Murtabak (Malaysian hawker savoury crepe)

by Kroocrew (
(kaeng Khoi Saraburi Thailand)

Murtabak is another kind of crepe. Its made with a preformed batter a little like a pastry. The skin thin batter is then fried stretched over a large flat hot plate or improvised on a large pan or ghee greased skillet.

The filling is placed into the center of the "roti" when it is cooked on one side and the edges of the crepe folded up and over creating a sealed like envelope with the most delicious filling inside. The murtabak is then flipped and cooked on the other side. The crepe texture is buttery and crisp. The murtabak is generally sliced into manageable morsels while hot and often a curry gravy is poured over the whole dish.

Murtabak is a filling meal but keeps you coming back periodically.

• 10 oz (280 gm) All purpose flour
• 1/2 (120 ml) Cup ghee
• 2-3 Fresh green Serrano
• 1 Large onion, finely chopped
• 1 Egg for each dough sheet
• 1/2 (120 ml) Cup water
• Salt to taste

For Meat Filling:
• 1 lb (230 gm) Ground lamb or beef
• 2 tbsp (30 ml) Ghee
• 1 Onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp (15 ml)Fresh ginger, finely minced
• 2-1/2 (37 ml)t bsp Meat curry powder
• 2 tbsp (30 ml) Cilantro, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp (30 ml) Fresh mint, finely chopped

How to make Murtabak:
•To Prepare Meat Filling:
•Take a wok or saucepan and heat ghee.
•Add chopped onion, ginger, and meat curry powder,
•Stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes, add ground meat.
•Stir with spatula and break up meat so that there will be no clumps, cook until well browned.
•Add cilantro and mint, stir to mix well with meat, promptly remove
from the flame.
•Let it cool fully.

To Prepare Murtabak:
•Sieve flour and salt into a bowl.
•Mix ghee, add water gradually and knead till the dough is smooth.
•Let the dough rest for about 2 to 3 hrs to soften.
•Make small balls from the dough, oil the work top with ghee and work each ball into a very thin sheet.
•First flatten with oiled palms, now thin it again by pulling the edges.
•Sprinkle the dough sheet with 1 tsp (5ml) ghee and fold in edges, shape it into a square.
•Now sprinkle a little flour and roll out into a paper-thin rectangular sheet.
•Preheat the griddle or pan, grease it well with ghee.
•Break one egg in the middle of the rectangular sheet and carefully spread the egg over the middle portion of it.
•Sprinkle some chopped onions and finely sliced green Serrano.
•Spoon about 2 tbsp (30 ml)curried meat filling evenly and fold in the four into a fine square.
•Quickly lift the murtabak, using both hands, onto a preheated griddle.
•Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
•Lift Murtabak up, grease the griddle with ghee, and cook the other side until brown.
•Cut it into 2 or 4 pieces.


I don't know how well Ghee is known in the non-Asian cooking world but it is simply clarified butter. Clarified by cooking in a pan until the boiling stops. The process removes many dairy soluble proteins and the water from the butter. It has an improved shelf life and can be stored in the fridge or on a shelf for many months. There is a procedure for making Ghee on the website.
Ghee is also available in tins at supermarkets selling Indian food products.

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