Murtabak - Random Recipes #34

Time to squeeze in a quick pre-bed blog post, to attempt to create some sense of accomplishment for the evening, otherwise all I've done is bail from going to zumba following an epic hour long toddler pre-bedtime hysterical tantrum which left me (and Mr E) without much energy to do anything other than sit on the sofa, eat pretzels and hummus and half heartedly think about Christmas shopping.

So - blogging to the sense-of-achievement rescue :o)

For once I've made a Random Recipe that is not a complete disaster, nor is it a last-minute just before (or slightly after) the deadline effort.

For Random Recipes challenge #34 (as ever hosted by Belleau Kitchen) we were asked to randomly select a recipe book, and from within that randomly pick a recipe.

Now I'm not saying there was cheating, but it does seem a little coincidental that when I asked Mr E to randomly choose my recipe, he appeared back from the book case with the Lonely Planet "The World's Best Street Food: where to find it and how to make it" - a gift from his good self, which I hadn't yet cooked anything from. And the 'randomly' chosen recipe happened to be for a variety of meat filled fried pancakes, which ticks several of his favourite food things.

However, after seeing the recipe, I quite wanted to make them too, so I decided not to question the true randomness of its selection!

Mmmmm Murtabak!
Murtabak (p108) are a popular fried filled pancake sold as street food in Malaysia and Singapore.

I halved the recipe and made a few changes to make it dairy free and a little more toddler friendly - whilst Mini-M is pretty adventurous, she really not up for birds eye chili! I also missed out the coriander a) because I hate it, and b) because despite 2tbsp of it being listed in the ingredients, it doesn't appear anywhere in the method. Here's hoping it wasn't critical!

Lamb Filled Murtabak (makes 4)

  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (don't worry - this doesn't all get used!)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cm chunk fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 200g lean minced lamb
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the oil and rub it in. (The recipe said to add ghee and mix with your hands... it's tricky with just 1 tsp oil, and it felt slightly pointless, but it seemed like the best way to incorporate it).
Add the water and mix to a soft dough, then knead - the recipe recommends by hand for 10 minutes, but since there's no way my wrists would stand up to that, I went for about 6 minutes with the dough hooks on low speed on my electric hand whisk... I don't think it did the motor any favours.
Split the dough into four equal sized balls. Pour the oil into a mixing bowl (I used the one I had just used, since it was fairly clean after the kneading) and add the four balls of dough, then leave to sit for an hour. (I think this step stems from the street-food origins, where presumably stall holders would prepare all their dough at once for the day, and want it to be ready in easy to use portions).
Whilst the dough is resting, heat the oil in a frying pan and finely chop the onion. Fry for about 5 minutes until soft and starting to turn golden.
Grate the ginger and crush the garlic and add to the frying pan with the onions, then fry for a couple more minutes before adding the turmeric and garam masala.
Add the lamb and brown well until cooked through.
Beat the egg in a cup with salt and pepper according to your tastes and set aside.
When you are ready to fill and cook the murtabak, heat a very large frying pan or griddle to a medium heat.
Working on a plastic table mat (assuming you don't want your worktops slathered in oil!) roll out a piece of the dough thinly and stretch it with your fingers so that it is almost see-through. 
Drape it over the rolling pin to carefully transport it onto the griddle, and straight away add 1/4 of the egg, and on top of that, 1/4 of the mince mixture. 
Immediately fold in the sides of the dough, and flip the ends over. 
Pancake origami
Allow to cook for a few minutes on that side, then turn over  and cook for a few more on the other side. Repeat until the pancake is browned on both sides and the dough is cooked.
Eat straight away.

We enjoyed these with cucumber in sweet chili sauce and tomatoes.

Not a quick and easy dinner - but a tasty one :o)
It's great to have a Random Recipes success this month to soften the blow of what I am now referring to as the Great Sauerkraut Disaster...