Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Tasty Multi-Grain Thepla

I seem to have fallen madly in love with all kinds of Indian breads lately, and the original pics of this one were too tempting to resist.  This super healthy multi-grain thepla is largely borrowed from Apu, at the AnnarasaEssenceof Food site, but with a few of my little tweaks here and there.

The dough has a few more steps than a regular chapatti recipe, but about as many steps as a stuffed paratha recipe, so if you enjoy cooking, try this!

2 tablespoons mustard oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
¼ teaspoon hing (asafetida)
1 small red onion, very finely diced
Sweet Red Pepper adds taste and color!
½ sweet red pepper, very finely diced
½ teaspoon red chilli powder  (or to taste)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon amchur powder (dried green mango)
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ cup kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon jaggery powder, or sugar

½ cup plain yogurt

2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup besan flour (chickpea flour)
½ cup millet flour
¼ cup barley flour
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ cup water (approximately)

2 to 3 tablespoons ghee for roasting  (clarified butter)

Put a frying pan on medium high heat, add the mustard oil, and when it’s hot, add the cumin seed and hing.  As the cumin first starts to sizzle, add the onion and sweet pepper, and lower the heat to medium, and cook till the onion is caramelized and the pepper is soft.  Add the spice powders and kasoori methi and fry for another minute, stirring.  Kasoori methi are dried fenugreek leaves, and not to be mistaken with fenugreek seed or powder.  They smell super strong, but this much adds an excellent taste and texture.  (If you can’t find this product, use about a half teaspoon of the finer fenugreek seed.)  

Add the sesame seeds, and watch over it, stirring, till they start to brown a little.  It may take two or three minutes. 
Watch carefully so the sesame doesn't burn.
Add the sugar, stir a few times, and remove from heat.  Scrape into a large bowl.  When it’s somewhat cooled, stir in the yogurt.

Meanwhile, get your flours and salt together.  Mix them and add them to the onion and yogurt mixture.  Use your hand to stir the dough, to get a good feeling for how much more liquid is needed.  Taste for saltiness at this point.  Add a bit more if needed.  Add the water in small amounts.  The dough should come together, but not be sloppy wet and sticky.  Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, roll into a big ball, cover with a damp tea towel, and set aside for thirty minutes.

Heat a griddle to medium heat.  My stove burners go up to 12, so I select 5, which works for me.  Every stove is different and you’ll experiment a bit.  

Meanwhile, pinch off a ball slightly smaller than a golf ball, and roll it up.  Place on a floured surface, and then flatten it with the palm of your hand.  

Flip it to get flour on the other side.  Roll it out to about a five to six inch diameter, and pick it up and brush off extra flour.  Place in the griddle and start rolling out the next thepla.  Keep a close eye on the griddle, and when the dough starts to change colour (within a couple of minutes) flip it.  Use a brush or back of spoon to thinly glaze with ghee, which is clarified butter.  You aren't frying these as such, just dry roasting in a griddle, with the help of a thin glaze of clarified butter.  Flip it again, and glaze the next side with ghee.  Each thepla should be fully roasted within three to four minutes.  If you can manage a higher heat to make them go faster, without burning, go for it!

Flatten it with the palm of your hand, and flip to coat in flour.  Then  roll out.
According to Apu’s AnnarasaTheEssenceofFood site, these make a great picnic item.  

You might need a partner to help with rolling, flipping and buttering.
I served some for a light supper with sag paneer, and then we greedily ate all the leftovers the next day, mostly as snacks.  Because I go light on the ghee, I can justify these as being healthy.  The grains and sesame are super healthy, and these thepla are most satisfying. 

You can always substitute mustard oil, or any healthy oil for ghee, to keep these vegan.  If you need help with finding these ingredients, please drop me a line.  
Best of all, there were lots of left-overs!  Yum!


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