Home » Singapore Cooking » Murtabak Recipe – Indian Flatbread Stuffed with Spicy Minced Meat and Onion Recipe

Murtabak Recipe – Indian Flatbread Stuffed with Spicy Minced Meat and Onion Recipe

Murtabak Recipe - Indian Flatbread Stuffed with Spicy Minced Meat and Onion Recipe

Murtabak Recipe – Indian Flatbread Stuffed with Spicy Minced Meat and Onion Recipe

An Indian Muslim dish universally loved in Singapore, Murtabak is a feather-light pancake filled with minced meat and fried on a hot griddle. Mutton would be the usual choice in Singapore, although lamb, beef or chicken may be used instead. The texture of the dough is light and crispy, the filling wonderfully satisfying—great as an appetiser or a late-night snack.

Ingredients :

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil for frying
  • Thinly sliced red or green finger-length chillies (optional)


  • 3 cups (450 g) plain flour
  • Scant 1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh milk
  • Scant 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons softened butter


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cups (500 g/ 1 lb) minced lamb, chicken or beef
  • 11/2 tablespoons meat curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 stalk Chinese leek or celery, very thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten

Method :

  1. To make the Dough, mix all the ingredients, except the butter, in a bowl and knead for 10 minutes to form a smooth Dough. Roll the Dough into a ball, place in a dry bowl, cover and set aside to rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour.
  2. To prepare the Filling, heat the oil in a wok or skillet and stir-fry the garlic and onions until they are transparent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the minced meat, curry powder, turmeric and chilli powder, and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once the meat mixture has cooled, add the leek or celery and beaten eggs, and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Half an hour before serving, portion the Dough into 6 equal parts and knead each portion with a little softened butter until smooth. Shape each portion into a ball and set aside again. Roll out each portion of Dough as thinly as possible and cover with a cloth.
  4. Heat a heavy iron griddle or large skillet until very hot and grease with a little ghee or oil. Place the rolled out Dough on the griddle, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 minute. Then spread one-sixth of the Filling over the Dough. Fold over two opposite sides of the Dough, overlapping slightly, and repeat with the other two sides to make a small rectangular package enclosing the Filling Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the Dough is golden brown, then flip it over and cook on the other side. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool on a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining Dough and Filling.
  5. Garnish the Murtabak with sliced chillies if using. Serve hot with a bowl of your favourite curry sauce on the side and chase with hot coffee or tea.

Note : The trick to making a good crispy Murtabak is for the Dough to be as thin as possible when cooked, so that it lightly encloses the Filling like a wafer-thin wrapper. Indian chefs twirl the Dough in the air to achieve this. To accompany the Murtabak and curry, serve a refreshing side dish of Cucumber and Onion Achar. Slice 1/2 cucumber and 1 onion, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside in a colander for 1 hour to drain. Then rinse and pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible. Refresh the cucumber and onion with a dash of fresh lime or lemon juice and serve.

Makes 6
Murtabak Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 1 hour


Source :
the food of Singapore
Simple Street Food Recipes from the Lion City
by David Wong & Djoko Wibisono
photos by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
introduction by Lee Geok Boi


See also Singapore Cooking “Tauhu Goreng Recipe – Deep-fried Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing”