plain white flour
red onion, sliced fine
cloves garlic, crushed
fresh ginger, grated
fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
fresh red chili, finely sliced
onion, finely sliced
salt and pepper
For the (bread) roti:
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub
in the ghee.
- Add the water and mix to a fairly soft dough.
- Knead the dough for ten minutes or longer.
- Divide the dough into equal sized balls and place
them in a small bowl containing the oil.
- Leave for at least an hour.
To make the filling :
- Heat the ghee and fry the onion until it is soft.
- Add the garlic and fresh ginger and continue to
fry until the onion is golden brown.
- Add the turmeric and chili powder and stir for a
- Put in the meat and carry on frying, stirring
constantly, until it is well cooked.
To cook the murtaba :
- Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper and
set aside in a small bowl.
- On a smooth surface, spread a little oil from the
bowl and flatten one of the dough balls with a rolling pin.
- Gently press with the fingers, spreading the
dough until it is almost as thin as strudel pastry.
- Heat the griddle and grease it lightly with ghee.
- Drape the bread (roti) over a rolling pin and
transfer in on to the griddle.
- It will cook very quickly so spoon on some beaten
egg and spread it over the middle portion of the bread (roti) with
the underside of the spoon.
- Sprinkle some meat over and just before folding,
add a few slices of onion.
- Fold over the sides of the bread (roti), in an
envelope like fashion to enclose the filling completely.
- Turn it over and cook the other side, spreading a
little more ghee or oil on the griddle before putting it down.
- Cook until crisp and golden on both sides.
- Serve hot either on its own or with a bowl of
curry gravy or dhall.
Anyone who has seen murtaba being made will find it
almost impossible to believe that it can be made at home as the "mamak
roti" men who have spent a lifetime making these parchment thin bread
(roti) achieve this by flinging a handful of dough in ever widening
An egg sized lump becomes a large, smooth sheet in
about the space of a minute. It is then cooked on a griddle and filled
with savory meat and seasoned beaten egg. At home, you may not be able
to put on such a spectacular display but it is possible to get the
required thinness by soaking the balls of well kneaded dough in oil for
an hour or more and then spreading them with the hands much as though
you were smoothing down a bed sheet.
Work on a smooth surface, then carry the thin pastry
to the hot griddle over a rolling pin as fingers may easily make holes.
The edges will be somewhat thicker than the center but this does not
matter. The problem encountered in a domestic kitchen is getting a
griddle large enough to cook murtaba on but there's no law that murtaba
must be of a specific size and smaller ones taste just as well.
Serves 4 - 6
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