In the interests of authenticity, I refrained from calling these crisp baked savoury biscuits "mathri" - "mathri", apart from being deep-fried, contain very few ingredients, the main flavouring coming from ajwain or carom seeds. These biscuits have a lot of things added, but carom seeds isnt one of them things. I used black sesame seeds as a substitute instead and kasuri methi instead of fresh (didnt have any fresh, natch). Not because the sesame seeds are similar in taste to ajwain, because they certainly are not, but because I had a pack of black sesame seeds I hadnt got around to opening till then. I like black sesame seeds - they have a stronger flavour than the white ones. They're used a lot in oriental cuisine. These cookies - or okay, biscuits - are just the thing when you get the munchies because they're low-fat. (Next time I'll follow the original recipe which specified fresh methi leaves and ajwain.)
The dough for this, by the way, should be made with as little water as possible. The less water you use, the quicker the biscuits will bake and the crunchier they'll be. (Why do I get the feeling that I sound like Yoda?)
Recipe for: Crunchy baked methi biscuits
2 cups whole wheat flour (or plain if you prefer)
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
2 tbsp kasuri methi (dried crushed fenugreek leaves)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp black sesame seeds (you can use white or natural too)
2 tbsp oil
Water as required
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with silicone paper. Put all the ingredients except the water, in a bowl.
2. Add water little by little to make a stiff dough.
3. Divide the dough in half and roll one half out into a thin circle (1/4cm). Keep the other half covered.
4. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter (or just use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 2" squares). Re-roll the scraps and finish up the rest of the dough in the same way. Prick the cut-out dough all over with a fork.
5. Place the cookies carefully on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or till they are brown and crisp. Keep an eye on them so they dont burn - take it from me, burnt kasuri methi tastes awful!
6. Cool completely and store in an airtight jar.