Monday, May 19, 2008


The quintessentially Gujarati dish. Stereotypically even.

So stereotypical that we used to refer to the more rural types as theplaa's back in the day. Heck, the typecasting seems to have spread far beyond the borders of India because a Japanese-American friend of the CC's who lived in London commented on it once.

That having been said, let us not be deprived of the brilliance that is theplaa.

Just for the record, the concept is pseudo-generic. You really can use any flour. However, if you are a moron that uses only wheat flour (like most of the Gujarati population), you will what the CC considers the main feature of theplaa namely that chewing it turns the spicy deliciousness into sweet (thank you, chemistry of saliva!)

You must use millet for that. The CC will flat out not eat theplaa that does not feature millet. It's cheaper, has a fantastic non-boring texture, and a rich taste.

Why on earth would you possibly go against that?


3 cups baajri flour (millet)
1 cup wheat flour (read instructions below)

1 cup chopped fenugreek leaves (methi)

1" ginger
3-4 garlic cloves
3-4 Thai green chillies

1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ajwain seeds
1 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground red chilli powder

yogurt mixed with water (to make the dough)

salt (to taste)


ginger-garlic-green-chilli paste

Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, sesame seeds, and the ajwain seeds.

Add the rest of the ingredients. You can see the darker color of the baajri flour along with the lighter wheat flour. Somewhere underneath you can see the fenugreek leaves too.

Don't add all the wheat flour. Keep some aside.

Now, you need to knead the dough with the yogurt-water mixture.

It is absolutely critical that the dough be made with the yogurt-water mix not just water.

The dough is going to super soft and a bit sticky (there is complex chemistry at the heart of this.) Gently keep adding more wheat flour, until the dough becomes manageably solid-ish. It will NEVER get truly solid, and always remain slightly soft.

You need to gently roll it out, and pan fry it. Another trick that works is to just roll it out with your fingers on a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil before pan frying.



Varsha said...

oh yummy.


methi-nks some methi needs to obtained asap...

ShockingSchadenfreude said...

For the record, the CC heartily recommends frozen methi leaves.

Fresh is not always possible.

Your pun was noted and appreciated. :-)