Baked mathari is a guilt free version of traditional Indian deep fried Indian crackers.
Mathari is a popular North Indian snack. It is usually deep fried and today’s recipe is baked version from a cookbook. Classic Indian Cooking by Juli Sahni has both deep fried and a baked recipes. The baked mathari recipe is flavored with Kasoori Methi (dried Fenugreek Leaves) and the deep fried one unflavored. I was out of kasoori methi hence used carom seeds (ajwain or vooma). The other substitution I made is olive oil for vegetable shortening.
Winters are really depressing with short days. To top it, this year Mother Nature is making it worse with overcast skies almost every day. Today was no exception. It was cloudy and rained most of the day. I was wondering how on earth am I going to take photos today for the blog post? To my surprise, photos came out pretty decent! In fact, I am very pleased with the first picture. I guess I needs to play around a bit more with my camera to figure out the right technique to get decent pictures even on gloomy days with hardly any sunlight.
Baked Mathari Recipe
- 2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour loosely packed & leveled
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt (I used 1 tsp regular salt)
- ¾ tsp Carom Seeds ~ Ajwain ~ Vooma
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter chilled and cut into small pieces
- 4 tbsp Vegetable Shortening I used 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ cup Cold Water
- ¼ - ⅓ cup Flour for dusting
- 2 Large Baking Sheets
- Cookie cutter ~ Biscuit Cutter ~ Small bowl (I used the steel cup in the pictures above)
- Rolling Pin
- Fork to prick the crackers
- measuring cups & spoons, and a steel cup
- Crush caroms seeds in palms or in fingers and take it in a big bowl along with flour, salt and mix well.
- Add butter, shortening and mix well with fingertips until butter blends into the flour. If using oil instead of shortening, add it at this point and mix until it is blended into the flour.
- Add water and bring the flour together. Transfer the dough to a working surface; countertop or a cutting/working board and knead well for a minute to make the dough soft. Do not over knead.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Line the baking sheets with aluminum foil, for easy cleaning.
- Divide the dough to 4 equal parts. Take one part onto the working surface, dust some flour and roll it out into a 9 – 10” circle. While rolling out one part of the dough, keep the others covered with a saran wrap or a plate, until ready to use.
- Using a fork or a skewer, prick the rolled dough to avoid puffing when baking.
- Using a cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter, cut out the big circle into small crackers. I used a small steel cup, 2 – 2 ½” in diameter. Keep aside the scrapes.
- Transfer crackers to a baking tray. Repeat the above two steps with the rest of the dough parts. Lastly, gather all the scraps, roll it out and cut into crackers.
- Bake crackers on a middle rack for 10 minutes or until light spots form on the bottom of the cracker. Turn around and bake for another 5 minutes until light brown. I baked in two batches. While the first batch was baking, I rolled out rest of the dough.
- Transfer the baked crackers to a cooling rack and cool them. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container.
- Substitute - carom seeds with kasoori methi / dry fenugreek leaves for methi mathari. Use ¼ cup kassori methi.
- Salt - Recipe says 2 tsp. of kosher salt but I used only 1 tsp. regular salt. I usually use iodized salt but today it was non-iodized salt.
- Vegetable Shortening - I used olive oil instead. Vegetable oil can also be used.
- Oven Temperatures - temperatures vary from oven to oven.
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Recipes I posted this month in 2009 and in 2010 .
Events: This goes to Lail’s Bake Fest #26, an event started by Cook’s Joy and to Kalyani’s Only – Baked Treated an events tarted by Pari. And of course, the main reason for this post is Cooking from Cookbook Challenge. How can I forget to mention that?!