Matthi is a crunchy and savoury snack seasoned with kastoori methi and ajwain to give it a unique taste and flavour. It is widely loved and eaten in the Indian subcontinent with a cup of steaming hot tea or coffee. These kurkuri matthis are a staple during festivals, be it Holi or Diwali. They can be bought from grocery stores or sweet shops. But nothing can match the taste of homemade ones.
Although this snack takes little effort and time to make but the method of making is quite simple and it does not require many ingredients. The trick lies in kneading the dough as tight as the dough for puris. Fry them on very low heat until golden crisp. The amount of ghee added while kneading the dough also plays a crucial role in making the matthis crisp and delicious.
You can prepare this snack well in advance for festivals to come. Their shelf life is 15 to 20 days if stored properly in airtight boxes. Whenever your guests arrive to wish you Diwali, you can serve these matthis without any preparation with any hot beverage and thus the time saved can be well spent with them.
Here is the simple recipe:
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking time: 30-45 minutes
Maida: 2 cups
Suji: 2 tbsp
Pure ghee: ¼ cup (melted)
Salt to taste
Ajwain: 2 tsp
Kasoori methi: 2 tbsp
Chat masala: 2 tsp
Pure ghee/refined oil for frying
Warm water as required
In a big mixing bowl, take maida, suji, salt, ajwain, kasooori methi, and chat masala. Mix all ingredients well. Add one-fourth cup of melted pure ghee. Mix it well with all dry ingredients. Add slightly warm water slowly in the mixture and knead the dough mixing well all the ingredients. Knead the dough as hard as the puri dough and knead it properly for few minutes to make the dough smooth. Keep it covered for at least an hour to rest. After an hour, knead the dough again for five minutes. Make small balls of lemon size out of the dough. Roll them on a rolling board with the help of a rolling pin. They should not be as thin as puris. They should be rolled a little thicker than puris in round shape. The size depends upon your choice. You can make big matthis as the size of puris or small matthis as the size of gol gappas. The size of the ball depends on the size of the matthis you are making. Keep the rolling matthis on a greased big plate. Do not overlap them. Place them in little gaps and do not put one over another because they may stick to each other. After rolling all the matthis, pierce them with a fork. Heat ghee or refined oil for frying. When the ghee is appropriately hot, fry matthis in small batches flipping from both sides until golden crisp. Take them out on a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. Let them cool at room temperature. Store in airtight boxes until served.
Traditionally, matthis are made with maida. But if you want to make them healthy, you can replace half the quantity of maida with wheat flour. You can add a little amount of suji also, say two tablespoons in two cups of flour. It will make matthis crispier.
Tips to make perfect golden crisp matthis:
Knead a tight dough like puri dough. Knead it properly to make crack-free matthis.
While kneading the dough, add ghee after measuring it. Less or more quantity of ghee added than required while kneading can spoil the matthis.
After rolling the matthis flat, pierce their whole surface with a fork so that they do not swell while frying and get cooked properly from inside as well.
While frying, heat ghee properly. To check, put a small ball of the dough in hot oil. If it comes up then the ghee is ready for frying otherwise let it heat more. When the oil is appropriately hot, turn the flame low and start frying matthis on low flame in small batches.
Flip matthis from both sides while frying until crisp.
Take out the matthis on kitchen tissue after frying to soak the excess ghee. Store them after cooling properly at room temperature.