Achari Mathri (Air Fryer or Oven Baked)

Crispy Achari Mathri is filled with a tangy achari masala and makes a great accompaniment to chai. These are air fried which makes them a healthier alternative to traditional mathris!
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These mathris are made with atta (whole wheat flour) and stuffed with a achari filling. They are great for snacking and go well with chai. I cooked these Achari Mathri in the air fryer but you can also bake these. These are air fried so they make a healthier alternative to the traditional mathris.

mathris arranged with glasses of chai in a glass holder

For Diwali, if there’s one snack that I always make then it has to be mathri. They are my favorite and I never miss an opportunity to make these for the festive season. Earlier I would always deep fry them but over the last few years, I have fallen in love with the baked version of mathris.

I shared these baked methi mathri recipe on the blog a few years back and since then so many of you have made it for Diwali and other festivals. It gives me a lot of joy to see how much you guys have loved that recipe. But now that I use my air fryer a lot, I thought it’s time to a share an air fryer mathri recipe.

Not just any mathri though, these ones are stuffed with a achari filling which makes them so much more flavorful. Mathri and achar is a popular combination (especially in northern India) so this recipe combines them together in one snack!

Let me tell you guys, if you loved the baked mathris, you might just love this a wee bit more. I am not kidding!

How To Air Fry Mathri

For those who don’t know, mathri is a popular Indian snack made with flour, it can be flavored with spices or be plain and is deep fried until crisp and golden brown. Mathri is commonly enjoyed with a cup of chai especially in the evenings. I remember mom and dad eating them every evening with their chai during those cold winters in Delhi.

To air fry mathri, make the dough same way as you would make for a normal mathri with flour, salt and spices. I have only added ajwain here in the dough since we were filling these with a masala. You can also add some sooji (semolina) which makes them extra crispy and also gives them more texture.

Then add the oil and rub the flour and oil until they are well mixed. This is important for all the oil to get nicely incorporated into the flour. I would not recommend cutting down on the oil here. Since we are air frying these, we need oil to get the right texture. However if you want to, you can reduce it by 1 tablespoon.

Once the dough is ready, you need to let it rest and then roll into 1/4 inch thickness. Stuff with the prepared filling and air fry. The thickness of the dough is important here. If you roll it too thin, they might burn quickly in the air fryer. If you roll them too thick, they will take more time to crisp up and get cooked.

Air Fryer Or Oven For Mathri?

So now that I have made mathris both in the oven and also in the air fryer, which one do I like more.

Honestly, I like the air fryer ones more. They were little extra crispy compared to the baked version and I love my mathris crispy.

They also got done super quickly as compared to the oven. Everything is faster in the air fryer. But oven is also a very good option to make these if you don’t have an air fryer.

mathri stacked in a glass with glass of chai placed on the side

Achari Masala

These mathris are filled with an achari masala. “Achari” refers to anything spicy and tangy. Commonly used spices in Indian achar (pickle) include fennel, fenugreek, cumin, mustard seeds etc.

For this recipe, rather than using all these spices individually, I used the masala from the achar in the filling. That alone gives the filling a lot of flavor along with besan (gram flour).

Make Them Plain

If you want to make this recipe but do not want to stuff them with the filling, that’s fine. Follow the same steps and air fry.

You might want to add some spices if you are keeping these plain. You can add kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), chili powder, sesame seeds etc.

Ingredients

There are 2 sets of ingredients- one for the dough and other for the stuffing.

ingredients for Achari mathri arranged on a board

For the dough

atta/whole wheat flour: these mathris are made with atta aka the whole wheat flour we use to make everyday roti. If you want, you can use all purpose flour as well.

sooji: some semolina is used to give the mathri texture and also adds to the crispiness.

seasonings: to season the dough, I use some ajwain which is carom seeds and absolutely essential in mathris in my opinion. There’s also some salt, baking powder and oil.

For the filling

besan: aka gram flour, it adds nuttiness and also binds the filling together.

pickle masala: use masala from your favorite achar (homemade or store-bought), I used masala from my homemade red chili pickle (don’t have a recipe for it yet, sorry). This pickle is made in mustard oil so the filling has a prominent mustard oil flavor.

spices: the pickle masala already has lot of spices in it so the filling doesn’t need much. Just some fennel seeds and amchur (dried mango powder).

Step by Step Instructions

1- To a large bowl, add atta, sooji, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ajwain and baking powder.

2- Add 1/4 cup oil and mix.

3- Rub the oil with the flour using your fingers for 2 minutes. You want the oil to get fully incorporated into the flour.

4- At this stage, if you press the flour between your palm, it should hold it’s shape and not crumble.

step by step picture collage of making achari mathri in the air fryer

5- Start adding water, little by little and bring the dough together. Do not add too much water here, the amount of water may vary depending on the type of flour used. I used around 1/2 cup water for this dough.

6- Once the dough comes together, Transfer it to a flat surface/kitchen counter and knead for good 2 to 3 minutes until it becomes smooth. It might look rough in the beginning but as you continue to knead it becomes smooth, resist the temptation to add more water. You can also do this step using your stand mixer (use the dough hook). Now cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

7- Meanwhile, work on the filling for the mathris. Add besan to a pan on medium heat and roast for around 4 minutes until it’s fragrant.

8- Remove the roasted besan from the pan and transfer it to a bowl. To that now add, 2 tablespoons achar masala (use masala from your favorite achar). I like using the masala from my homemade red chili achar. It has a prominent mustard oil flavor and I think that works really well here.

Also add 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon amchur and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Be careful about the salt here since the pickle masala already has salt in it so add accordingly.

step by step picture collage of making achari mathri in the air fryer

9- Sprinkle some water to moisten the filling. Not a lot but just until the filling feels little wet and should come together if you try to bind it.

10- Once the dough has rested, roll into a sheet of around 1/4 inch thickness. Then cut into any shape you like. I used a small round cookie cutter and cut into circle of 2-inch diameter.

11- Take one of the cut dough and place some of the prepared achari filling into the center, around 1/2 teaspoon. Don’t overfill.

12- Bring the edges together to seal it.

step by step picture collage of making achari mathri in the air fryer

13- Now take your rolling pin and smooth out the edges a bit. We are not trying to roll it here, but just smoothing out the mathri after filling it. Each mathri weighs around 12 to 14 grams.

14- Fill all the mathris similarly. Now, prick them all with a fork all over so that they don’t puff up in the air fryer. This is important, if you don’t do this, all will puff up like puris in the air fryer.

15- Pre-heat your air fryer at 370 F degrees for 2 minutes. Then arrange the prepared mathris into the air fryer in a single layer. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer. I had to air fry in 2 batches. You may spray some oil on top.

16- Air fry at 370 F degrees for 8 to 9 minutes until these are crispy and golden brown in color. You may open and flip the mathris once in between at the halfway mark (I did that). This time may vary depending on the model of the air fryer since every air fryer is different so keep an eye on them after 6 minutes or so. Air fry all mathris similarly.

step by step picture collage of making achari mathri in the air fryer

Oven Instructions

If you want to bake these in the oven, pre-heat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the mathris on it leaving around an inch of space between each mathri. Prick all of them with fork so that they don’t puff up.

Bake at 375 F degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crisp. Keep checking after the 15 minute mark, they might take even more than 20 minutes depending on your oven. Transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Stove-top Instructions

If you want to deep fry these, heat oil in a kadai/wok on low-medium heat. If the heat is high, they will not turn crisp. So heat on low-medium is crucial. Drop the rolled mathris into the hot oil carefully and fry until they turn golden brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

Storage

Whatever approach you take to cook these, cool them completely and then store in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay good for up to 3 weeks or even more. I usually finish them quickly.

glasses of chai and glasses filled with mathri arranged in a glass holder

Tips & Notes

  • These mathris are made with atta (whole wheat flour) but may also use maida (all purpose flour) if that’s what you prefer.
  • Use a good tasting pickle masala for the stuffing since that will effect the final taste of the mathris. I used achar masala from a homemade achar. I like using pickle masala made with mustard oil which gives it a really nice taste.
  • If you don’t want to stuff the mathri, you can also make plain mathris with just salt and ajwain. Follow the same process in the air fryer and oven.
  • I would not recommend reducing the oil but if you really want to, then reduce by 1 tablespoon.
  • Do not roll them thin else they might burn quickly in the air fryer.
  • Every air fryer is different so keep an eye on them after 6 minutes. They might need less or more time depending on your air fryer.
  • Poke the mathri before air frying with a fork else they will all puff up like puris in the air fryer.

More Baked Indian Snacks To Try

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Achari Mathri

mathris arranged with glasses of chai in a glass holder
Manali
Crispy Achari Mathri is filled with a tangy achari masala and makes a great accompaniment to chai. These are air fried which makes them a healthier alternative to traditional mathris!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 25 mathris
Calories 62 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups atta whole wheat flour, 195 grams
  • 3 tablespoons sooji semolina, 45 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ajwain carom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup oil 60 ml
  • water to knead the dough, around 1/2 cup

Achari filling

  • 1/2 cup besan gram flour, 52 grams
  • 2 tablespoons pickle masala achar masala, I used my homemade red chili pickle masala which was made with mustard oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon feenel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchur dried mango powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste, adjust according to how salty the achari masala is
  • little water to moisten the filling

Instructions
 

  • To a large bowl, add atta, sooji, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ajwain and baking powder and mix.
  • Add 1/4 cup oil and mix. Rub the oil with the flour using your fingers for 2 minutes. You want the oil to get fully incorporated into the flour.
    At this stage, if you press the flour between your palm, it should hold it's shape and not crumble.
  • Start adding water, little by little and bring the dough together. Do not add too much water here, the amount of water may vary depending on the type of flour used. I used around 1/2 cup water for this dough.
  • Once the dough comes together, Transfer it to a flat surface/kitchen counter and knead for good 2 to 3 minutes until it becomes smooth. It might look rough in the beginning but as you continue to knead it becomes smooth, resist the temptation to add more water. You can also do this step using your stand mixer (use the dough hook). Now cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, work on the filling for the mathris. Add besan to a pan on medium heat and roast for around 4 minutes until it's fragrant.
  • Remove the roasted besan from the pan and transfer it to a bowl. To that now add, 2 tablespoons achar masala (use masala from your favorite achar). I like using the masala from my homemade red chili achar. It has a prominent mustard oil flavor and I think that works really well here.
    Also add 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon amchur and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Be careful about the salt here since the pickle masala already has salt in it so add accordingly.
  • Sprinkle some water to moisten the filling. Not a lot but just until the filling feels little wet and should come together if you try to bind it.
  • Once the dough has rested, roll into a sheet of around 1/4 inch thickness. Then cut into any shape you like. I used a small round cookie cutter and cut into circle of 2-inch diameter.
    Take one of the cut dough and place some of the prepared achari filling into the center, around 1/2 teaspoon. Don't overfill. Bring the edges together to seal it.
  • Now take your rolling pin and smooth out the edges a bit. We are not trying to roll it here, but just smoothing out the mathri after filling it. Each mathri weighs around 12 to 14 grams.
  • Fill all the mathris similarly. Now, prick them all with a fork all over so that they don't puff up in the air fryer. This is important, if you don't do this, all will puff up like puris in the air fryer.
  • Pre-heat your air fryer at 370 F degrees for 2 minutes. Then arrange the prepared mathris into the air fryer in a single layer. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer. I had to air fry in 2 batches. You may spray some oil on top.
  • Air fry at 370 F degrees for 8 to 9 minutes until these are crispy and golden brown in color. You may open and flip the mathris once in between at the halfway mark (I did that). This time may vary depending on the model of the air fryer since every air fryer is different so keep an eye on them after 6 minutes or so. Air fry all mathris similarly.
    Let cool completely and then store in air tight container.

Oven Instructions

  • If you want to bake these in the oven, pre-heat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the mathris on it leaving around an inch of space between each mathri. Prick all of them with fork so that they don't puff up.
    Bake at 375 F degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crisp. Keep checking after the 15 minute mark, they might take even more than 20 minutes depending on your oven. Transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • These mathris are made with atta (whole wheat flour) but may also use maida (all purpose flour) if that’s what you prefer.
  • Use a good tasting pickle masala for the stuffing since that will effect the final taste of the mathris. I used achar masala from a homemade achar. I like using pickle masala made with mustard oil which gives it a really nice taste.
  • If you don’t want to stuff the mathri, you can also make plain mathris with just salt and ajwain. Follow the same process in the air fryer and oven.
  • I would not recommend reducing the oil but if you really want to, then reduce by 1 tablespoon.
  • Do not roll them thin else they might burn quickly in the air fryer.
  • Every air fryer is different so keep an eye on them after 6 minutes. They might need less or more time depending on your air fryer.
  • Poke the mathri before air frying with a fork else they will all puff up like puris in the air fryer.

Nutrition

Calories: 62kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 72mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2IUCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
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