Sunday 28 June 2020

Tips and Tricks to Make ''Soft'' Theplas

Thepla is a humble dish from Gujarat that is delicious and has a longer shelf life, which makes it the first choice of Indians all over the world while packing it on their travels.
Even t
hough I grew in a Marathi household I have been eating theplas since I was a kid. Who knew one day, I would be married in a Kutchi family were it's more than just a dish, it's an emotion.

So, most of you know that the recipe for theplas is really simple.
Wheat flour + gram flour + finely chopped fenugreek leaves + spices + salt + sesame seeds + water/buttermilk + oil. Knead all t
hese into a soft dough.Then you make roll them into round rotis and roast it with oil or ghee.

The first time I tried them they turned out okay. OKAY because they were yummy and soft when one ate them hot out of the pan. But my theplas would turn crisp and dry if they were stored and consumed after a period of time.
I tried searching online, if I was doing something wrong, but couldn't find anything. My mom made theplas with the same recipe and her's turned out really well.
So after much trial and error and research I concluded that making soft theplas is a skill, one which I might take longer to accomplish.
A few more years down the line and there was no significant progress in my theplas. Until of course I personally started talking to people around me who made really delish and soft theplas.
So the result of years of these ''vartalaab'' with my friends and acquaintances equipped me with a few tricks and tips which brought about a significant progress in the texture of my theplas.
So here I am to share what I learnt, hoping this helps a thepla lover someday.

Trick #1
Yogurt/Sour cream

Instead of using water or butter milk for kneading the thepla dough, one of my friend confided that she uses only plain t
hick yogurt or even better sour cream for kneading the dough. No water is used. This makes theplas yummy and really soft.

Trick #2
Cooked Rice

Another tip to make your theplas soft is to add cooked rice to the flour w
hile kneading the dough. The rice could be left over rice from the previous day as well. Just make sure that it is kneaded well in the dough and doesn't show separate.

Trick #3
Grated Bottle Gourd/ Doodhi

Another great tip was to add
grated doodhi to the thepla dough. The water content in the doodhi keeps your dough moist and soft. Rolling the theplas becomes a bit tough since the dough is moist but the end result is totally worth it.

Trick #4
Soft dough

To make sure that the theplas stay soft for a lon
ger duration, one should make sure that the dough you knead should be softer than the regular roti dough you make. After you cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes, knead it some more by adding in some more oil, rest for another 10 minutes and then start making the theplas.

Trick #5
Medium flame

Roasting the thepla needs special attention. I noticed that since I would make theplas in large
quantities especially to carry on our travels, I would be a bit flustered and in order to finish the task fast my flame would be at high. This would not only make my theplas crisp as opposed to soft, but would also have charred marks on them. So one day I decided to make a small batch and kept my flame on medium and roasted the theplas with patience and a little extra love. Well I don't want to sound like a narcissist, but the theplas turned out so good, that I didn't want to share them.

Trick #6
Flip no more than 4 times

My mom would always finis
h roasting her theplas by flipping them no more than 3 times. The less time it is on flame, the softer they turn out. Well, I try and not flip them for more than 4 times and the result is satisfactory.

All these tips combined together helped me achieve the desired soft texture of theplas.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any other tips to make theplas, please share in the comments below.



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