What is your favorite tea snack? For me its “Mathis”. Let’s just say for a lot of Indians, Tea & Mathi are food fellas tied together for taste, just like Coke & fries or coffee & cake. 

A “Mathi” is a round shaped savory snack made by deep frying pieces of dough. This golden & crunchy salty Indian bite goes perfect with a hot cup of tea. Trust me on that one!

It’s one of those snacks that you will always find on the snack rack of an Indian kitchen. It’s everybody’s binge therefore made at all festivals, weddings and also just like that. Keeping true to my taste heritage, Mathis remain a constant food craving for me. Till date when I go back home to India, my mom keeps my Mathi jar ready. But of course, we relish it with tea over lots of mommy and daughter chats. 

However, over the years my love for a healthy lifestyle has surpassed my likeness for Mathis that unfortunately are fried snacks. It’s like you love them but can’t have them guilt free anymore. Hence, I keep looking for different ways of modifying this recipe to a healthier output. Mostly by replacing the carb-y dough with some herbs, or adding healthy spices or by baking them. 

So, if you are a Mathi lover or you would like to try this snack, here is my version of Mathis with both traditional and healthy options!

Enjoy this every day, every home, every occasion snack from India with your next tea cuppa!

Herb & Oats Mathi
Herb & Oats Mathi

Bonus cooking notes!

Flour for the Mathi dough

  • Traditionally, Mathis are made with the Maida (all-purpose flour). Clearly this will not be your favorite flour option if you prefer to keep it healthier. So my next best bet is mostly wheat flour or a mix of wheat and all-purpose flour. I often add few spoons of semolina too for a crunchy output. 
  • Lately I have been preferring to use oats flour for making Mathis. Undoubtedly, oats are healthy fiber, protein rich, have a nutty flavor and they make the Mathis pretty crunchy if you grind them a bit granular. The output is even crunchier if you go for a fresh grind. However, if you are short on time to get to grinding business, you can use readymade oats flour. Just add in some whole oat grains and you won’t miss the crunchy part in the final output.

Spice to flavor the Mathi dough

  • Traditionally Mathi snack dough is made with Ajwain seeds. It gives a warm flavor to the dough, that accentuates further as the dough is fried. You can also experiment the Mathi snack with other spices like paprika powder, whole pink peppercorns, roasted coriander seeds or cumin seeds.
  • Mathi snack tastes best with simplistic flavors, therefore I recommend to experiment with few flavors at a time. Select a primary spice or a combination of a spice and herb for a single batch of Mathis. Some of my favorite flavor combinations are cumin & spinach or pink peppercorn & rosemary, or pepper & mint. You can invent more combinations of your choice.

Serving the mathi snack

  • Popularly, a Mathi snack is served with tea. It can be served plain or paired with Indian Mango pickle or a spicey chutney.
  • Another format to serve mathis is with yogurt and chutneys. This is called the “Chaat”, more of a cooling snack option preferred in summer. Typically, you place the Mathi snacks in a plate, pour beaten salted yogurt on top, add tamarind chutney, green chutney, dry spices and savory sprinkles. Summer slurp it is!
Print Recipe
Herby Oats Mathi Yum
A “Mathi” is a round shaped savory snack made by deep frying pieces of dough. This golden & crunchy salty Indian bite is my favourite snack with a hot cup of tea. Try my modified healthy version of Mathis with oats flour, herbs and spices. To make the snack completely guilt free I have also created this snack with baking method.
Herb & Oats Mathi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Herb & Oats Mathi
Making Mathi dough
  1. Grind the oats into a flour. You can leave some parts a bit granular.
  2. In a broad vessel, add oats flour, wheat flour, salt, herbs, pepper, olive oil. Mix well
  3. Now start adding water to the flour mix in small quantities and knead with hands to make a dough.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball. Consistency of the dough should be slightly tight than a pizza dough.
  5. Break small balls out of the dough. Each ball should be roughly 1-inch diameter.
  6. Now flatten the balls with your hand or with a rolling pin.
    Thicker Mathis for deep frying
  7. Roll them to about quarter inch thickness if you will be deep frying them. Roll them much thinner (about half cm or less) if you will be baking them.
    Thinner Mathis for baking
Option 1: Frying Mathi (Traditional method)
  1. In a wok shaped vessel, add frying oil and heat it.
  2. Drop a small piece of dough in the oil to check if the oil is ready for deep frying.
  3. When ready, add 4-5 pieces of mathis at a time and fry until golden brown. Fry on medium flame so that they cook well on the inside.
  4. Similarly fry all the mathis in small batches. Cool them on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  5. You can store these Mathi snack for several days in an air tight container in room temperature.
Option 2: Baking Mathi (Healthy method)
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree centigrade (350F) for 15 minutes.
  2. In a wide flat baking tray, spread baking paper sheet and grease it.
  3. Place the rolled mathis, without overlapping one another.
  4. Spray or brush oil on the top side. Bake for 10-12 mins.
  5. Take the tray out of oven, turn the bottom side up, spray or brush some oil.
  6. Bake for another 10 mins. Keep an eye towards the end of cook time. As the dough is rolled very thin it can over cook easily.
  7. Now taste a piece to check if it is closely crispy to a fried dough. Bake few more minutes to get the right crispiness.
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