Murtabak or martabak, also mutabbaq, is a stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread which is 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 (or sometimes mutabbag) in Arabic means “folded”. In Indonesia, the Murtabak is one of the most popular street foods and is known as “martabak”.
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Murtabak in Malaysia
In Malaysia, where it is called “murtabak”, it was originally sold in Indian Muslim restaurants and stalls, and usually includes minced meat (beef or chicken, sometimes mutton) along with garlic, egg and onion, and is eaten with curry or gravy, sliced cucumber, syrup-pickled onions or tomato sauce.
The dish is sold throughout the country, with diverse variations in ingredients or cooking styles and has been adopted by Malay Muslim sellers as well. In Yemen, murtabak also usually includes mutton. In Indonesia, particularly Jakarta and other cities, it is called “martabak”, and has two versions: a sweet one, and a savoury one with egg and meat. Lately, vegetarian murtabaks and other forms of murtabaks with chicken and other stuffings exist and can be found in many Indian Muslim restaurants in Singapore, most famous being those restaurants facing the Sultan Mosque near Arab Street.