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Healthy Vegetarian Foods


Thepla is to a Gujarati person, what a baguette is to a French man. Eat it any which way you want to and with any accompaniment of your choice and it still tastes amazing. It is healthy and nutritious Gujarati bread, made with flours, grated veggies and spices. It was created by the woman of the community for their travelling husbands, as Gujarati’s are mainly merchants, the men travelled from village to village to sell their merchandise, however they were not always assured of getting something vegetarian to eat on their journeys and thus the THEPLA was invented. This spiced roti keeps well for a good few days and eaten with some pickle or curd is a nourishing meal. When on a long train journey in India, you will find the Gujarati people opening up their TIFFINS (food cans), and they will have their thepla, maybe a vegetable curry and a variety of pickles.


350ml cake flour

75ml chick pea flour

75ml soya flour

100ml finely chopped baby spinach or fenugreek herbs

5ml chilli powder

5ml coriander powder

5ml cumin powder

10ml salt

50ml oil (approximately)

100ml boiling water (approximately)


  1. Sift flours into mixing bowl—add salt and spices-mix well
  2. Make a well in the center and add the oil, mix the oil into flour thoroughly and then add the spinach/herbs
  3. Using enough boiling water make soft dough, divide dough into portions the size of golf balls
  4. This mixture should yield you about 18 Theplas
  5. Sprinkle flour on the rolling pin and board when rolling dough into circles and cook like roti on a tawa/griddle pan
  6. Serve warm with yogurt, pickles or a vegetable curry





Comments: 12

  • Sous Chef


    I’ve never heard of them and they sound very tasty, I’m assuming you can add any veggie that grates?

  • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


    Hi Sue, it is not easily available in South Africa, but you will find that almost every Gujarati home makes them. When you pay me a visit i will be sure to make some for you. Yes any veggie that grates will be fine.

  • rumtumtigger


    That sounds so interesting Usha. I must give it a try sometime 😉

    • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


      thank you

  • pinkpolkadot


    I have never heartd about this before. It sounds great!

    • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


      Yes i know, it is a Gujarati dish and i think therefore it is not on the menu of most Indian restaurants. There is an Indian take away somewhere in Cape Town called “Shayona” and i can assure you that they make the most wonderful vegetarian meals & you will find Thepla on their menu. I will get the address and let you have it.

  • mitzireddy


    what a lovely post, Usha – have to admit I have not eaten thepla.

    • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


      Thanks Mitzi, it is common and traditional among the Gujarati coomunity

  • Michéle


    Wow, very interesting! Love the idea of this recipe! I want to make it immediately and it looks so easy 🙂

    • Healthy Vegetarian Foods By Usha Singh


      Thanks Michele, it is easy and served with some plain yogurt it is such a wonderful treat

  • shireen


    Hi Usha! Really love your blog. What can I substitute for soya flour?

    • 16/07/2013

      Thanks Shireen–you can just use extra chick pea flour. I use the soya flour for its health benefits

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