Dish of the Week, 16th October 2018 – Thepla by Chef Neha Kavathekar (With Recipe!)

Hello, Foodies and Buddies!

It’s Dish of the Week time again and on this edition, we have Authentic Gujarati  Thepla by Chef Neha Kavathekar! Here are some words from our Chef before we get started with her amazing dish:

“I used to be a home chef. Though my family is very unique in itself. I am part of a joint family where 4 generations live together (my grandparents-in-law, parents-in-law, me, my husband and our two little cutie angels). Members of the family range from 94 years of age to 5 years of age! For this size of family and the range of ages I always need to keep in mind the balance of nutritional value, taste and variety of food that I cook at home.

FoodyBuddy came into my life as a turning point. I always liked to cook new recopies for my family and friends. But through this platform, I recognized my passion to spread the goodness of a broad variety of dishes. This platform has not only allowed me to share dishes from Indore, Maharashtra, Gujarat, North India and South India with all the Foodies in our apartment complex. Foodies have appreciated the new flavours they got to taste and many of them have become my very good friends too.

My mother-in-law and my husband are also very good chefs. Many times they also prepare amazing recipes and Foodies have always given their recipes thumbs up!

To share a secret, there have been quite a few instances when managing personal responsibilities and keeping up with FoodyBuddy commitments got tough. I – almost every day – say to my husband that enough is enough, today is the last day of my FoodyBuddy presence, but my passion keeps me going and then the next morning I post another dish!… and the story goes on 😊

Thanks to FoodyBuddy, it has helped me find my passion and to continue with it!”

Thank you, ma’am, for your wonderful words and we are so glad that you have decided to continue to be active on FoodyBuddy 🙂

Now, coming to Chef Neha’s awesome dish, we asked her what exactly Thepla is. She answered, “The dish – Methi Thepla – is a very popular Gujarati dish made with whole wheat flour, spices and fresh fenugreek leaves. It is basically a soft paratha with a different kind of stuffing and way it is prepared.”

“A well-known fact about these fenugreek pieces of bread is that thousands of Gujaratis ensure that whenever they travel locally within India or abroad, they make sure that they always carry Thepla with them. Why?”

“Simply because it lasts long, it has loads of nutrition value and mouthwatering flavours. Eaten with Chatpata Chutney, it is a complete meal itself. It doesn’t matter if one eats it as a breakfast, lunch or dinner. It always serves the purpose.”

Thepla

It is clear that Chef Neha loves Thepla and we asked her if the dish held any significance to her.

“It is like asking the significance of wings to a bird! I am married in a Maharashtrian family and a large part of my maternal kith & kin live in Gujarat. I personally like most Indian dishes, but for anyone related to Gujarat can’t imagine life without eating and preparing Thepla.”

“I have grown up eating Theplas and I always wanted to share a small piece of Gujarati culture with others through this dish,” she said with a nostalgic smile.

Is this dish one of Chef Neha’s favourites then?

” I have many dishes that are my favourites. I love to cook and I love to serve good food to the people around me. As I joined the FoodyBuddy platform I noticed that there are hardly any authentic Gujarati dishes that Foodies are getting to savour.”

“I thought that this is one dish that any non-Gujarati must try, at least once. I thought this is a dish that will help Foodies in getting introduced to the rich culinary culture of Gujarat. And this is why I chose to share it with all the Foodies,” she replied.

So, how exactly did Chef Neha learn to make Thepla?

“I would say, Gujarati culinary skills are in my blood and I have seen my mother, her mother and my aunts and every lady around me during my childhood make Theplas. I don’t think I had to learn to make it, I just prepared it when my turn came!” Amazing story, ma’am 🙂

Chef Neha was also kind enough to share a full recipe for her Authentic Gujarati Thepla:

Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat flour (Gehun Ka Atta)
1 cup gram flour (Besan)
½ cup Jowar flour
½ cup Bajra flour
1 cup finely chopped fenugreek (Methi)
1 tsp green chilli paste
2 tsp garlic (Lehsun) paste
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp sesame seeds (Til)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (Hing)
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp Curd
Salt to taste
Whole wheat flour (Gehun Ka Atta) for rolling
Oil for cooking

Preparation:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a semi-soft dough using enough water.
2. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll out each portion into a circle using a little whole wheat flour for rolling.
3. Heat a tava (griddle) and cook each circle, on a medium flame, using oil, till it turns golden brown in colour from both the sides.
4. Serve hot.

Are there any challenges associated with making Theplas?

“I suppose it is one of the simplest dishes that one can make but at the same time, it is important that it made in the authentic Gujarati way. And to do that, one must remember the culture and importance of this dish for Gujaratis.”

Being such an amazing champion for Gujarati food, does Chef Neha have any other dishes which she wants to make famous on FoodyBuddy?

“Another one that I will introduce soon with flavours of Gujarat will be Handvo. In addition, I would serve much more Maharashtrian, North Indian, South Indian and especially Indori dishes (I have spent a long part of my life in India’s street food capital – Indore).”

We can’t wait for more amazing dishes from you, ma’am!

Finally, does Chef Neha have any closing words for us?

“I am very passionate about cooking and serving good food.”

“Human history is built on food. Just about any social occasion or backroom deal, no matter how small, has had some kind of food present. Armies need it to fight, people need it to live, and economies need it to function. The foods that changed history come in all shapes, sizes, and flavours – from sweet to salty to savoury.”

“However, they always managed to fill a specific need at a specific time. Food has been the cornerstone of humanity’s foundation.”

“FoodyBuddy is a platform that has supported my passion and helps me in spreading the goodness of well-cooked food for all the Foodies!”

This was a great interaction, ma’am, and thank you so much for being such a passionate member of the FoodyBuddy family! All the very best to you going forward 🙂

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