Martabak, Mutabak, مطبق
Mutabak or Martabak is a street food which originated in southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen and its name in Arabic (مطبق)means folded. It spread to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei, where it is even more popular than in Arabia and has many variations, including a sweet and a savory version.The matabak that is found on the streets of Sanaa is usually and egg or cheese version, but you can add a variety of fillings. For this recipe, I added ground meat.
3 cups bread flour
¾ cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
½ onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lb. ground meat
½ tomato, finely diced
Pinch of spices- I added cumin, coriander, ground black pepper, ground red chili powder
1 cup finely chopped leek (or green onion)
Salt to taste – about a ½ tsp.
A couple tablespoons of white cheese – I used 2 triangle cheeses but you could experiment with other cheeses as well – OPTIONAL
How to make
Step 1 - Dough
1. Mix all ingredients and knead well, about 10 minutes. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
2. Coat your hands in oil in order to handle the dough.
3. Separate the dough into 6 parts and form each part into a smooth ball. Set the balls on a tray and coat generously in oil to prevent from drying out. Cover and let sit for 3 hours. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP or try to work with the dough without letting it sit. Letting the dough rest will allow you to roll it out.
Step 2 - Filling
1. Saute onions and garlic in oil until brown.
2. Add meat and cook until browned and all pink is gone, breaking up the meat into small pieces, about 10 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and spices and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes are slightly softened.
4. Remove from heat and let cool.
5. Lightly beat eggs and salt in a large bowl. Add chopped leek, cheese, and finally meat mixture. Stir until combined.
Step 3 - Assembling the Matabak
1. Prepare a large clean flat surface for stretching out the dough.
2. Take a dough ball and place it on the prepared surface pressing it into the table. It should be very soft now and not spring back at all. Press down until you have a 5-6 inch circle.
3. Add some oil on top of the dough and grab it with your two hands from the bottom. The right hand should be holding from underneath and the left hand holding from above. (This is for right-handed people, for left handed, it would be the opposite).
4. Now quickly lift the dough up with your right hand and toss it back over your left then quickly return it back down to the table in one motion. Move your hand around the outside of the dough to ensure evenness. Keep repeating this motion until the dough has stretched very thin and is see-through.
5. Take a couple spoonfuls of the meat-egg filling and place it on the center of the dough. Pat it down flat and make it into a square. Then fold the sides of the dough over the meat, one at a time. (See video for this)
6. Lift the folded mutabak onto a well-oiled frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook on the other side until browned and egg is fully cooked.