Weekender Bahrain, Sunday, August 25 2019


admin 12-Jul-2016


Of the many things written about mutabbaq, the one thing that most agree on is the dish probably originated in Yemen. Indian traders took the recipe back to their home country and from there it spread to South-East Asia. There are a few that say the dish originated in India and spread out from there along the trade routes. Whichever it is, there is no doubting it is a satisfying snack, or even a main meal if you wish.Mutabbaq, fatatari, murtabak or martabak as it is known in the different regions, is made with many variations of the ingredients.  

What you need:

For the dough:

260g All purpose flour

1tsp salt

Milk as required

As an alternative, spring roll wrappers may be used

For the filling

2-4 tbsp ghee or butter

20 garlic cloves, finely chopped

5-10 green chillies, finely chopped

2 onions, finely chopped

250g Mince lamb, or mutton

Generous handful coriander and mint leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp Allspice powder

3 eggs

Handful finely chopped green part of spring onion (I use chopped leek instead)

3 tomatoes, chopped


How to make:

Add salt to the flour and sift into a mixing bowl

Add small quantity milk as required and knead until smooth dough is formed.

Divide according to the size of mutabbaq you wish to make. I prefer to have this as a main meal so tend to divide into larger portions.

Add 2 tbsp of ghee to a large heavy based frying pan and gently fry the garlic, chillies and onions until the onions are clear.  

Add the mince, coriander, mint, salt, pepper and all spice powder and fry until the meat is cooked and any water is removed.

Remove from the heat and allow cooling for at least 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a smooth oiled surface until almost see through. 

Add the eggs, spring onion and chopped tomato to the mince in the pan and mix together. 

Spoon a portion of the mixture into the dough and fold over the sides to form a square parcel. 

Heat some ghee in a second frying pan and fry the parcel on a medium heat until golden on both sides.

Keep in a warm oven until all parcels are cooked.

Don’t be afraid to try other spices and ingredients to vary the filling.