United Arab Emirates – Beef Murtabak
by Adelina Aida
This is Middle Eastern style stuffed bread or stuffed pancakes. This fried and stuffed bread found in the Asian side of the world like Saudia Arabia, Yemen, Dubai, Kuwait, Malaysia, etc. This is similar to the flatbread commonly known as Roti or Naan. But it has stuffing inside the layer. Layering is also made by twisting the dough of bread like puff pastries. It is mostly used as breakfast when an egg omelet is folded up with some vegetables and turned into this unique stuffed pancake.
There are different versions of the murtabak like it can be vegetarian murtabak, Chicken murtabak, Fish murtabak, egg murtabak. You can add stuffing of your choice to this pancake. Some have a thick layer of bread outside like a thick pancake of around 1 inch and some have thin paper like bread covering outside like stuffed crepes.
In Malaysia, the commonly eaten murtabak is Beef stuffed murtabak. it is sold like a street food. It is served with tomato sauce and some salad like pickled onions. This is very commonly used in lunch boxes of school-going children.
This dish is popular in many Asian countries like :
ETYMOLOGY OF MURTABAK
The word MURTABAK is an Arabic word that means FOLDED. This is simple to crack the dish name by the technique of folding bread with egg and different stuffing. This dish is originated from YEMEN.
There is a history of this dish, murtabak is brought to South Asia by the Muslims of India. They are basically Tamil Muslims, they introduce this multi-layered pancakes to the Middle East.
Murtabak is an amalgam of two words, first is Murta that means, Egg stuffing and the other is Bar that refers to other dish which is a sort of bread, Paratha.
Alternative names of murtabak:
- Baratha bar
REGION OR STATES WHERE MURTABAK IS COMMON
- Arabian Peninsula
- Indian Subcontinent
- Southeast Asia
In Malaysia, murtabak is sold by Indian Muslim and they served this dish as famous street food. They have varieties in Meat but the Egg Omelet is also very popular dish.
They have Non vegetarian varieties are common like :
- Chicken Murtabak
- Goat mince murtabak
- Beef mince murtabak
- Beef with goat mixed murtabak
SAUCES AND SALAD SERVED WITH MURTABAK
There are different kinds of sauces, curries, salads served with this stuffed pancakes like:
- Tomato sauce
- Mint sauce
- Curry sauce
- Pepper sauce
- Tomato lemon sauce
- Mint sauce
- Sweet chili sauce
- Curry gravy
- Sliced cucumber
- Pickled Onions
- Tomato slices
- Syrup onions
- Sumac onions
- Channa salad
- Cabbage mixed salad
This dish have two basic varieties like savory and sweet.
Among savory varieties we have many forms of this dish with both vegetarian aspects and Non-vegetarian :
For Non-vegetarian dishes versions we have the following murtabak list :
- Stir fried murtabak
- Chicken minced murtabak
- Beef chili murtabak
- Goat mince murtabak
- Prawns murtabak
- Camel murtabak
- Egg murtabak
- Beef with potato murtabak, etc.
This dish is actually a plate of potato curry in which beef stuffed murtabak is served with some cucumber salad, onions, and pickles. They cut the round murtabak into four pieces and added to a plate or bowl of curry made up by adding slices potato into it. It is usually served with kachumber salad like a mixture of cucumber, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
For vegetarian, there are varieties like :
- Potato murtabak
- Peas murtabak
- Mixed vegetable murtabak
- Spinach murtabak
- Carrots murtabak
- Beans sprout, mushrooms murtabak, etc.
This is special potato with spices and herbs stuffing used to filled into the dough and then fried to serve. This stuffing is very tangy and spicy, they add onions, cucumber, pickle, red pepper, turmeric powder, lemon juice to make it very delicious.
SWEET VARIETIES OF MURTABAK
- Terang bulan
- Martabak banka
- Matcha murtabak
- Chocolate murtabak
- Nutella murtabak
- Oreo murtabak.
INGREDIENTS OF MURTABAK
- Plain white flour =1 cup
- Wheat flour = 1 cup
- Eggs = 2
- Salt = 1 tsp
- Oil/ butter = 2 tbsp
- Water = to knead
FOR BEEF STUFFING
- Beef mince = 250 grams
- Oil = 4 tbsp
- Butter = 4 tbsp
- Salt = 1 tsp
- Red pepper = 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder = 1 tsp
- Onions = 1/2 cup chopped
- Green chilies = 2 chopped
- Scallions = 1 cup
- Paprika powder = 1/2 tsp
- For dough, we need to assemble all the dry ingredients and mix them well.
- Add eggs and rub it properly until the egg mixed and then add water to knead.
- We have to make soft dough out of this so almost 1 glass of water is required.
- Now on the pan, add butter and oil with onions and simmer them together for 5 minutes.
- Now add beef mince to fry them so the water of beef dried put completely.
- Add green chilies, and all dry spices into it beef mixture.
- At last add scallions and turn off the flame.
- Let it cool for 15 minutes.
- Take a small potion of dough, roll it on the pin to add stuffing.
- Place 2 tablespoons of stuffing and seal it with the sides of flattened dough.
- Now we have the round stuffed ball ready to flat again and fry.
- Make around half inch thick pancake and fry them in butter or oil you like.
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