“Mutabbaq”, or “Murtabak” (which means “folded” in Arabic because it is a feast of stuffed bread folded around meat), is believed by many to have originated with Indians living in Yemen. The Republic of Yemen had a sizable Indian population at the time and the recipe is believed to have spread to India and Southeast Asia through cultural diffusion facilitated by traders. Its tasty exoticism is matched only by its ease of preparation. Some recipes provide instructions on making the roti or chapati (wraps) by scratch, but for an easy, exotic dinner, the following recipe uses ready-made roti/chapati/ spring roll sheets and will allow you to make your own mutabbaq (photo above by AhmadElqin) in roughly 40 – 45 minutes.
- ½ lbs of keema (minced mutton or chicken)
- 3 Eggs
- 20 garlic pods
- 2 onions
- 1 cup of spring onions or scallions
- 6 whole green chilies (finely sliced if you like some heat)
- Oil/butter (as needed)
- 1 cup of mint and coriander (cilantro) leaves (half mint and half coriander)
- Salt (enough to salt to desired level)
- 10 wrapping sheets (pre-made Rumali roti / spring roll sheet/ Maida roti or chapati)
- garlic sauce and/or hummus
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil/butter, then add the green chilies, garlic, and onions
- Sauté them for 5-10 mins at medium heat, until the onions turn translucent.
- Add keema, salt and pepper, and coriander/ mint leaves to the pan.
- Cover and cook these ingredients completely (for approximately 7 to 10 minutes)
- Next, turn off the flame, and let the keema cool down (for 10 to 15 minutes).
- Put the keema in a bowl and add the raw eggs and spring onions, mixing the ingredients together.
- Now take the Rumali roti or wrap of your choice (you can add some garlic sauce and/or hummus to it to an extent preferable to you) and add the keema mixture into it, folding it into a square to seal the ingredients in it.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil/butter in a frypan over medium heat. Cook each square, folded-side up for 3-4 mins, then turn it over and cook it for another 3-4 mins , until cooked thoroughly and golden brown.
- Now the Murtabak are ready. Serve it up with garlic sauce and/or hummus. Yummy!
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