Bajri Methi Dhebra (Vada)
EVENT: FOODIES_ REDOING OLD POSTS #25
For this event, Foodies_Redoing Old Posts my 25th re done recipe is BAJRI METHI DHEBRA.
What is the group Foodies _Redoing Old Posts all about?
Before discussing what Dhebra is or are, lets me explain a bit about this group. Updating posts with better photos or better write up or both is what the group Foodies_Redoing Old Posts started by Renu allows us to do. The advantage of rewriting the post in a better manner makes it more SEO friendly and good photos is what attracts your fans to check out the recipe. We’re on our 25th week, and am glad to say haven’t missed any so far and also as of today I have 25 updated recipes. Yayyy!
What is Dhebra?
For the Patel Community there are two kinds of Dhebras. The flatbread type and the fried version. Both are called the same, though the ingredients vary. Why? I seriously have no idea. However, ask any Patel and they will vouch that either one of them or both are their favorite and my family is no different.
The fried version is called Vada by other Gujarati communities. And the flatbread version is usually referred by the name Dhebra or Methi Thepla.
Are these Vadas the same as the South Indian ones?
Not at all. While those Vadas are lentil based and usually served with sambhar, chutney, Gujarati Vadas are different. Some make them with maize or corn flour (not cornstarch) along with other flours added to it and some make them with pearl millet flour (bajra). The recipes will vary from community to community and family to family.
Memories & Bajri Methi Dhebra
When my kids were growing up, including fresh fenugreek (methi) and pearl millet flour (bajri) in their diet was a bit difficult. Whenever we made methi dhebra or the flatbread they would simply screw up their noses and say ‘yuck’. So my mother in law came up with a brilliant way to get them eat both. They loved the fried dhebra, the ones made with maizemeal or cornflour. She came up with the idea to make the puffed up beauties but with pearl millet flour (bajri flour ) and fresh methi paste.
Kids are all grown up and adults and now they crave not only for the fried dhebras but also the flatbread ones… yes with bajri and methi and the works. The more methi it has the better.
Bajri Methi Dhebra
The reason I love making these as often as I can is because firstly, its a good way to enjoy the health benefits of bajra and fresh fenugreek. Secondly, these dhebras stay soft for a couple of days whereas the ones with maize meal or corn flour tend to become harder and drier. However, bajri methi dhebras don’t stay at room temperature for more than 2-3 days depending on the weather where you are. After two days, I have put any leftovers in the fridge as its hot and humid in Mombasa.
You may want to check out other recipes using Pearl Millet Flour:
- Bajri Idli
- Bajri and Moong Dal Khichdi
- Fresh Tuvar and Bajri Kadhi
- Bajri Dhebra (Millet Flour Paratha)
- Pearl Millet and Almond Cookies
- Stuffed Bajra Paratha (Pearl Millet Flatbread) by Renu
- Fennel Oats Millet Cookies by Sujata
- Bajra Na Rotla
- Bajra Aloo Paratha
- Raab – Pearl Millet Flour Porridge
- Ghoogri (using whole pearl millet) by Archana
- Savory Millet Pancakes
Here are some ideas how you can include fresh fenugreek in your diet:
Fresh Fenugreek is easily available in any stores selling Indian vegetables or you will find frozen fenugreek or methi in any Indian Grocery Store.
- Methi Muthia Tuvar Nu Shaak
- Methi Naan
- Methi and Spinach Potato Curry
- Methi Paneer Bread/Cottage Cheese and Fenugreek Bread
- Methi Bateta Nu Shaak
- Menthye Baatani Bhaath (Fenugreek Peas Rice) by Kalyani
- Methi Raita by Priya
- Sprouted Fenugreek Seed Stir Fry (Ankurit Methichi Usal) By Poonam
- Bajri Methi Poori by Swaty
Ingredients you will need to make Bajri Methi Dhebra:
Pearl Millet Flour– also known as bajri or bajra atta or flour. Easily available online or any Indian Grocery Store.
Wheat Flour – preferably the one used for Indian flatbread (roti) and commonly known as atta.
Semolina– also known as Suji or sooji. Helps to make the dhebras a bit crispy and also binds the dough together.
Oil – any of your choice. I have used sunflower seed oil. You will need for deep frying and to add a little bit in the dough.
Sesame Seeds – no dhebras or Vadas are made without sesame seeds. Also called sim sim seeds or tal.
Ajwain – also known as ajmo, carom seeds. These not only add flavour but are good for digestion.
Sugar or Jaggery – can use either for sweetness. Gujarati food is all about a balance of flavors so don’t make the dhebra too sweet. You can use jaggery powder, brown sugar or normal refined sugar. I personally prefer jaggery. When I don’t get the powder version, I take 2 tbsp of grated jaggery and add it to the measured hot water. Mix well. Then strain the liquid as sometimes jaggery may have some impurities.
Fresh Fenugreek – You can either chop it finely and add to the dough or you can process it into a coarse paste and add to the flour.
Water – to bind the flours.
Fresh Ginger – peel and mince or grate. Amount depends on your taste.
Fresh Green Chillis – best to mince the required amount into a paste. Be careful how much you add as some chilis can be very hot.
Garlic – Garlic paste is optional. I use it as it tastes really good in Dhebra.
Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar
Sour Yogurt – if you don’t have sour yogurt, leave it out at room temperature overnight. I sometimes add a bit of my sourdough discard.
- You have to pat out the dough into small circles about 11/2 – 2 inches in diameter. You can pat it with your fingers or use a small steel bowl and tap on it till it flattens.
- Use a small cloth or cling film to pat out the dhebra.
- Don’t make the dhebras too thin otherwise they will not puff up.
- Controlling the heat temperature is important. When you add dhebra into the wok or kadai, the oil has to be hot…flame or temperature high. Then lower the heat so the inside gets cooked well.
- For a satvik friendly version omit garlic.
- For vegan version, use a vegan yogurt.
BAJRI METHI DHEBRAS (VADAS)
- 2 cups pearl millet flour (bajra flour)
- ¼ cup wheat flour (atta)
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek (methi) chopped
- 2 tbsp semolina (sooji)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
- ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)
- 2 tbsp sugar or grated jaggery
- 1-2 tsp green chilli minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- ½ cup sour yogurt
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil (to add to the dough)
- extra oil for deep frying
- If you are using jaggery, heat up the 2 tbsp of water and add the jaggery in it. Leave it on the side till the jaggery melts.
- Strain the jaggery water to remove any impurities.
- Wash the fenugreek and dry it on a cloth before you chop it finely or process to a coarse paste.
- Add wheat flour and semolina into a big mixing bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil. Rub it into the flour till it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add millet flour and mix well.
- Add all the remaining ingredients including the jaggery water. Don't add the oil for frying.
- Form into a soft dough. Cover the bowl with a lid.
- Let the dough rest for 30-60 minutes.
- Heat the oil for deep frying over medium heat in a wok or kadai.
- Divide the dough into 20 or 24 parts. Roll each part into a ball. Wet your hands in between so the dough does not stick to your hands.
- Take a small bowl of water and keep on the side. You will need this to rub over the cling film and to dip your fingers in.
- Take a chopping board or your steel plate or tray. If using a plate or tray turn it upside down.
- Rub little water over it. Place cling film or plastic paper over it. The water helps it to stay in place.
- Put 4-6 balls on the prepared board or tray.
- Pat it into a 1½ - 2" diameter circle, not too thin or too thick. You can use your wet fingers to pat into shape or use a bowl to tap it into shape. If you use a bowl, then you may need to cover the dough balls with another cling film or plastic sheet.
- Wet your four fingers lightly with water, lifting the plastic sheet or cling film at the corner, slowly flip the patted circle onto the fingers.
- Gently put it into the hot oil. Repeat with the others till you have 4-6 frying in the hot oil.
- Lower the heat, flip the dhebras over gently using a slotted spoon or jharo.
- Fry till both sides are light brown in colour.
- Remove the dhebras from the oil and place them in a colander so that the extra oil drains out.
- Repeat steps 14 to 21 with the remaining dough.
- A little practise and the dhebras will be perfect. If you are making them the first time, use less yogurt to make a stiffer dough. Working with a stiff dough is easier, but the dhebras do not turn out soft.
- Use a wet cloth instead of the cling film or plastic sheet. In between you may need to dampen the cloth.
- The oil has to be hot before you put the dhebras in it to fry.
- Use half cup fenugreek and half cup grated bottle gourd (doodhi). Puree it with the measured yogurt and form the dough for a different flavour.
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