MATHRI / MATHI - A North Indian Layered savory cookie
Joys of staying in Mumbai and a cosmopolitan neighborhood is that you get to taste the best of all the worlds. I still remember when my neighbor aunty used to be back from
Punjab, she used to come back with loads of Mathi (that’s what they call this dish in Punjab). Big crispy ones and trust me they used to make the best tea time snack for days to come. This introduced me to the Mathi.
Mathi or Mathri is an Indian snack. It is mostly made in Northern part of
. It’s a savory snack. Crispy, salted and flaky usually served with tea. Mathris are served even at marriages and poojas. Mathris are served with pickles. It’s a snack which can made and preserved for days, and is ideal to carry with you for long distance journeys. Nowadays, we get mathris off the counter, but try making them fresh at home it tastes much better. You can also make it flavored with methi (fenugreek leaves), Pudina (Mint leaves) or Dhaniya (coriander leaves). India
You can make small lots of the mathris and keep them in airtight containers and savor these lovely layered cookies as and when you want them.
All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida) -2 cups
Semolina(Rava/Suji) - 1/2 cup
Bishops weed(Ajwain)-1/2 tsp
Butter /Ghee / Margarine – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste
Oil to fry
In a wide mouthed vessel, Add in the all purpose flour and semolina, salt as per taste( add very little salt, as your mathri will become salty otherwise). Add the ajwain and butter and mix well. The flour should look crumbled. This means that the butter is mixed well. Now add a little lukewarm water and mix well, add the water little at a time, kneading into a firm dough. Cover the dough and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Divide the dough into about 40 equal parts.
Take each part of the dough and make a flat ball shape. You can roll them neatly with a rolling pin, but I chose not to, so that, it looks ruffled and handmade. You can involve the kids in this. They will actually enjoy pressing flat shapes of dough balls using their palms. Imperfect is Perfect. Too perfect looks like you bought it from the shop. The homemade ones should always look a bit imperfect but with loads of love packed in it.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Ensure the oil is not fuming hot but just medium hot(you can do a dough test and if the dough rises immediately you know the temperature of the oil is just perfect). Put in some of the handmade or rolled out mathris. Don’t over crowd the oil, just put enough mathris to cover the frying oil. Fry on a low flame so that they get cooked well and form into layers of crispy biscuit.
Fry the mathris until both sides are a light golden-brown.
Enjoy with pickles or a cup of tea
Prick each mathri with a fork in 5 to 6 places, so the mathris do not puff when frying.
If the mathris are cooked on high heat, they will be soft.
Mathris can be stored for a couple of months in airtight containers.