Parathas and Theplas: Indian Hot Pockets

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The weeks leading up to and the week of Diwali were busy as ever.  Parties, get-togethers, making the house shine, making homemade sweets, gifting sweets, religious ceremonies, all leading up to the big day when we dressed up in our finest, and lit diyas to welcome Lakshmi into our home.  Diwali 2014 has come and gone, and we now gear up for a much-needed vacation that we have been looking forward to all year long.  More to come on that adventure in future posts!

After the weeks of cooking and baking, I decided to take a little break and make some easy meals.  Parathas are flatbreads made of whole wheat flour that can be filled with endless varieties of stuffings.  Hubby dear, being Punjabis, is an avid fan of paratha breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! 🙂  There are many regional varieties of parathas in India, but Punjabi parathas are renowned the world over, and are famously eaten with white butter (or makhan).

Most recently, I made chana dal stuffed parathas that I make from time to time.  I also recently made methi na thepla.  Theplas are Gujarati flatbreads that are thinner than parathas, but made very similarly.  Methi na theplas, are theplas made with fenugreek leaves, whole wheat flour, chickpea flour (besan), chopped green chills, and spices.  I call parathas and theplas the Indian version of Hot Pockets because they are quick and hearty pockets of goodness.  Theplas in particular, make great food for travel as they have a pretty good shelf life without the need for refrigeration.  I’ll be making at least a dozen or more methi theplas for our trip!

Chana Dal Paratha Recipe:  Chana Dal Paratha

*Excellent recipe for chana dal paratha.  The only adjustments I make in my version:  leaving out the onions (I think it makes the paratha a bit soggy) and between steps 7 and 8 (for the stuffing), mixing the spices and dal mixture in a kadhai on the stovetop with a few red chilli peppers that have roasted in some olive oil.  This is just a personal preference and similar to how my Mum makes this dish.

The cooled dal stuffing before it goes in the dough:

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Methi na Thepla Recipe:  Methi Thepla

*This recipe is another one of my favorites from VegrecipesofIndia.com!  I follow this recipe word for word for the most delicious theplas.

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This is a cast iron griddle that I picked up years ago at World Market.  It’s a little more than a half inch thick and approximately 10 inches in diameter.  It works very well for making Indian flatbreads on a gas stovetop.  Cast iron dishes are a Godsend for cooking – the thickness of the pans and the even conduction of heat, makes food cook evenly and thoroughly.

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