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Baked Methi Mathri (Savory Indian Crackers)

We Indians eat way too many snacks! There have to be some biscuits with the morning coffee/tea. Another tea and something to go with it at 11 AM. Oh, and the highlight of the day is the evening 4PM tea, which HAS to have something hot, spicy and savory to go with it! This is true in every part of the country! And do not take these 4 PM snacks lightly. They are the mostly deep fried and super tasty ones. We all like deep FRIED food, don’t we?? Mathri is one such snack from north/west India. It is made of simple ingredients and has LOTS of fat, which is responsible for the flaky, melt in your mouth texture. I was introduced to mathri by my friend Megha (she makes amazing mathri!) a couple of years ago. It became Venkat’s favorite, but I hesitate to make it often because of the fat content. I have been thinking for a long time to find a baked alternative. I finally tried out a recipe today. It is adapted from HERE. But I changed the recipe a little bit, and also increased the quantity of flour. The result was amazing, very flaky mathri which are very close to the fried version. This recipe is definitely a keeper and I will make this again and again and again!!

Note: You can follow the same recipe without the baking powder and deep fry the mathri.

Ingredients:

All purpose flour (Maida) – 2 cups
Baking powder – 1 Tbsp
Oil – 1/2 cup (use any oil, doesn’t really matter! I used Canola)
Red Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Ajwain (carom seeds) – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds (crushed) – 1 tsp (optional)
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – 1 Tbsp
Salt – scant 1 tsp
Cold milk (preferably whole) – 6 Tbsp
Garlic (grated) – 2 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Sieve the all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and red chilli powder together into a large mixing bowl, so that they mix evenly.
  • Then add the ajwain seeds, crushed coriander seeds (if using) and crushed kasuri methi to the flour mixture and mix well.

Tip: Always crush the kasuri methi leaves between your palms before using. It releases a really nice flavor and fragrance.

  • Make a well in the dough mixture and add the oil. Start mixing the oil in the dough in rubbing motion. Slowly incorporate all of flour into the oil. When you are done mixing, the flour will have a big crumbs like consistency and will hold its shape when you press it in your palm.
  • Now add the milk gradually, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix. Do NOT knead the dough, mix gently. The dough is ready when you can form small lime sized balls without falling apart. The dough will just come together, it is almost like pie dough.
  • Make small lime sized balls of the dough. Then hold the ball in the center of your left palm, and press gently with your right palm, so that you flatten the dough ball. Place these flattened mathri on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Remove and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container, they last for up to a month (if you can save them for so long!).

See the flakiness???

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