Thepla

My mom’s Gujarati thepla are hearty, easy to make and pair with meals, raita, or a cup of chai! These remind me of home and are tried and tested methi thepla.  They can be made in variations such as dudhi (lauki) thepla or spinach thepla.

Methi thepla on a plate.

My mom’s Gujarati methi thepla recipe is hearty, easy to make, and paired with meals, raita, or a cup of chai! These remind me of home and are tried and tested methi thepla. While these use fresh fenugreek leaves, they can be made in variations such as dudhi (lauki) thepla or spinach thepla. You can also make them without any added greens or veggies as well.

Thepla is a staple part of Gujarati cuisine and typical part of Gujju meals.  Methi thepla is made by forming a base dough with whole wheat flour, spices, oil, and fenugreek leaves. They are made thinner than dhebra, another Gujarati flatbread.

This vegetarian flatbread is savory and full of flavor. You can pair it with as part of a full Gujarati thali, a main dish like Potato Shaak, or just with an Indian mango pickle, raita, or masala chai as a snack.

 I love eating them on their own as they just have such a delicious taste.It is often joked that Gujaratis don’t travel without a stack of methi na thepla, bhakri, or dhebra with them.  I admit to going on many trips with a stack of these for a quick snack!

Enjoy thepla with Indian pickles such as or with a potato shaak.

Key Ingredient Notes

Whole wheat flour, a few ground spices, oil and water are the key ingredients I use.

Note: There are many variations of thepla with different mixes of flour and other ingredients (for example, you can skip the fenugreek leaves).  See below for a section discussing some of these variations.

Ingredients for Gujarati methi thepla on a board.

Fenugreek Leaves (Methi Leaves):  You can easily find these in Indian grocery stores. Fenugreek provides a very distinct, unique taste.

If you want an easy substitute, use spinach leaves.  It won’t give you the same flavor, but it is a variation we often make. See the section below on variations.

Whole Wheat Flour: The main ingredient for the dough. While there are variations, combining this and bajri or besan, whole wheat flour is always a staple.

Red Chili Powder: Adds a slight spiciness to the thepla, but not overwhelmingly spicy.

Sesame Seeds: Contribute a nutty flavor and slightly crunch to the flatbread.

Salt: Enhances overall taste and balances the flavors.

Turmeric Powder: Adds color and a subtle earthy flavor.

Carom Seeds: Also known as ajwain, these seeds add a distinctive aroma and aid digestion.

Oil: Use a neutral oil.  I used canola.

These ingredients combine to create a flavorful flatbread commonly enjoyed with yogurt, pickles, or chutney.

Preparation

Wash fenugreek leaves and dry. Note, tender stalks are ok to use too. 

Chop the fenugreek leaves and set aside. 

Chopped fenugreek leaves on a cutting board with a knife.
Wash and chop fenugreek (methi) leaves.

Making methi thepla

Add whole wheat flour, spices to a deep bowl. Make a well in the center and add oil.

Using your clean fingers incorporate the oil with the flour mixture. While you can use a spoon, rubbing the oil and flour mixture helps incorporate the mixture a little better.  

Whole wheat flour, spices, and oil in a well in the center of the flour mixture in a pot.
Add whole wheat flour, spices to a deep bowl. Make a well in the center and add oil.
Whole wheat flour, spices, and oil mixed together in a steel bowl.
Using your clean fingers incorporate the oil with the flour mixture. While you can use a spoon, rubbing the oil and flour mixture helps incorporate the mixture a little better.

Add fenugreek leaves (or spinach leaves or dudhi, etc.)

Fenugreek leaves added to flour mixture.
Add in chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves.
Hand mixing fenugreek leaves with flour mixture.
Combine the leaves with the flour mixture.

Add water and knead to form a soft dough. 

Water pouring into methi thepla mixture in a bowl.
Add water, about 1/4 cup at a time until a soft, firm dough forms. It shouldn’t be too wet, that is why a little water at a time is added.
Methi thepla dough in a bowl.
Add water and knead to form dough.

 Dive into approximately equal portions. 

Dough divided into eight portions.
I like to form two logs out of the dough and then cut into 4 pieces each.
Eight methi thepla dough balls.
Then adjust as needed to make 8 approximately same sized balls.

Roll and lightly flatten each dough portion. Using a rolling pin, roll out each circle.

Wooden rolling pin rolling out a methi thepla.
Roll and lightly flatten each dough portion. Using a rolling pin, roll out each circle. Sprinkle a little whole wheat flour to prevent sticking.
Rolled out thepla.
Roll out fairly thin. It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, but if you really want one – use a bowl and cut out the edges with a knife.

Heat a nonstick tawa or pan on medium heat. Place thepla on the pan and drizzle and spread a little oil on top. After about 1 minute you’ll see light bubbles and flip it. Drizzle the other side with a little oil. You’ll see dark spots form indicating they are cooked. 

Drizzling oil on a thepla cooking on a tawa on stovetop.
Heat a nonstick tawa or pan on medium heat. Place thepla on the pan and drizzle and spread a little oil on top all over. After about 1 minute you’ll see light bubbles and flip it.
Roasted thepla on a tawa.
Drizzle the other side with a little oil. You’ll see dark spots form indicating they are cooked.

Repeat until all thepla are roasted. 

Serve warm!

Roasted thepla on a plate.
Drizzle the other side with a little oil. You’ll see dark spots form indicating they are cooked.

Variations

I’ll break this down into two sections: mix-ins and flour variations.

Mix-Ins

  • Coriander: Chopped fresh coriander as a primary flavor.
  • Palak: Spinach, chopped finely, incorporated for a vibrant color and flavor.
  • Leftover Rice/Khichdi Thepla: Repurposing leftover rice or khichdi to create a unique thepla.
  • Cabbage: Grated cabbage for a crunchy texture.
  • Doodhi (Bottle Gourd): Grated doodhi/bottle gourd adds moisture and nutrition.
  • Zucchini: Grated zucchini for a subtle, moist thepla.

Variations in Flour

  • Wheat Flour: Traditional choice, made with whole wheat flour.
  • Multigrain Thepla:
    • Blend of various flours like wheat, millet, and gram flour.
  • Bajra (Pearl Millet):Made primarily with bajra flour which has a slightly nutty and earthy taste.
  • Jowar (Sorghum): Jowar is a gluten-free flour that has a mild, sweet taste and a soft texture.
  • Besan (Chickpea Flour): Adds a nutty and slightly bitter taste. I usually use this in combination with whole wheat flour. In this recipe, I would add two tablespoons of besan flour for a variation.
  • Ragi (Finger Millet): Features ragi flour for a distinct nutty flavor.
  • Nachni (Amarnath): Prepared with nachni (amaranth) flour.
Methi thepla on a plate.

Methi Thepla

Shilpa Joshi
My mom’s Gujarati thepla are hearty, easy to make and pair with meals, raita, or a cup of chai! These remind me of home and are tried and tested methi thepla.  They can be made in variations such as dudhi (lauki) thepla or spinach thepla.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gujarati
Servings 8 thepla
Calories 131 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 rolling surface/board
  • 1 non-stick tawa or pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fenugreek leaves (methi leaves) 55g
  • cup whole wheat flour 205g
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp carom seeds ajwain, crush in between palm of hands before adding to dough mix
  • 3 tbsp oil I use canola oil
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
 

  • Add whole wheat flour, spices to a deep bowl. Make a well in the center and add oil.
  • Using your clean fingers incorporate the oil with the flour mixture. While you can use a spoon, rubbing the oil and flour mixture helps incorporate the mixture a little better.  
  • Add chopped fenugreek leaves, water and knead to form dough. Add a little water at a time. You don't want the dough to become too wet. Just enough to come together.
  • Divide into eight approximately equal portions.
  • Roll and lightly flatten each dough portion. Using a rolling pin, roll out each circle thin (see post for more pictures). If needed, sprinkle a little whole wheat flour on top to prevent sticking to the pin.
  • Heat a nonstick tawa or pan on medium heat. Place thepla on the pan and drizzle and spread a little oil on top. After about 1 minute you’ll see light bubbles and flip it.
  • Drizzle the other side with a little oil. You’ll see dark spots form indicating they are cooked. 
  • Repeat until all thepla are roasted. Serve warm!

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.02gSodium: 294mgPotassium: 90mgFiber: 3gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 39IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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