Exploring Ahmedabad's Thepla: History, Types And Top Haunts
Image Credit: Archana's Kitchen

When you think of the diverse variety of Indian flatbreads, the thepla comes to mind as one of the most beloved types, after the paratha. Believed to have its origins in the Gujarati nomadic communities for being a food that could stay palatable during the course of long journeys, the flatbread is usually flavoured with a combination of spices and dried fenugreek to give it its signature savoury flavour. As Gujarat is known for its vegetarian cuisine, the state's food is characterized by its unique sweet-savoury flavours and use of spices.

The traditional thepla recipe is made with a dough of whole wheat flour, gram flour, yogurt and spices like fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves, green chilies as well as as turmeric, cumin and ajwain. Known for its versatility, the flatbread can be served as a breakfast item, a snack or as an accompaniment to various Gujarati dishes like batata nu shaak. It is also often enjoyed with yogurt, pickles, chutneys or just as it is with a hot cup of tea. Known to be particularly favourable because of its long shelf life, the thepla is often carried on journeys and as a part of packed lunches.

While the basic recipe for thepla remains the same, there are regional variations in the way it is prepared. Different communities and households in Gujarat may have their own unique recipes and variations of thepla – with additions like cucumber, jaggery and sesame making it to the mix. Here are some of the popular variants:

Image Credits: Rajbhog Foods

Methi Thepla

Perhaps the most popular and classic variation of thepla, the methi thepla incorporates fresh fenugreek leaves or methi into the dough along with spices, making it both flavoursome and nutritious. Methi thepla is a staple in Gujarati cuisine and is often served with yogurt and pickles and is also prepared as a winter delicacy when fresh methi leaves are abundantly available.

Goda Thepla

Goda thepla is a sweet and spicy variation of thepla that usually includes a sweetener like jaggery as a key ingredient. It gives it a subtle sweetness that balances the heat from the green chilies and spices. This type of thepla is popular in some regions of Gujarat and is often a variation that is prepared in home kitchens.

Millet Thepla

Millet thepla incorporate flour made with pseudo grains like ragi or finger millets, into the dough along with wheat flour. This variation that is packed with nutrition, adds a nutty flavour and a slightly different, softer texture to thepla. It is a good source of protein and is best suited for those with gluten allergies or suffering from lifestyle ailments like diabetes.

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Mooli Thepla

This radish thepla made with a combination of winter ingredients like grated radish, sesame seeds, fenugreek leaves and spices in the dough, which impart a delightful vegetal flavour and add a bit of crunch to the flatbread.

Palak Thepla

When blanched spinach puree is blended with the dough, a vibrant green colour thepla packed with antioxidants and vitamins are added to the flatbread, increasing its overall nutritional value. A great way to incorporate greens into your meal, the palak thepla can be enjoyed with a variety of vegetarian sabzis and dal for a full meal.

Top 5 Places To Eat Thepla In Ahmedabad

Honest Thepla

A well-known establishment in the Paldi locality of Ahmedabad, Honest specializes in thepla along with other Gujarati snacks. They offer a variety of theplas – including traditional methi thepla and innovative flavours like masala thepla and cheese thepla.

Havmor Restaurant

Havmor is a popular restaurant chain in Ahmedabad, serving a delicous range of theplas that include plain, masala and cheese thepla, often accompanied by chutneys and curd.

Swaad - The Thepla Restaurant

Swaad The Thepla Restaurant is dedicated to serving an array of thepla varieties. Their menu includes traditional thepla as well as fusion options like paneer thepla and chocolate thepla.

Agashiye (The House of MG)

Agashiye is a fine dining restaurant at The House of MG, a heritage hotel in Ahmedabad. While it's not a traditional thepla joint, it offers a gourmet twist to thepla with a unique and delectable presentation, making it a must-visit for those looking for an upscale thepla experience.

Local Street Food Stalls

Since Ahmedabad is famous for its street food culture, you can also find theplas being served by street vendors in various popular street food markets like Law Garden and Manek Chowk. While these may not have a specific name or establishment, they offer authentic, fresh and flavoursome theplas.