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Yemeni Malawah Bread


Malawah Bread is one of the many kinds of bread eaten in Yemen. What makes it unique is that it is layered and folded with butter or ghee inside which makes it very tasty. You will most likely find this bread in the many restaurants in Sanaa, Aden, Hodeidah or other parts of the country. I have never seen it done in the home but perhaps somewhere they do make it at home. It also usually comes very large in a single or malawah double serving and then is folded on the table to keep it from cooling down and getting too crispy.So this is my recipe for Malawah which looks a bit different from the restaurant one because it is smaller and I didnt cook it on in the Tanur, but I was actually surprised at how much it does taste almost exactly like the restaurant one! Some tips: The bread tends to get extra crispy in some spots and then stay chewy in the other spots, this is a result of the thickness of the dough. So it you like it chewy then keep it on the thick side.


2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter or ghee
black seeds

How to make

1. Mix together the flour, water, and salt and knead it until smooth, about 15 minutes. You may need to adjust the flour/water ratio slightly depending on the absorption of the flour and also the climate where you live. You want a dough which is perfectly smooth and soft, and doesn't stick too much to the table/and your hands. See the dough in the video to get a better feel for that.

2. Form the dough into 2 equal balls and cover with a bit of butter and let it relax for at least 20 minutes.

3. Being tossing out each dough ball into a very thin sheet, preferably in the shape of a rectangle. You can do this any way you feel comfortable, such as pressing it on the table, tossing it between your hands, or using a rolling pin. I find it easy to being by pressing the dough into the table and then tossing it out with my hands when it gets larger. The rolling pin is difficult for me because it always wants to stretch back into a small shape.

4. One the dough is stretched out, brush both sides with melted butter. Fold the dough into a rope-like shape--see the video. Then tie the rope into a knot, and then once again, and tuck in any loose ends. You should have the shape of a rough ball with some air pockets. Cover and let it relax for another 20 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven/baking stone to 500 F

5. Begin to toss out the dough once again, just like before. Stop when you have a good size and thickness for bread. The thinner parts will be crispy and the thicker parts will be chewy. Mine was around 12-15 inches but I was limited by the size of my pizza stone. Place cornmeal on the pizza peel and then place the bread on it and ensure that it moves when you shake it.  Your baking stone needs to have been preheating for 30 minutes before you cook the bread. You could also use a Saj or Tannur oven if you prefer.

6. Cook the bread for 4-5 mins, or until it is brown on top. Remove and serve immediately.



um ali

Help!!! I would like to know can I use regular flour instead of bread flour

06.10.2016 Reply

محمد العمودي

نشكرك على نشر ثقافة الأكل العربي في شبكة الانترنت 

حقا ... سعدت بإهتمامك بالأكل اليمني وأعجبت بإتقانك للطبخ وتحدثك للعربية

سنكون سعداء بمتابعة جديدك دوما

05.20.2013 Reply

محمد الوجيه

موقع رائع جدا
تماما مثل الطباخة اليمنية
وشرح سهل وجيد

06.21.2013 Reply



I did do the pizza last night for our Sahour and it turned out like Domonos Pizza. No one could ever beleive that I did it. I really thank you so much for all you do. I will be doing the Malawah tonight and I will let you know. Again Shukran Jazeelan 3ala 3amalik.

07.19.2013 Reply


thanks so much for your feedback I am glad you liked it:)



thanks so much for your feedback I am glad you liked it:)


حسام أحمد

 طبخ صراحة رائع وبطريقة عصريه والى الأمام للتميز 


08.03.2013 Reply


شكرا جزيلا على مرورك :)



hey there,been to arabs restaurant recently,somehow i find  this bread   appealing and googled for the recipe..the one that i ate comes with the somekind of sauce or dressing,do u have the recipe for the malawah dressing/sauce ??

06.26.2014 Reply


Is it a spicy tomato-based sauce. In Yemen its called zahawig and in gulf countries I think its called salata hara. Here is the recipe



I dreamt someone gave me yemmin bread, which I had never consciously heard of, so I found your recipe & I'm off now to make it. Thank you.

09.06.2014 Reply


Thank you so much for sharing, I'm gonna make it today.

10.22.2014 Reply


salam  Catherine,  i think you are great mashaAllah.

i just wanted to ask, i dont have a pizza stone.  could i do this on a baking tray?  will it turn out the same?

thank you

11.23.2014 Reply


I use a pizza stone. Its very important for the bread and you need to preheat the stone for 30 mins at the highest heat. 

If you don't have a stone and you want to make this bread, I recommend you try this one:

its basically the same ingredients but cooked on a griddle


Umm Ayah

I've been waiting to find a recipe like this. Malawah bread is my favorite, every Yemeni restaurant I've ever been to serves it and I can't get enough. I've made this recipe 3 times now and it turned out great!!!!!! The only thing is we didn't like butter/ghee too much so I substituted it for oil, just a taste preference. I also don't have a bread/pizza stone or a peel but I've been managing and it turns out fine with a cookie sheet and cutting board. I will invest in the bread stone soon, I'm excited to taste the difference!!

01.02.2015 Reply

layalil arab

assalam alaykum,  i made this following your recipe exactly but it came out really hard.   i know its hard without actually seeing it but do you know what could have gone wrong?


02.05.2015 Reply


Did you use a bread stone? How long did you cook it for?

The oven needs to be preheated for 30 mins before with the breadstone inside. Then you only should cook the bread for a few minutes to get it crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside.



I have made this 3times it comes out amazing each time I'm making it in the morning to take to work with my ful

09.01.2015 Reply


Could you tell me what the difference between rashoosh and malawah is? Is there also butter/ghee in rashoosh? Thanks for the great recipes!

11.30.2016 Reply


please tell us how much calories a malawah bread loaf has

01.28.2017 Reply


what kind of seeds are the black seeds?

08.15.2016 Reply


what kind of spice are the black seeds?

08.15.2016 Reply


Recently only I had the chance to taste malawah...was delicious with hommous. Thanks for the recipe.

04.22.2017 Reply


Salam Catherine, thanks for your Mulawah recipe, i have searched a lot in internet, but you are the only one, who got it right ( authentic yemeni recipe). Since i am yemeni myself i can tell whether the recipe , authentic or not. I was really amazed by your truly original Yemeni recipe's. I encourage you to keep the great work on.

07.22.2017 Reply


how many persons does this recipe serve?

05.24.2016 Reply


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