What Is It?
Murtabak has quite a few names to it and this is my way of making homemade murtabak. Some call it matabbak, mutabbak, or mutabbaq. Mutabbag in Arab means folded. A murtabak is a type of flatbread that is usually filled with different types of filling. It can be meat, veggies, eggs, onion... you get the idea.
It is very famous and loved in various countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, and my homeland country, Malaysia. Each of these countries has its version of murtabak, of course.
In Malaysia, murtabak originated in Indian Muslim restaurants or we call Mamak restaurants and now it is famous throughout the whole country. It can be found anywhere and is one of the famous street foods in Malaysia.
I have yet to find any restaurant in Spain that offers murtabak in their menu. Having said that, I'm living in a small city in Andalusia. We travel when we can but so far, no murtabak has crossed our path.
Once when we were in Barcelona, we met these kind Indonesians who told us about a Malaysian restaurant nearby where we were staying. Imagine my excitement!
We went to check it out but unfortunately didn't get to taste any dish because of time constraints. Next time perhaps.
By the way, if you know any other Malaysian restaurants in Spain, do let me know. I would love to try!
As you can see it's not easy to find Malaysian food here in Spain, so I make all of my Malaysian food.
Today I'm sharing with you how I make my homemade murtabak with beef, onion, and egg filling. It's easier than you might think. So don't worry.
The dough that I use to make my murtabak is the same dough that I use for my roti canai.
If you haven't already, you need to check out my roti canai. It's one of Malaysians' famous dishes.
The dough is so easy to prepare but it does need some hours to rest and build the taste. I usually prepare the dough one day ahead.
If you saw how murtabak or roti canai dough is being stretched in any Mamak restaurant, you would be in awe. They flip the dough in the air!
I, however, don't have that skill. Haha! What I do is stretch it with my hands on a working surface until it's transparent and thin. Yes, the dough is so elastic that it can be stretched until that point.
You can see in the video below how I do it. It's super easy.
As I mentioned earlier, the filling can be whatever your heart desires, just as you would do the toppings for my amazing Lebanese flatbreads (Man'oushe za'atar). For this recipe, I'm going with a simple one. Briefly sautéed minced beef with some spices, raw onion, and egg.
Some people like to cook the meat, onion, and egg together first and form it into square patties. Then they would put the patty in the center of a stretched murtabak dough and fold it.
As for me, I like to make it simpler by adding the filling directly to the dough. If you're worried that the egg might go everywhere, don't. Crack it on the meat and onion and they will kind of hold the egg in place.
You can see how I do it in the video below.
So if you're a Malaysian living abroad or if you're into food from all around the world, you should give this murtabak a try.
Dhal or any curry is a great choice to go along with this delicious homemade murtabak. Enjoy!
More Flatbread Recipes
- Spinach and feta gozleme
- Chicken keema paratha
- Malaysian flatbread (roti canai)
- Lebanese flatbread
- Cheese stuffed naan
- 1 lb minced beef (500 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 10 eggs
- ½ yellow onion (add more to your liking) , chopped
- 4 cups bread flour (520 g)
- 1 egg , room temperature
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter , (45 g) melted
- 1 tablespoon condensed milk
- 1 ¼ cup water (310 ml)
- some butter , to coat the bread, pan and working surface
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- Heat a pan with some oil on medium heat. Add in meat, salt and cook until the meat it fully cooked, breaking up the meat as you go. Add in cayenne and cumin powder, continue cooking for 1 minute until the powdery taste is gone.
- Set aside to cool completely before using.
- In a standing mixer bowl, add in all the bread ingredients. Mix to incorporate everything and then knead for 10 minutes. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes (cover the bowl with a kitchen towel to prevent it getting dry) and then knead for another 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a log and cut into 10 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and coat it generously with some soften unsalted butter. Place the balls in a buttered container. Cover tightly with a cling film and leave to rest in the fridge overnight.
- Coat the working surface generously with some soften unsalted butter. Place 1 ball of dough and flatten it with your fingers. Continue pressing and pushing the dough with the heels of your hand to stretch it.
- Stretch it as thin as possible, until you can almost see through it. Now and then spread some soften butter on the dough to help the stretching.
- If you want, you can lift 1 edge of the dough and carefully pull to even stretch it more. You can watch in the video to see it better.
- Put 1 egg in the center of the dough. Break the yolk a bit with your fingers. Sprinkle some chopped onion on the egg, followed by previously cooked meat. Fold the dough into a square, overlapping in the middle and making sure the filling is fully covered by the dough.
- Do the same with the rest of the balls.
- Heat some butter in a pan on medium heat. Place the murtabak and cook for a few minutes until the bottom looks crispy. Flip it and continue cooking for a few minutes on the other side also.
- Best served hot, enjoy!
- These murtabak are meant to be eaten together (dipped) with some curry of choice. The taste is a tad mild if you were to eat them alone.
- Adjust the seasoning if you plan to eat them as they are.