Mutabbaq مطبق


Mutabbaq مطبق ~ Middle Eastern flatbreads filled with a lightly spiced minced meat and egg mixture, folded then pan-fried.

Continuing with MENA Cooking Club, country: Saudi Arabia, host: Noor of Ya Salam Cooking.

We had two months to complete this challenge so why not share two recipes?! see matazeez.

Mutabbaq are served as an appetizer, side dish or snack and are a popular street food commonly found in Saudi Arabia (especially the Tihamah and the Hejaz regions), Yemen, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. Depending on the location, the name and ingredients can significantly vary.


The name mutabbaq in Arabic مطبق means “folded”. In Indonesia it is one of the most popular street foods and is known as “martabak”.

In North Africa they have a very similar stuffed pan-fried bread Mhadjeb that uses semolina instead of wheat flour and is more commonly stuffed with a spiced onion and tomato sauce.


Today I share with you a part whole-wheat Mutabbaq adapted from this recipe, stuffed with a lightly spiced mince meat, onion, tomato and egg mixture. I simply swapped white strong bread flour for half whole wheat strong bread flour and half plain flour. I also forgot the egg whilst making the dough, not to worry, it didn’t effect the shaping of the Mutabbaq and therefore I assume egg is used only for added richness.


My 6 year old and I enjoyed some of these protein-packed-parcels whilst they were still fresh and crisp for a late weekend lunch, they aren’t nearly as good re-heated.



Yield: 6

Serving Size: 3

Middle Eastern folded pan-fried flatbreads, stuffed with lightly spiced mince meat and egg.


    • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat bread flour
    • 1 1/2 cups plain flour (white)
    • ¾-1 cup warm water
    • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
    • 1 1/4 tsp salt
    • Extra sunflower oil, for work surface etc
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 225g ground meat (I used beef)
  • ½ tomato, finely diced
  • Pinch of spices- I added cumin, coriander, ground black pepper, ground red chili powder
  • 1 cup finely chopped spring onion or leek
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt to taste – about a ½ tsp.
  • 2 triangles of creamy cheese


Prepare Dough:
    1. Mix all ingredients and knead well, about 10 minutes. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
    2. Coat your hands in oil in order to handle the dough.
    3. Separate the dough into 6 parts (each should be about 113g) and form each part into a smooth ball. Set the balls on a tray and coat generously in oil to prevent from drying out. Cover and let sit for 3 hours. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP or try to work with the dough without letting it sit. Letting the dough rest will allow you to roll it out.
    1. 1. Sauté onions until brown. 2. Add meat and garlic, cook until meat has browned, breaking up the meat into small pieces, about 10 minutes.
    2. 3. Add tomatoes and spices and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes are slightly softened.
    3. 4. Remove from heat and let cool.
    4. 5. Lightly beat eggs and salt in a large bowl. Add chopped spring onion/leek, cheese, and finally meat mixture. Stir until combined.
Assembling the Mutabbaq:
  1. 1. Prepare a large clean flat surface for stretching out the dough, lightly oil the surface.
  2. 2. Take a ball of dough and place it on the prepared surface pressing it into the table. It should be very soft now and not spring back at all. Press down until you have a 5-6 inch circle.
  3. 3. Add some oil on top of the dough and grab it with your two hands from the bottom. The right hand should be holding from underneath and the left hand holding from above. (This is for right-handed people, for left handed, it would be the opposite).
  4. 4. Now quickly lift the dough up with your right hand and toss it back over your left then quickly return it back down to the table in one motion. Move your hand around the outside of the dough to ensure evenness. Keep repeating this motion until the dough has stretched very thin and is see-through.
  5. 5. Take a couple spoonfuls of the meat-egg filling and place it on the center of the dough. Pat it down flat and make it into a square. Then fold the sides of the dough over the meat, one at a time. (See video for this)
  6. 6. Lift the folded mutabbaq onto a well-oiled frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook on the other side until browned and egg is fully cooked.
Mutabbaq مطبق
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Mutabbaq مطبق

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