Baked Indian Classic Mathri (Delicious Salty ShortBread Cookies)

In most Indian homes, Mathri is the common snack especially during tea time. These are not sweet but a savory cookies. They are generally deep fried and taste good paired with sour mango pickle. Living in a big family, my mother and my grandmother used to make these cookies. We kids had the duty of pricking the cookies with a knife or fork. Sometimes we used to write our initials with the knife so that we could claim that particular cookie as ours. These fried cookies taste especially delicious fresh from the frying pan. Since they have good shelf-life, my mother used to make a kilogram or two of cookies at a time. She used to store them in an air tight steel container and kept them on the top self of our kitchen cabinet. All her yummy goodies used to be in the top self, safely away from our greedy hands. But we sometimes used to climb to the top self to get those goodies ūüėČ (only in afternoon when my mother used to take a nap). How precious were the days back then!
Instead of frying, I bake these mathris. Tastewise, they are equally as good and contain less oil. It’s difficulty level? None; it’s very easy to make.
Mathri

Ingredients:
1+1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Semolina
1 tsp Sugar
1-1 1/2 tsp Ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Salt to taste
1/2 Cup Oil or Melted warm Ghee (Clarified Butter)
*for vegans use unflavored oil instead of Ghee
1/2 Cup Warm Water

Method:
Preheat the oven at 375 Degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients except oil and water.
Add oil/ghee to the flour mixture and mix well to incorporate. Now gradually add warm water (little by little at a time) to bring the dough together. Do not knead just make a ball of the dough. If the dough becomes very hard add some water. The dough shouldn’t be either soft or too hard to roll.
Put the dough on a slightly floured surface and roll with a rolling pin. Roll the dough to the 1/8th inch or desired thickness and cut them into round shapes. Prick the cookies with the fork so that cookies doesn’t puff while cooking.
In a baking tray lay the cookies and bake them on the middle rack for about 12- 15 minutes, After 5-7 mins keep a close eye on these as they brown very quickly. When they are light golden brown then these cookies are done. Cool them in a cooling rack. These have a good self life if kept in an air tight container.
It tastes yum with mango or lemon pickle.
*oven temperature varies from oven to oven so the baking time may differ.

Short Bread Cookies

This is one of the most easiest recipes I came across, easy to remember and very quick to cook. Simple ingredients but the result tastes awesome. When I was kid I was always eager to open my tiffin box during lunch time in school. My mother always used to pack some surprise goodies in my tiffin box (I have somewhat followed my mother’s tradition and kids love surprises in their lunch boxes). Shortbread cookies was one of them. There was a bakery shop near our house who used to make yummy treats like this. This shortbread recipe reminds me of that place.

Short Bread Cookies

Short Bread Cookies

I got this wonderful recipe from my fellow blogger Kenneth Goh:
http://kwgls.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/one-two-three-lets-start-making-traditional-short-bread-biscuits/

Wonderful recipe and easy step by step instructions. Thanks for the recipe!

My only change in this recipe is that I have used whole wheat flour instead of white flour. And it came out just as good and tasty. I might pack these in my daughter’s lunchbox tomorrow as a surprise ūüôā

Ingredients:
50 gms sugar (I measured first and then ground it into fine powder)
100 gms unsalted melted butter (approx 1 stick)
150 gms whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough.
Roll it to 1cm thick. Cut into the desired shapes. Pierce lightly with a fork.
Transfer cookies in the baking tray at bake them for 12 – 15 mins.

Guilt Free Potato Chips

We all like to munch on chips whether it is potato or corn or rice or any kind. We munch when we watch movies, go on picnics and more often, when we are bored.

Writing this article brought back childhood memories from back when I was in India. Our school used to close May through June for summer holidays. For us it was just two months of play -No studies ūüôā During those summers my mother’s project was to make sun-dried potato chips, papad (lentil wafers), and wadis (dry lentil dumplings). Us kids, our jobs were in charge of drying them in the sun and shooing away all the crows and birds.

It used to be a grueling day long project. We (kids) used to peel the potatoes. My mom then sliced the potatoes, and boiled them in salted water. ¬†Then we take all these slices to our terrace and lay them on the sheet to sun dry. We had to keep our eyes on birds too so that they do not steal them. They were kept for at least 8-10 hours for drying. If they didn’t dry we had to dry them again the next day.

When it was time to eat, she would fry them and then sprinkles red chili powder and pink Himalayan salt. Yum! and with hot tea it was so delicious. Store bought chips were¬†nothing in front of these homemade chips. I love you Mother! Until last year she was sending these sun dried chips to me to USA. But due to her health, she stopped making them now. Once I thought of continuing these chips making tradition with my kids (quality mother-daughter time). But I do not have my mother’s patience and focus.
So I thought of making chips in microwave. It’s easy and quick and, more importantly,¬†healthy and guilt free. But nothing beats my mom’s potato chips.

Image

Ingredients:

2 medium size  potatoes
1 tsp olive/ sesame oil
1/4  tsp chili powder
salt to taste( i used pink Himalayan salt)
1/4  tsp Oregano

Method:
Wash the potatoes. Slice them with mandolin. The slices should not be very thin or very thick.
Sprinkle oil, chili powder, salt and oregano on the slices. Coat them properly.
I found this tray in a supermarket. It has multiple holes which helps air to flow equally.

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(You can also use parchment paper. But halfway through you have to flip the chips).
Lay the potatoes around the tray/parchment paper leaving some gaps between two slices.
Microwave for 4 mins on 80%power and then 2 mins on high power. The chips should be dry and crisp and edges curled up. If it is still not crispy, microwave for another 30 secs on High.(every oven has different temperature, time may vary).
Let the chips cool for a minute and serve.