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Homemade Murtabak

by Sana Cashmiri

Murtabak has quite a few names to it. Some call it matabbak, mutabbak or mutabbaq. It is a type of flatbread that can be filled with different fillings like meat, eggs, onions, etc. Every country has their own version, and each is uniquely different and delicious. It is one of Malaysia’s favourite street foods.

Despite having a bustling food scene in Karachi, we seem to have forgotten Malaysian cuisine despite it being one of our favourites! So, today we’re sharing with you how we make our homemade murtabak with beef, onion and egg filling. It’s easier than you might think, actually. So, don’t worry.


The filling

  • 500 gr minced beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped

The bread

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg , room temperature
  • 40 gr unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cup water


  • some butter , to coat the bread, pan and working surface
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped


The filling

  1. 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.
  2. Set aside to cool completely before using.

The bread

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Making Murtabak

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Do the same with the rest of the balls.

Cooking Murtabak

  1. 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.
  2. Best served hot, enjoy!

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