Ahoi Ashtami fast is kept by mothers for the well-being of their children. It falls eight days before Diwali. In the evening, baya is given to the mother-in-law which is in the form of sweet mathris and some gift. I make mathris and churma ladoos at home, which are used for puja in the evening. Ashtami onwards Diwali festivities begin. So, every day, I make one or the other mithai.
Sweet mathri can be made in a number of ways, with sugar or jaggery or mathris can be dipped in sugar syrup or dough kneaded with sugar syrup. In every manner, these taste wonderful. But my likings are tilted more towards jaggery mathris as these are crispier and jaggery is a healthier option than sugar.
Pictorial description of gur wali mathri
Crush jaggery and soak it in minimum quantity of warm water. The quantity of water should be such that it just covers the jaggery. Dissolve the jaggery in warm water and strain it to remove any solids pieces present.
Take maida, wheat flour, salt and baking powder. Pass all these through a sieve to mix the ingredients properly.
Put 3 tablespoons of ghee in flour mixture and mix with the hand well. Take a small part of mixture in hand and press it. If it binds slightly, it means amount of ghee is appropriate, otherwise more ghee has to be added.
Now add mashed banana, cardamom powder, fennel seeds and desiccated coconut and mix well. It will look like a crumbled mass.
Start adding jaggery syrup little by little and knead into tight dough. Cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes. In this resting period is not required, as the dough becomes hard on keeping for longer time.
Take oil in a wok and heat it to medium hot. In the meanwhile, divide the dough into lemon sized portions. Take one portion between your palms and press it to form uneven mathris.
Slid few mathris at a time in oil and reduce heat to medium low. When these turn reddish brown, flip the side. Do not keep on turning time and again as these are very soft and may break easily.