Martabak or murtabak, also mutabbaq, (Arabic: مطبق‎) is a stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread which is commonly found in Saudi Arabia (especially the Hejaz region), Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Brunei. Depending on the location, the name and ingredients can significantly vary. The name mutabbaq (or sometimes mutabbag) in Arabic means "folded".

A cook making murtabak

In Malaysia, where it is called "Murtabak", it is sold by Mamak salesmen, and usually includes minced mutton, along with garlic, egg and onion, and is eaten with curry sauce. Murtabak also usually includes mutton in Yemen. In Indonesia, particularly Jakarta, it is called "martabak", and has two versions: a sweet one, and a savory one. Vegetarian murtabaks exist, too, and can be found around Singapore's "Little India" neighborhood, among other places.



Murtabak originated in India, during the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526). Through traders, murtabak has been brought to numerous countries in Muslim Southeast Asia during the reign of the Delhi Sultanate, and has continued to be a popular meal in many of these nations.

Indonesian martabak

A mainly chocolate-filled Martabak manis (sweet martabak)

Martabak is a popular dish in Indonesia. There are two kind of Indonesian martabaks, sweet and savory. In way of cooking, they have no similarities at all. Although they have completely different taste, looks and way of cooking, they usually can be found next to each other, i.e. a sweet martabak seller usually also sells the savory one.

Martabak manis

Martabak manis or sweet martabak, is a rich-flavoured pancake-like sweet dish which is popular in Indonesia. Sometimes referred to as "martabak bangka", where Bangka is an island in Sumatera. In Jakarta and West Java, Indonesia, these sweet, thick pancakes are also known as "terang bulan" or "kue pinang bangka". Also known as "apam balik" in Malaysia.

Usually made by street vendors in the evening, martabak manis is pan-cooked, using a specially shaped pan, usually with a diameter of about 25 cm and 3 cm thickness. After cooking, the pancake is topped with a lot of butter or margarine and a variety of toppings according to the customer's taste. The two major flavors are chocolate and cheese. Common toppings for chocolate flavor include a lot of chocolate muisjes or chocolate sprinkles, coarsely ground peanuts, sweetened condensed milk and sesame seeds. As for the cheese flavor, grated cheese and condensed milk are used. After the toppings are added, the pancake is cut into two, and one side is flipped onto the other. A large amount of butter or margarine is then added onto the outer part or the skin of the martabak. The martabak can also be made half chocolate and half cheese, or both chocolate and cheese together which is usually called "martabak spesial". Banana as a topping is also becoming more popular recently.

Martabak telur

Martabak telur (egg martabak)

Martabak telur or egg martabak, also called "martabak asin" or salty/savory martabak, is a crepe-like dish with egg filling. The filling commonly includes duck eggs - up to six eggs for a large one - onion, green onions, cooked ground beef and seasonings. The martabak's "skin" is made by spinning the pastry until very thin, like filo pastry. Then it is shallow-fried in a custom made flattened heavy wok. While the skin or pastry is laid flat on the wok, the egg mixture is then poured in. Then the pastry is folded quickly while being fried, making a rectangular wrap. This requires a mastery in cooking technique. When it is done, the martabak is cut into smaller squares for serving. It is often enjoyed together with pickled diced cucumber, and a dark brown sauce made of vinegar and palm sugar.

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