Murtabak: All About This Popular South East Asian Stuffed Pancake
Updated : October 11, 2021 11:10 IST
This street food, murtabak, is sure to lead you on to an adventurous ride with its indulgent taste and flavours.
Murtabak is a delicious stuffed fried bread or pancake usually seen in Southeast Asia. They are pretty famous in Muslim countries because they have been invented or brought into being by a Muslim community. Some countries where murtabak is widely popular include Indonesia, Kuwait, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. Some people find it quite similar to an Indian paratha in foreign countries, while others call it a spicy omelette pancake with bits of vegetables and delicious stuffing inside. Murtabak is prepared with utmost ease by making crispy pan-fried crepes usually stuffed with a heavy filling of beaten eggs, chives, chicken, minced leeks and meat. These crepes are then folded, cut into squares and served hot. Murtabak is a portion of popular street food in Indonesia and Malaysia, while in India, it's considered to be another similar version of Kolkata’s famous Mughalai paratha.
The history behind murtabak:
Murtabak is an Arabic word that implies something being folded. When we start to dig deeper to know about the origins of murtabak, we learn that murtabak may have originated from either Yemen or somewhere from our Indian subcontinent. The year of birth has not been discovered yet, but it is said that murtabak might have come from Yemen when it had a sizable Indian population and then brought to Southern Asia by Tamil Nadu Muslim traders. On the other hand, its Indian connection says this multi-layered dish could have originated from Kerala, where people initially referred to it as ‘mamaks’. Today, over ten different and unique variations of murtabak are found in other countries with different names, each following their authentic style and use of ingredients. In countries where it is widely popular, it’s become an everyday dish, being one of the inexpensive yet affordable street foods that are also prepared by many households worldwide.
You might have started feeling tempted towards this stuffed multi-layered pancake. For authentic flavours and a taste of murtabak, click here for the full recipe.