Mathri recipe and a piece of Childhood memory

11:25 AM

We had to cross a big road just before entering our school gate. There were enough number of bumpers on either sides to make sure the speeding buses and trucks drop the speed and also n numbers of signboards for them to slow down, yet it was a major concern for us to cross it twice everyday. Vehicle or no vehicle we would obviously do the customery 'look on both sides before you cross the road' regime. 

Our bus stop had a huge Bokul tree (Mimusops Elengi) with thick lush foliage and fragrant star shaped flowers, was aptly named Bokultola (under the Bokul tree). The moderate concrete pathway from Bokultola to the main road had a Grill gate with a pink flower laden coral creeper waving through it's design.

 Like any place in Santiniketan at least like how it was in the early 90's this road was surrounded by rows of trees on both sides. creating an alternative pattern of light and shadow during the afternoon time. Especially the Tamarind tree on the opposite side to the school gate was so huge that it always caste deep dark shadow on the whole school gate. With it's exposed roots running through the sides of the road in a crisscross wavy design acted as a makeshift sitting area for vendors or passengers waiting for their rides.

Here under this Tamarind tree I first discovered Dadu, a fragile elderly man with a rustic almost discoloured red tin box in his cycle. The man with headful of white hair and a tinbox full of delicious treats were fondly called Dadu or grandfather. In his broken Bengali mixed with Bihari he sold cheap tiffin items like jhalmuri, spiced potatoes, boiled and spiced chanas etc. Though most of us carried our snack box and our school also provided little something during the tiffin break yet Dadu never had any scarcity of potential customer. Come tiffin time and Dadu would be surrounded by hungry students, greedy passers by or bored office clerks who needed something to perk their lazy days up.

With a nimble hand Dadu will mix little of this and a pinch of that to make the most special Jhalmuri which by far is the best that I have ever tasted. His boiled chickpea chat with finely chopped onion, green chili, a squirt of lime and his secret masala was legendary too. So was his Mango pickle. I dont know how he made it but those dryish pickle of mango with skin and salty-sour-hot spices clinging to it was absolute delight to the tastebuds. I never wasted my money on anything else but this pickle. After school I would sit on one of those heart shaped red oxide concrete sits in Bokultala and will suck on that piece of pickle like there is no tomorrow. I loved chewing the leathery skin of the mango and will keep sucking the stone even after the bus drops me at my stop and I walk for another 5 minutes to reach home. just before entering home I will throw that away. After all every good girl knows that street foods are not good for them.

Like many things of my childhood I never paid attention to his existence. I was too busy with my own life and he was taken for granted. So much so that I dont even remember when I last saw him. Did he stopped coming to his spot when I was still in school or he was still standing and doing his usual stuff when I bid adieu to my alma matter on a rainy day. I just cant remember all those facts but still the taste of his mango pickle lingers on my memory. I have tried many times to recreate that in my kitchen but never very successful.

Today's recipe, the layered Mathris have nothing to do with this memory rather than the fact that it's equally addictive with cups of masala tea on the sides. The layering idea I got from the TLC TV series Ravinder's kitchen. I have fond memories of eating mathris with mango pickle in the middle of the night during my college days. but will write about it some other time.  Today you take this recipe and make them, this Monsoon and enjoy with your

Layered Mathri

All purpose flour: 3/4 cup
Whole wheat flour (atta): 1/2 cup
Semolina or suji: 2 tbsp
Oil: 3 tbsp+2 tbsp
Pepper powder: 1/3 tsp (Use freshly cracked for better result)
Chili flakes: 1/2 tsp (I dint use for my kids)
White sesame seeds: 2 tsp
Ajwain or carom seeds: 1/4 tsp
Rice flour: 2 tbsp
White oil for deep frying

Mix the two types of flour, semolina, salt, sesame seeds, Pepper powder, chili flakes if using in a big bowl. Rub the ajwain in your palm and add to this. Mix. Now drizzle the 3 tbsp oil on top. Rub the oil in the flour mixture using your fingertips. Once it resemble bread crumb add little bit of water at a time and make a tight yet soft pliable dough. Cover and keep aside for an hour.

Once you are ready to fry heat enough oil in a deep vessel. While the oil is getting ready, divide the dough in 3 parts. Grease your clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness. Take some oil and smear on the surface. Drizzle rice flour all over it. Wait for a minute and then start rolling it into a log. 

Cut 1/2" pieces off the log and set aside.

Grease your surface and place the cut circles of the log, cut side top. Roll into an oval shape. Do not put much pressure, be gentle just roll once or twice. 

once the oil is hot decrease the heat to medium and carefully slide the mathris one by one. Do not crowd the oil and fry on medium till they are golden brown on both sides.

Drain excess oil and place them on absorbing paper. Cool completely before storing in an airtight jar. It stays well for quite some time.

Serve with pickle and hot hot Tea.

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  1. I too wish to visit Santiniketan once to experience those same spots. Not to mention have a cup of tea with these type of mathris.

  2. Darrun go..akbar kheyechilam ak Punjabi bondhur bari

  3. Looks yummy. .can have them any time of the day! Nice variation to traditional mathri..
    I am hosting a event ..seeking healthy breakfast recipes for kids. .hope you will participate :)

  4. Wow, absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such
    useful information. Thanks.
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  5. Wow, absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such
    useful information. Thanks.
    Order online food

  6. The MAthris looks fabulous!!! Love the styling!!

  7. Mathris looks amazing.. Crispy with pickle for a tea.. Who can resist?


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