Methi Paratha / Thepla

Nothing reflects the rising cost of fresh fruits and vegetables better than greens in Chennai, especially the slightly more North Indian ones like Methi and Palak.  Methi which had never exceeded 15 Rs now sells for a shocking 30 Rs on the streets of Besantnagar, on the rare occasions you actually find it!.
I normally buy vegetables and fruits from the road side hawkers - even if the cost is a 10 - 20% higher, it is a question of survival of small businesses and hopefully the produce is a little more fresh and a lot more local.  I visit big stores for exotic produce mostly, this time I found Methi in Pazhamuthir Cholai at a lovely 10Rs a bunch!  I bought 2 and we have had methi everything this week - Methi Sambhar, Methi leaves in Paniyaram and finally yesterday Methi Thepla a.k.a Methi Paratha in my house.
Gau has exams this week, he spends 2 hours in school writing the paper, then comes home and mopes around the house hardly studying and grabbing every second he can on the iPad and begging me to buy him some junk or the other everyday.  He complains I only make idlis, rice or rotis and should make something interesting.  I suggested Parathas and he said yeah assuming I would make the stuffed potato and cheese one I had made previously - a  super hit loaded with carbohydrates and fat.  I opened my fridge found a lovely bag of leaves only methi and decided to go to the other extreme - a low fat, high protein paratha.
I love all Gujarati food especiallu Dhoklas, Theplas and Khandvi though their names do sound like fierce missiles (Kareena in 3 idiots).  My hubby and kids disagree.  The culprit I think is the overwhelming amount of Besan (Chickpea flour), it has a somewhat sticky weird feel unless fried into a fudge in equal mount of ghee. 
I replaced the chickpea flour with freshly ground, roasted gram (Pottukadalai).  Roasted Gram is really just a crisp version of the chana daal from which besan is made, but the dry roasting makes a world of difference in the taste

2 cups wheat flour
1 cup powdered roast gram (pottukadalai)
2 cups picked methi leaves, loosely packed
1 tsp ajwain
1 tsp sesame seeds
1" ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 spring onions finely chopped, green part only
1 tsp chili powder (green chili would be better, but too hot for my 3 year old)
1 tbsp sesame oil divided
salt to taste.
All purpose flour for rolling
Ghee (optional)

Clean the methi leaves in running water and chop finely.
Mix all ingredients together except the oil.
Rub about a spoon of oil into the mix.
Add water as needed and knead into a smooth dough.
Add another spoon of oil to the well kneaded dough, roll it into a ball and keep aside for 30min.
Divide dough into 12 equal balls.
Roll each ball into a 8" circle, flouring the slab as needed.
Cook on a medium flame until both sides have brown spots.
Top with a 1/4 tsp of ghee (optional)
Serve hot with fresh yogurt and pickles.

This is a bookmark quality recipe, hubby and I loved it a lot more than the kids did.  The theplas were consumed at the rate they were made so no pics :(


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