July 11, 2008


murta- what? well, a little background.

this dish is commonly found in the countries of yemen, malaysia, brunei and singapore. it originates, however, in india and is said to have made its way into middle eastern countries during the muslim conquest of india. wherever it's from, it's delicious.
this is a very quick and satisfying snack or friday night dinner. murtabak is a wrapped roti (indian flat bread) filled with any type of meat curry. the variation i made was a simple ground beef curry with peas. instead of wrapping it in a roti, i used thawed parathas from the local indian grocery store's freezer. lazy? yes. still delicious? yes.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1lb lean ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped according to preference (i like mine finer)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green chili, sliced
ginger root, grated to make about 1 tbsp
1 tbsp masala
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 cup of water
salt & pepper to taste
about a cup of frozen sweet peas
handful of cilantro, chopped finely
1 pack of parathas (plain or onion)

allow the parathas to thaw.
heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high and add the onions, garlic, ginger and chilis. once they are starting to brown slightly, add the masala and stir to incorporate. add the ground beef to that and stir, to break up the meat into the onions and garlic mixture. once it is nicely mixed together, add a bit of water to the pan and close it with a lid to allow the beef to cook through. season with salt and pepper to taste. once it is just about done, add the frozen peas and chopped cilantro and allow it to cook through.

the entire dish takes about 15mins to make, so while that is going... you can start separating the parathas.
once you're ready to assemble the murtabak, take one paratha and add about 4 tbsp of the curry mixture onto the center. wrap the paratha around the curry, just like you would a burrito. if you're having trouble getting it to all be sealed, you can use a bit of egg wash or water on the paratha.

once they're all wrapped up, get a griddle going with a bit of butter and start frying the murtabak slowly on each side until all sides are golden brown and the parathas are cooked through. it will take about 8-10mins and then you're all done!

the hubby and i had ours with a beer and made it friday night dinner :) yum!!

cPe 2008


Anonymous said...

I learned something today! :-)
I never heard of murtabak before but they surely look delicious. Sounds perfect with beer!

sarah@tastespotting said...

looks fantastic, and with the little bit of green in there, it feels "healthy" :)

Vicki said...

Ooh! I've got parathas in my freezer. I never thought of stuffing them before, thanks for the inspiration!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look delicious! A wonderful speciality!