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!
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!