Fenugreek, ginger and turmeric flatbread (a.k.a. methi thepla)

Fenugreek flatbread, known as methi thepla, is a common snack food in the Indian state of Gujarat. Made with dried fenugreek leaves, whole wheat flour and an array of spices that you can mix and match, it’s a surprisingly simple, extraordinarily delicious, healthy and filling treat for anytime of the day.

 Spring naan flatbread

In all of my visits to India, how have I not had this bread before? How?!

This little flatbread is revolutionary, people. It takes about 10 minutes to prep, 2 minutes to cook and it tastes amazing. It’s also packed with protein and nutrient-rich herbs and spices, so you can feel good about eating it.

I came across this recipe through my new buddy, Leena. She’s a talented food and culture writer, who recently discovered the vast world of Indian snacks during her first trip to India earlier this year. I had Leena over in my kitchen for a Facebook Live sesh to talk about what it’s like to be a food writer and how she gets inspiration for stories. I also tried to get some real answers on whether or not food writing is as glamorous of a job as it seems. She had some great tips, which you can check out on the social medias.

She chose to make this bread because it’s an approachable and easy Gujarati food. Gujurat also happens to be where my mother-in-law’s side of the family is from — so you can imagine how giddy they were when they saw me making it. My husband remembers snacking on it with a dollop of homemade yogurt during visits to India as a kid. While that’s the most common way to eat it, it can also be enjoyed on its own or with a seasonal chutney or pickle.

While I stuck with Leena’s more traditional version here, I encourage you to experiment with different herbs and spices. If you do, please tag Laurel Street Kitchen on social media so that we can see what you came up with!

 Spring naan flatbread
 Spring naan flatbread

COOKING NOTES

Atta flour is what makes the texture here really work — crispy, but with a bit of chew. You can find it at any Indian grocer or online here. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of sourcing it, you can use super fine whole wheat flour, like 00. Be sure to sift it to get it even softer and fluffier. Also, while fenugreek is delicious here, you can sub it for any dried herb you have on hand. Get creative with it! I know I will.

MAKES 10 - 12 PIECES

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups atta flour (or 00 whole wheat flour, sifted)
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup dried fenugreek (or dried oregano)
6 tablespoons of ghee or grapeseed oil
5 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup of water, or more
Ghee or butter (for finishing)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients, minus the water, and mix with your hands until combined.
  2. Little by little, add water (starting with ¼ cup) and mix until you have a dough that holds together, but is still a little soft. If it’s too sticky, add more flour.
  3. Roll the dough into about 2-inch balls.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, press each ball into a flat circle and roll out with a floured rolling pin. Or, if you have it, flatten in a tortilla press.
  5. Place a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. One by one, add a dough circle cook on each side until a few brown spots appear and the dough looks dry, about 2 minutes each side.
  6. Remove the bread from the heat, brush with a little butter or ghee and sprinkle with salt to finish.
  7. Serve with yogurt, chutney or pickle.