Theplas make me a bit nostalgic; it reminds me of long train journeys in India. Thepla is one food that most of the Indian families take with them when they are travelling to some long distance for one reason that they stay longer and do not spoil easily.
Theplas are very easy to cook and also has many adaptations. Theplas can be made with mixed vegetables, methi, carrot, beetroot and almost anything. One among the lot which is very common and healthy is Lockey thepla. Lauki also called as ghiya, dhudhi and bottle gourd is low in fat and cholesterol yet high in dietary fibre. It contains 96% water. It is excellent for light, low-cal diets, as well as for small children, people with digestive problems, diabetics and convalescents. You can use lauki to make so many things. I made lauki kofta curry and not to forget lauki muffins. It is such a versatile vegetable and also high in nutrition.
If you have never made theplas before you might need to judge your dough very well. The dough should be soft but not very soft too. You also need to keep an eye on the amount of water you take to knead the dough. Lauki itself has lot of water and thus little sprinkles of water will be fine (nothing more than that). Moving to the recipe.
3 cups wheat flour (atta)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
According to taste, salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 teaspoon ajwain (carom) seeds
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds (til)
6 green chilis, or according to taste, ground into a paste
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste (adrak)
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste (lehsuni)
1 cup grated lauki (bottle gourd)
3 tablespoons yogurt (dahi)
1/4 cup or more, chopped cilantro/dhaniya
A small bowl of water
Place all ingredients except the water in a large bowl. Knead for about 1 minute. Sprinkle a little water and knead till dough is no longer sticky and has formed a soft ball. (Remember: You may need to use a little more or less water depending on how ‘watery’ your lauki or bottle gourd is).
Set the dough aside for 10 minutes. Then roll out 20 pedas or ball from them.
Place a ball of dough on a flat surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out like you would a chapati. Sprinkle flour on the thepla as when needed so it doesn't stick.
Heat a heavy skillet, griddle or tava. Place the rolled out thepla on it. Cook till brown spots appear on one side. Turn the thepla over, pour 1/4 teaspoon oil around it and let it cook till golden on both sides.
Repeat for all the dough.
Use any other grated vegetable like carrot, beetroot, radish, methi leaves to make other flavours of thepla.
You can omit the use oil, simply use a napkin to roast the thepla. Remember no use of oil will not make the theplas last longer.
There are so many ways to serve it with.. It can be eaten plain or serve with chutney, raita, any side dish or pickle. This is perfect for breakfast; in fact for any time meal.
Spicy, soft and healthy