What Is It?
Murtabak has quite a few names to it. 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 have their own 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 food 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 that 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 constraint. Next time perhaps.
By the way if you know any other Malaysian restaurants in Spain, do let me know. I would really 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.
And 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, actually. So don't worry.
The dough that I use to make my murtabak is exactly 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 dish.
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 ever seen how murtabak or roti canai dough is being stretched in any Mamak restaurants, you would be in awe. They flip the dough in the air!
Me, however, I don't have that skill. Haha! What I do is stretch it with my hands on a working surface until it's transparent thin. Yes, the dough is that 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 desired. 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 a 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 on the dough. If you're worry 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.
Maria Pilar Morales says
I saw Marion Grasby make this but I looked it up and I saw yours and I really really liked it and I’m gonna try this and probably add a few of my ingredients too thank you so much for this recipe
Yes! Adapt it to your taste or what you can find in your place. This recipe is easy to adapt to different ingredients. Do let me know how it goes once you made it. Thank you!
Vila Canada says
I made it and it was good considering it’s the first time I made it. Served it with chicken curry.
Awesome, thanks Vila!
Hello from California!
I’ve never made Roti Canai or Murtabak but I’m going to try with your recipe and your video. I have ghee. Would I have to make adjustments if I use ghee instead?
Also, I’m used to the curry dipping sauce and I see that you didn’t include it with your Murtabak recipe. Could you please include the curry dipping sauce.
I know how to make curry but it’s just not the same.
Hi Dolly! I've never used ghee with it but I'd assume it's the same amount. I like to have my murtabak with dhal curry. Give it a try!
Hi if you could travel to Morocco from Andalusia you will find the dish you are searching for. They make a homemade bread called rghaif or msemmon that they fill with various fillings. Looks exactly the same to me as your recipe. The only difference I imagine would be the spices. Good luck!
Hi Yasmina! Wow, thank you so much for the info, thats great to know. Maybe for the future when travel bans are lifted, would love to go there and try it. I guess there are many variations of this same bread, mostly in Arabic countries. This one is made with the same dough as my Malaysian flatbread roti canai, have you tried it?
Hi Bea, no I haven’t tried the recipe yet but it sounds amazing. Thanks for your response.
Hi again, I forgot to mention to you in the post that there are food shops owned by Moroccans in your area of Spain. Perhaps you will find what you are searching for there. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
emilia arif says
I miss malaysian food too TT
Hi Emilia! I hope I can bring some of those flavours back to you with my recipes 🙂
Hi, can you freeze half the dough to be used at a later date? i'm only cooking for 2 people. Thanks!
I haven't tried freezing the dough. But I would suggest make them all and freeze them cooked. Let me know how it goes.
Pat bell says
Hi I have been making these for years, my recipe is a bit different to yours, my dough is made with plain flour, oil and warm water, then I roll them in balls and cover them with oil for 6 hours, the filling is similar but I add Garam masala, garlic ginger, turmeric, and chilli powder 😀
Well that's great Pat! I bet it tastes delish also!
Betsy Sanjaya says
Hi, how can I store it and how long will the dough last in the fridge?
Thank you 🙂
This looks delicious.
A on ElMundo site says
Why condensed milk? Difficult to get condensed milk, evaporated milk available. What else to substitute for condensed milk?
Using ghee is better than using butter?
A on ElMundo Site says
BTW, this was the recipe that brought me to your site. Looking at your curry recipes atm.
Thank you for posting these recipes.
Yes, you can use ghee if it's available for you (it's difficult to get at my place). Just skip the condensed milk if you don't have it. Hope it helps.
Bethany Burke says
Hi hopefully you can help - the recipe says 5 eggs for the filling, but there are 10 pieces of dough and one egg is used in each one. Should it be 10 eggs then?
Hi Bethany! Yes, you're right, it's 10 eggs, 1 egg per piece of dough. I've updated the recipe, thank you for the heads up! 😁
Elena Anderson says
What kind of condensed milk are you using? Sweetened or unsweetened kind?
Hi Elena! I used sweetened condensed milk for this, hope it helps 🙂
Morgan Hart says
Is it okay if you don't leave it in the fridge for the full 12 hours? What's the minimum amount of time I have to leave it in the fridge for?
Nathan M. says
Great tutorial. Murtabak was delicious. I didn't know how to make it until now.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
And now you can make it anytime you want 😀 Thank you Nathan!
I have been searching for a recipe for murtabak for YEARS -- SO excited to find it on your site BUT since I last enjoyed it I have become gluten intolerant -- HELP, please with substitute 'flour' -- Thank you, for whatever help you can provide
Hi Melly! This recipe needs the gluten for its flexible texture. I wish I could help but I haven't tried it with any gluten free flours so I can't really say. Sorry though!
Hi Bea, will attempt to make this this. Can the dough rest for hours instead of overnight?
I am from Singapore and murtabak is easily available. But not in UK. So i am trying to make this. Will post it to let you know.
Thanks you for sharing.
Hi there! Can't wait to try this! I have made your roti canai several times and it is wonderful! However I messed up my last batch but I'm not sure how. When I tried to stretch it, it just snapped back to a smaller shape. No matter how much I stretched, pulled, even rolled, it would just shrink to a small disk. Considering the first 4 times were a success, any idea what I may have done wrong this time?
Again, thank you for your work to share recipes. I tried many already and all delicious. This murtabak also.
Keep sharing, god bless.
I'm excited to know that you've been making my recipes. Thank you so much Rusdi!
Can I leave this in the fridge over night (the dough)
Yes, in fact you should leave it overnight. Hope it helps.
hello. i made this using bread flour. the murtabak came out good and tasty. thank you for sharing ur recipe.
That's awesome Wan, I'm happy to hear that. Thanks for the love!
hello, can i use normal flour? i want to make this.
Hi Wan. I would not recommend you using normal flour as it doesn't have high protein content like bread flour. High protein content helps in gluten development with all the kneading for this recipe and makes the dough flexible and stretchy. Hope it helps 🙂