bajri na thepla start making an appearance in Gujarati households. With all the ginger, garlic and sesame that goes into them, these rotis are said to generate heat in the body, much needed in the winter months. They make for a hearty, filling meal, especially paired with a mustard-y carrot pickle, a blob of butter, or some curd and chopped onions.
Made the Gujarati way, with sugar, these rotis taste fabulous. Do I need to tell you I love them to bits? 🙂
What’s more, these rotis travel well, too. If let to cool fully and packed in a clean, air-tight box, they keep well for upto five days. Any wonder, then, why Gujjus carry these theplas with them on long train journeys?
Make them sans the sugar, and they make for one of the healthiest lunches you could ever have. You could reduce the quantity of oil you use in the theplas, too, if you want.
I tried making these beauties at home, for the first ever time. I learnt how to, from our relatives, who are visiting from Ahmedabad. I absolutely had to, before the winter here completely comes to an end. I am happy to report that they turned out gorgeous – just perfect!
Here’s how I made them.
Ingredients (for 15 theplas):
- 1-1/4 cups bajri atta (pearl millet flour – I used store-bought flour)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used flour ground at the mill from whole wheat)
- 2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup thick curd, preferably sour
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 5-6 green chillies
- A 2-inch piece of ginger
- 7-8 cloves of garlic
- 4-5 tablespoons of sugar, or to taste
- 1/4 cup oil +more for making the theplas
- Red chilli powder to taste (optional – only if you need the theplas to be more spicy)
- About 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
- A medium-sized bunch of fenugreek (methi) greens, cleaned, chopped and thoroughly washed
- A small bunch of fresh coriander stalks and leaves, cleaned, finely chopped and washed
- Peel the ginger and chop it into small pieces. Chop the green chillies into small pieces. Peel the garlic cloves. Grind the ginger, green chillies and garlic to a paste in a mixer, using a little water. Keep this paste aside.
- Take the bajri atta, besan and whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (if using), sugar, sesame seeds, 1/4 cup of oil, green chillies-garlic-ginger paste, chopped coriander, chopped fenugreek, and curd.
- Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl well. Bind into a firm but soft dough, adding a little water if necessary. Normally, you will be able to bind the dough even without using any water, thanks to the water content in many of the ingredients.
- Let the dough rest, covered, for about 15 minutes.
- Heat a thick dosa tava till drops of water dance on it. While the tava is heating up, take a small piece of the dough and pat it, using your hands, into as thin a roti as you can. If you are able to roll out the dough into a roti using a rolling pin, you could do that too.
- Place the roti on the hot tava and reduce the flame to medium. Spread a teaspoon of oil around the roti and let it cook on one side. Then, flip over the roti, and spread another teaspoon of oil on the cooked side. Let the other side cook thoroughly, and then transfer the roti to a plate.
- Make rotis out of all the dough, in a similar manner.
- Serve hot, with pickle, curd and chopped onions, or a pat of butter.
You like? I hope you will try this out, too!