Murtabak is a delicious and popular dish from the Middle East, often enjoyed as a street food. It is a stuffed pancake filled with a flavorful mixture of ingredients, making it a satisfying and tasty meal. In this article, we will explore the ingredients needed to make murtabak and the various filling options you can choose from.
To make murtabak, you will need a few basic ingredients including flour, water, salt, and oil. These ingredients are used to make the pancake or dough that will be stuffed with the filling. Typically, all-purpose flour is used, but you can also use wheat flour or a combination of both for a healthier option. The dough is made by mixing the flour, water, and salt together until it forms a smooth and elastic consistency. It is then divided into small balls and rolled out into thin circles.
The filling for murtabak can vary depending on personal preference, but some popular options include minced meat (such as beef, chicken, or lamb), onions, garlic, and spices. You can also add vegetables like carrots or cabbage for added flavor and texture. The filling is cooked on a stove or griddle with a little oil until the meat is browned and the vegetables are tender. Once the filling is ready, it is placed onto one half of the rolled-out dough, and the other half is folded over to enclose the filling. The edges of the dough are then sealed by pressing them together. The filled pancake is then cooked on both sides until golden brown and crispy.
Gathering the Ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Ground meat (such as beef or chicken)
- Spices (such as curry powder, turmeric, and cumin)
- Chili peppers (optional)
Once you have gathered all the ingredients, you are ready to start making murtabak. The dough ingredients are used to make the outer layer of the murtabak, while the filling ingredients are used to make the flavorful stuffing. The dough is typically made by combining the flour, eggs, water, salt, and oil in a bowl, and then kneading the mixture until it forms a smooth and elastic dough.
The filling ingredients, on the other hand, are cooked together in a pan to create a savory mixture that will be stuffed into the murtabak. The ground meat is usually browned first, and then the onions, garlic, ginger, spices, and optional chili peppers are added to enhance the flavor. The filling is then cooked until it is well combined and aromatic.
Once both the dough and filling are ready, you can begin assembling the murtabak by rolling out the dough and spreading the filling evenly on top. The dough is then folded over the filling to create a rectangular shape, and the edges are sealed to prevent any filling from leaking out during frying.
Now that you know what ingredients you need to make murtabak, it’s time to start gathering them and get ready to make this delicious Malaysian dish!
Preparing the Filling
To make the filling:
- Start by heating a frying pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil.
- Add the minced meat to the pan and cook it until it is browned and cooked through.
- Next, add the diced onions to the pan and cook them until they are softened and translucent.
- Once the onions are cooked, add the spices to the pan. The spices can vary depending on your personal preference, but some common ones include curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir the ingredients in the pan to combine them evenly and let them cook for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Once the filling is cooked and well-seasoned, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool.
It is important to cool the filling before using it to fill the murtabak, as it will be easier to handle and fold the dough when the filling is not hot. The filling should be flavorful, moist, and well-seasoned to ensure a tasty murtabak.
Making the Dough
To make the dough, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Additional flour for dusting
Start by sifting the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. This will ensure that there are no lumps in the dough. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water and vegetable oil.
Using a fork or your fingers, gradually mix the water and oil into the flour until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour.
|All-purpose flour||2 cups|
|Vegetable oil||1 tablespoon|
|Additional flour||For dusting|
Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax and make the dough easier to roll out later.
After the dough has rested, it is ready to be rolled out and filled with the meat mixture. But before that, make sure to dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
Assembling and Cooking the Murtabak
Once you have prepared the dough and the filling, it’s time to assemble and cook the murtabak. Follow these steps to make delicious murtabak at home:
Step 1: Roll out the dough
Divide the dough into small portions and roll out each portion into a thin, round shape. You can use a rolling pin to flatten the dough on a floured surface. It should be thin enough to fold easily but not too thin to tear.
Step 2: Add the filling
Place a spoonful of the filling mixture in the center of the rolled-out dough. Spread it evenly, leaving some space around the edges for folding. You can use different types of fillings like chicken, beef, or vegetables based on your preference.
Tip: If you want your murtabak to have a crispy texture, you can add a layer of beaten egg on top of the filling before folding.
Step 3: Fold the dough
Fold the edges of the dough over the filling to form a square or rectangular parcel. Press and seal the edges firmly to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking.
Step 4: Cook the murtabak
Cook the assembled murtabak on a flat griddle or skillet over medium heat. You can brush the griddle with some oil or ghee to prevent sticking. Cook each side for a few minutes until it turns golden brown and crispy.
Tip: If you prefer a softer murtabak, you can cover the griddle with a lid while cooking to trap moisture and steam the filling slightly.
Once the murtabak is cooked, remove it from the griddle and cut it into smaller pieces for serving. Murtabak is often enjoyed with a dipping sauce or curry on the side. Serve it hot and enjoy!