As soon as you say the word Ajwain Mathri, most people think of tea time but for me, I think of my college/hostel days. Our dining facility a.k.a mess was very far from our hostel(At least a mile away). In their defense, It was a huge campus. But for someone who has just walked a mile from college to hostel, it used to be extremely tiresome to walk back a mile to eat 2 rotis, no matter how delicious the food was. During most exam days, all of us friends would gather in one room with their box of home-made mathri and achaar and call it dinner. It saved us a lot of time and it used to be the best dinner, to say the least.
I do have to mention that this practice of skipping lunch during exams stopped pretty quickly thanks to some very good determined friends. Now, married and health conscious, even though mathri has become a rare affair, it is still enjoyed as much as it was before. Every household has their own version of mathri. My mother-in-law makes these amazingly flaky mathris that I plan to get the recipe of. This flaky ajwain mathri however, is my mom’s version. I have grown up eating this and absolutely adore it. Hope you will love it too.
- 3 cups All purpose Flour or Maida
- 1/2 cup Oil for dough
- 3/4 tbsp. Carom seeds or Ajwain
- 1/2 tbsp. Salt
- 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp. warm Water
- Oil to fry
- To the flour, add salt and carom seeds and mix well.
- Next, add oil and rub the flour between your hands to distribute it evenly. Do not over mix.
- Make a dough with water. Do not knead the dough. Just enough until it comes together.
- Make 35-40 balls from the dough and cover them with wet towel while you work with them one at a time.
- I do not roll the mathris. I gently press them between my palms and then make them bigger with my fingers. Prick them with knife. Make mathris just enough for first batch of frying.
- Heat oil to fry the mathris. The heat should be on medium-low, enough that the mathris sizzle when you add them to oil but don't start coloring or coming up immediately.
- Fry them until they are a beautiful pinkish brown. Turn them 4-5 times each way to make sure they color evenly. Enjoy with mango or red chili (my favorite) pickle and tea.
The secret to a melt-in-mouth flaky mathri is the oil that you add to dough and the temperature at which you fry them.
Do not knead the dough. That makes hard mathris.
Each batch takes 15-20 minutes.
For more flakiness, fry them in ghee 🙂