How to Make Savory Martabak / Murtabak

by Putri Lah

super delicious snack / side dish originated in Yemen but spread to India and southeast of Asia


  • 300 Grams all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 190 Milliliters water, room temp
  • ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 300 Grams minced beef or mutton
  • 12 shallots
  • 1 Teaspoon curry powder
  • salt, sugar, white pepper
  • 4 duck eggs
  • 3 chicken eggs
  • 11 green onions/scallion
  • cucumber and shallots for pickle
  • 10 bird-eye chillies
  • garlics
  • 75 Grams palm sugar
  • 25 Grams granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 300 Milliliters water
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    First, we make the pastry. Add in 300gr of all purpose flour in a bowl and make well in the center

    Step 2

    Add in 1 tsp of salt

    Step 3

    Add in 1 tbsp of oil

    Step 4

    Gradually add in 190ml of water while start kneading the dough

    Step 5

    Keep kneading the dough until smooth. The dough will be a bit sticky though. I knead it by hand actually :)

    Step 6

    Divide the dough into 8-10 portions

    Step 7

    Soak the dough in an oil for at least 1 hour. The oil is needed to soften the dough an easier to flatten. The oil will be used for frying later

    Step 8

    while waiting for the dough soften, we can make the filling and the pickles

    Step 9

    Boil 1/2 cup of vinegar ( I use apple cider), 1 cup of water, 2 tsp of kosher salt, 3-4 tbsp of granulated sugar. Note: please taste it before adding salt/sugar since everyone's tastebud is different

    Step 10

    Meanwhile prepare 1 cucumber, remove seeds, finely sliced. Prepare some shallots, slice in half

    Step 11

    Pour the boiling brine over cucumber and shallots slices to cover conpletely. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

    Step 12

    For the filling, the original recipe calls mutton. But for this recipe I use minced beef (with fat). You can subtitute the filling with minced chicken or even meatless.

    Step 13

    Finely sliced 10-12 green onions. You can use leeks if you like :) but I like intense green in my martabak so I only use the green part

    Step 14

    Finely sliced 10 shallots and 1 big onion

    Step 15

    In a pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil and cook the shallots and onion until fragrant. Add in 300gr of minced beef. Add in salt, white pepper and 2 tsp of curry powder, 1/2 tsp of sugar.

    Step 16

    The green onions is the last to be added since it has a very delicate texture

    Step 17

    The cooking time will only take about 5 minutes on medium fire. Set aside

    Step 18

    still while waiting for the dough :) we can make the martabak sauce :)

    Step 19

    Heat 300ml of water. Add in 75gr of palm sugar and 25 gr of granulated sugar.

    Step 20

    Add in to the saucepan, 1 garlic. Crushed and finely sliced.

    Step 21

    Add in to the saucepan, some bird-eye chillis. Finely sliced to release the heat (if you like)

    Step 22

    Cook until thicken. Add in 2 tbsp if lemon juice in the end of cooking

    Step 23

    Put in a serving bowl. Set aside

    Step 24

    Finally ... make the martabak ...

    Step 25

    The ready dough will look like this. Heat the oil which was used to soak the dough in a frying pan or deep fryer

    Step 26

    Take 1 dough and put it on a well-greased surface or marble.

    Step 27

    Work each ball of dough into a very thin pastry sheet. First flatten with your oiled palms, then thin it further by pulling the edges.

    Step 28

    Proffesionals flatten the dough by flipping the dough in the air in a circular motion, like a pizza maker does.

    Step 29

    Whisk the eggs and mix with the curried meat filling.

    Step 30

    Spoon about 2 tbsp of the filling evenly.

    Step 31

    Fold in the four sides - like an envelope

    Step 32

    Into a nice square .. well, at least Im trying haha :)

    Step 33

    My best shot! Hahahah ... Afraid to tear the pastry .. and yet, this is not 'envelope' enough :D Maybe you can make better envelope than me

    Step 34

    Carefully and quick lift the martabak using both hands onto a preheated oiled griddled or pan

    Step 35

    Cook for 2-3 minutes till golden brown. Lift martabak up, and brown the other side

    Step 36

    Do it for all balls if dough :) and look at the result! Cut into 2 or 4, serve warm or cold with a bite of bird-eye chilli ... or

    Step 37

    Serve the martabak with the cucumber-shallot pickles and hot and sweet sauce :) hipe you like it. Enjoy!