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Martabak   mutabak   %d9%85%d8%b7%d8%a8%d9%82 0

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
1 egg
Extra oil
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)
4 eggs
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.



I will make this for my kids tommorrow they look easy and simple thanks

02.10.2013 Reply


كيف اسوي مطبق عادي بدون بيض

05.10.2013 Reply


ممكن تعمل الحشوة الذي تريد و لا تضيف بيض



will definitely try


05.20.2013 Reply


can v use some other flour instead of bread flour????

05.20.2013 Reply

Philip Eliason

Dear Sheba...

I'm trying to recall how the kibda wa sfried or grilled at the Shaibani restaurants in Sana'a. Can you remember. I think I thinly slice the liver and as it is nearly cooked add black pper and onions and green hot chilli.

Can you assist?


Philip :

06.16.2013 Reply


thanks for your comment, I've never had the kibda at shaibani restaurant but I think I know what one you are talking about. I think maybe it is pan fried starting in a base of onions, garlic, green chili, tomato, hawaij then add the liver and cook through. If I get a good recipe for this I will post a video. Best. Katherine



Dear Katherine

Thank you for a wonderful website.  You brought me back so many childhood memories. I grew  up in South West Saudi. Not far from Yemen.  The food there is very similar.  Indeed all the restaurant chefs there without exception were from Yemen. 

I used to love Fuul, shakshoka and zerbian rice.  But my favourite of all was Mutabag. I tried your recipe the other night and it came out good. I made the dough slightly wet so it was very fragile when rolled thin. I need to adjust they next time. 

Thank you again.



07.10.2013 Reply


thank you for your comment and feedback, I am very glad you liked it :)



Since I moved to canada I have been craving traditional dishes. Thank you for this recipe it's absolutely delicious!

10.27.2013 Reply


Hi, I made the dough exactly as u said but mine did not turn soft and slightly sticky, it was more on the stuff side but not too much. I did knead it with my hand. I don't know if that makes a difference. Any help? Thanks

02.13.2014 Reply


If it is too stiff and dry that means you should add water a little at a time until it looks right. Every flour is different and when measuring flour by volume instead of weight it is not as accurate so you should judge by how the dough loks and feels more than the exact measurements for making dough/breads.


Mrs Sheikh


I made this today and alhamdulilah it turned out okay. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

My dough had a little bit too much water in it, my mistake, so had some difficulty while thinning it out, was tearing easily. I aso struggled to lift it from the rolled-out surface to the pan! All in all we enjoyed it alhamdulillah:)

My only problem was with the thickness of one surface of the dough, mine came out too thick. I just had mutabbaq from Aden a couple of months ago and all sides had been pretty much the same thickness and it tasted soft and crispy at the same time. I had watched with interest while it was being prepared and cooked. You probably must be aware that a square sheet (lightly cooked) is placed in the centre after rolling out each ball and the filling comes on top of this.

Anyway I can achieve that evenness or atleast have the thickness cos of all the folds reduced? i would appreciate any tips.


07.10.2014 Reply


Hello and thanks for your comment, sorry for taking so long to respond. Tips to help you and anyone else - I think it is just practice to get it nice and thin and also even. You can make sure it is well-kneaded, that will help. And also the dough should be the right consistency with not too little or too much water. 



If you have a large griddle you can place the dough on the griddle first and then place the filling on top. That is how they do it in the souqs, but for me I don't have a griddle big enough


James Goacher

I am certain this is what I had in Al Khobar in 1977 and have been looking out for it ever since - thanks. All I need to do now is have a go myself or find a friendly competent sould to do it for me :-).

11.02.2014 Reply


Im happy bcz i found out this website. Im out of yemen and moreover idnt know how to u r the best help fr me . Thanks alot dear

12.13.2014 Reply


Assalaamu Alaykum, do you know if murtabak can be made with whole wheat flour or a mix of whole wheat and white?

10.02.2015 Reply


i've never tried mixing the flours, but it might work...



Tried the mutabbaq recipe and it came out tops!

06.13.2016 Reply


you are awesome!! okay????

11.01.2016 Reply

Umm Sultan

They turned out awesome!

07.05.2016 Reply

Chris Brake

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Great recipe! My hubby keeps telling me about this from his hols in yemen! I've never tried it but hopefully will make this for him and do it justice! One question. If i leave out the meat, and want to make sn egg/cheese version, do i follow the rest of the recipe as written? Just omit the mince? Thank you!

03.25.2017 Reply


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Lyn Spinelli

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