The phiki mathri (Saltless mathri), fried to crisp perfection, is one of my favorite North Indian snacks, specially when eaten with the Punjabi mango pickle.
The phiki mathri is also eaten during Karwachauth by the ladies, who are fasting!
Train journeys remind me of two things aloo poori and mathri-achar. The pheki (salt less) mathri, fried to crisp perfection, is one of my favorite North Indian snacks specially when eaten with the Punjabi mango pickle. The texture of the mathri is so beautiful, almost like savory fried flaky shortcrust. Crisp on the outside and soft inside. It would always be a part of our long train journey as well as the festive celebrations like Karwachauth and more. I remember stocking up on these every Karwachauth and eating half with achar every evening for days to come. Phiki mathri was my favorite thing about karwachuath while growing up and here is a recipe this year to make to recreate the magic in your kitchen.
Apparently, the mathri has its origins in Rajasthan and the logic behind making these mathris is that it could be stored for a long time without getting spoilt. Which makes absolute sense to me, when I think about mom carrying it for long train journeys. We wouldn’t have to worry about it getting spoilt! Mathri actually stays good for a long time when you store it properly in air tight dry containers or jars. Its amazing how our ancestors thought about recipes which would last in the extreme cold or hot conditions. I often feel, if we go back to the way our forefathers or foremothers lived, we would enjoy our delicacies so much more!
And to come to think of it, these pheki mathris can be one great lunchbox option as well. Put in a few mathris in the lunchbox with some carrots or cucumbers for the nutrition factor and it is a great lunchbox idea 🙂
Apart from these phiki mathris, another way of making mathris is the sweet ones, or the meethi mathris.