Methi Tepla

Sometimes fairy tales I had heard as a kid comes back to me now,especially those that spoke of going across the 'sapta-sagara' or 'seven-seas'.I wonder if US is seven seas far from home? from the place I grew up, from Guru-sweets, Exhibition, Najundeshwara hotel, S.I.T College, Avenue road and the dirty second hand books, Ganesh juice, Urvashi theatre, Santosh theatre, British library, Cubbon park small train and brown skinned people.. I am willing to take the risk of being racial here! At least for me it makes the world of difference. At times, being with people who speak a different language, who speak the language I speak differently, eat differently, live differently, dress differently, look differently ... makes me feel so alien. May be that is the one reason why we have so many more Indian friends than non-Indians, that is why may be we live in an apartment which has a large Indian population. So much more to it our identities and its effect on our social behaviour. May be after coming here I have become more conscious of festivals, make sure we get the right practices, eat the right food, keep track of saturdays, Ekadashi which I never did when I was younger back home. I took everything for granted. Here that my identity is that of a minority, I feel threatened and I cling to what ever was merely old-fashioned-practices and they have become a vital part of me. Something I am desperate to retain. I want me to remember i am different because we have Varamahalakshmi, Ugaadi, Deepavali, Gowri-Ganesha, Shivratri, festivals. I want to remember our dietary restrictions, no onion-garlic in offerings, semi-fasting on Ekadashi, Shivratri and Srikrishna Janmastami. Make sure at the restaurants that the food we are ordering is vegetarian; Try to practice the little left of Carnatic music that I so easily lost; At least listen regularly to the classical music; Open online version of Hindu news paper and greedily devour the news and when mom informs of some news, tell her 'yeah yeah Amma, I read about it!' as if I do not want to be left out of the great-India-media-circus; Try and be familiar with new Kannada movie songs; At the same time I love Dunkin Donuts, I like Metro-north trains, I like the throbbing of NYC, the being alive factor in the City, I like the broad roads here, I like the orderly traffic, I love the fact that I do not have to commute two hours to reach my office 6 kilometers away, I love that people respect each others' privacy, I love the way kids are treated to behave responsibly even without being spanked! I love so many things this society has to offer. It reminds me of Rig Veda which says, where ever good knowledge comes from unexpected quarters, accept it. Yes I accept and appreciate many things this western society has to offer. Individuality, freedom, space, I love it. But I am still able to get over my desperate desire within me to preserve a part of my life back home here as well. Stemming out of such desire is one such practice... that of exchanging food with our neighbours. Something I carried from India and am clinging to it. It has two distinct advantages- good home food- which I did not have to cook- Secondly I get to catch up with neighbours for a 5-10 minute banter. Otherwise life gets so busy, we hardly have time to exchange pleasantries. My two Gujarti neighbours keep pampering me with Gujarati delicacies. One such delicacy is the Methi Thepla. I was just back from a long day at work, tired and hungry. I was relaxing on the sofa, thinking of the quickest possible snack. Then bingo comes my neighbour S bringing me a few of these goodies. I was so happy. I did not even reserve the theplas for Honey, finished them before he was out of his eveing shower. They were so good. I had to make it. So I asked my other neighbour R for help. She graciously measured out the ingredients and even gave me tips as how I can use my roti-press instead of rolling out everything by hand! Which indeed came so handy. I made loads of them and I have been eating them for breakfast, evening snack... I love it.


You will need

Whole wheat flour 1/5 cups
Fresh Methi leaves chopped 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Chilly powder 1 tsp
Dhania Powder 1.5 tsp
Garlic grated 2 cloves (optional)
Fresh Coriander chopped 1/2 cup
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Sesame Seeds 2 tsp
Oil 3 tbsp + for pan frying.
Sour yogurt 1/4 cup

  • In a wide mouthed bowl, mix in the flour, methi, chilly powder, dhania powder, salt, turmeric, coriander, garlic,sesame seeds. Check for salt and chilly powder. Adjust according to taste.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the oil and the curd. Gently stirring into the flour. Add water as required to kneed the mixture into a soft dough. Cover the dough with a moist paper towel/ cloth and rest it for at least an hour.
  • After the dough has sufficiently rested, pinch lime sized balls of dough.
  • Heat a griddle; Roll out the dough balls into rotis about 5-6" in diameter.
  • Cook the rotis on the hot griddle on both sides brushing it with oil (if required)
  • Serve hot/room teperature with Yogurt and pickles. We also had these gujarati Moong Papads, which were out of the world. I have to take the recipe from R! Teplas also store well in a clean air tight box. Good travel solution as well!


Asha said...

What great neighbors you have there, lucky. Here I bake and give it to others but nobody gives anything to me! ;D

Methi Thepla looks delicious.They freeze well too, so you can just reheat in the MW when you are tired and hungry! :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

Yes Ashakka! me very lucky that way... Yeah! Thanks for the tip,next time I make them, will make enough to freeze :)

Recipeswap said...

US has become home away from home for me too,I love it here much as I miss India.Good read.I love methi and this is such a healthy and tasty treat.

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

You are so right about the "left-out feeling" thing.... My friend and I keep talking about it all the time!!! :(

the theplas look delicious

Lakshmi said...

woow you are so lucky to have lovely neighbours who give you some tasty theplas! You don't miss India in Singapore as every 4th person you see is an Indian but I totally agree with what you have written. Methi thepla looks delicious it is time to make them again as I have some methi in my freezer!

Unknown said...

Methi Tepla looks perfect and delicious.

Deepthi Shankar said...

you have described Bangalore in a very beautiful way .. you are lucky to habe such nice neighbours .. Thepla looks yumm .. I love it too

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ N33ma and Ramya!
It is sort of a solace to me that there are folks like you around who quite understand what i mean and go thru similar emotions!...

@ LG,
Yup Lakshmi, that way sort of feels good. Neev bidi, India dinda yestu hartra bere iddira. That is so much better than having to fly 24 hours to reach India!

@ thanks Lakshmi Venkatesh

Kannada Cuisine said...

Thanks a lot Deesha

Ashwini said...

Well written and very true..Miss everybody back home..Tepla looks delish and perfect..

Archy said...

Methi tepla looks yum !!
As Asha told, u have a sweet neighbors.. i wish i was Ashakka's neighbor, i wud have tasted all yummy dishes she cooked :)!!

Hey, award waiting for u.. do pick it :)!!

Andhra Flavors said...

your methi tepla looks inviting.

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Ashwini,
Thanks a lot.. We all miss home. Dont we? Actually I confess the feeling runs far more deeper in all of us than we realise.

@ Archy
Me too I wish I were Ashakka's neighbor as well.. For all the mouth water thalis and elaborate meals she presents on her blog!

@Andhra Flavors,
Thanks a tonne

Unknown said...

Nice methi thepla.. i love this thepla.. looks yummy & delicious.. nice blog.. added u in my blog list..

Kannada Cuisine said...

Thanks Srikars kitchen! Love to have you around

Sia said...

very interesting and thoughtful write up. i enjoyed reading it. isn't SIT college in tumkur? or r u talking of one in b'lore?
and coming to the recipe part, i have been eating methi thepla for dinner since last 3 nights. but still i am craving for it when i saw those lovely piles of thepla u have posted here :) u can never get bored of some foods and thepla is one of them :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Sia,

Thanks for visiting/ reading!You are right, S.I.T is in Tumkur.. I grew up in Mysore, Bangalore and Tumkur. So mentioned something from all the three places. Guru Sweets is in Mysore, one of my favorite haunts way back when I was a kid. I have no idea if there is an SIT/ Guru Sweets in Bangalore though...

A_and_N said...

thats a lovely post! And the theplas look mouth watering :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

Thanks A_and_N

Bunny said...

oh thepla's look fantastic! and what an easy recipe :) Lovely post. Would you mind to submit this recipe to my site?

Kannada Cuisine said...

I quite did not get you, if you want to repost this recipe on ur blog plz feel free as long as you are linking back to this post :)