Proud to announce that I’ll make the coming months a special request recipe for Dutch-Indo magazine Moesson. This Martabak Telor recipe is the first of many to come.
The magazine asks fans to send in a dish they always want to have the recipe off, but never have the time to test and explore. Then I come in and do that for them. 😉
The dishes that came in last month are very interesting; ranging from Indonesian brown bean soup to cripsy pisang goreng (banana fritters). But martabak telor was the dish that was asked for more than once and it fits this season well. Great snack for Christmas eve for instance.
Dini says, for example:
I have never made Martabak. I’ve watched a clip but it looks like a lot of work …. Is there an easier recipe?
In Indonesia, martabak is mostly sold as streetfood. There is martabak manis (sweet) and martabak telor (savory). Street vendors often sell both in there ‘warung’ (shop), but they are completely different dishes. The sweet version, martabak manis, is also called terang bulan and is made with flour and yeast: like a bread in a pan.
The savory kind is super thin dough filled with an egg and meat mix. To get the dough super thin it is slapped on a flat surface until it is a big thin square of translucent dough. Then the dough is fried immediately and filled up with the seasoned egg mix while in the pan.
Where martabak originates from is not clear. It could be derived from mutabbaq (مطبق) meaning “folded” in Arabic and refers to a kind of bread baked in a pan. Or the word originated in India and comes from mutabar, which stands for egg bread.
For our martabak recipe, I go for an Indonesian version. In Indonesia, they fill martabak with minced beef, chicken or mutton, onions, eggs, salt and sometimes potatoes. Often the egg mix is seasoned with (Indian) curry herbs.
I like that idea and I add those herbs to ‘our’ recipe too. I even add 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom to give it a bit of an Arabic touch too. Cardamon is a fresh flavor and helps the other curry herbs to stand out. Delicious.
On the street, it’s a spectacular sight how the vendors prepare martabak, but it’s not easy to copy at home. I prefer to make handy snacks; easier to make and eat.
To answer Dini’s question: ‘Is there an easier recipe?’ I recommend using good quality spring roll sheets. These thin sheets will make your martabak crunchy. Enak!
Martabal Telor: This recipe is enough for 15 pieces of martabak and is ready in 1 hour.
250 grams minced meat (I use half pork half beef)
100 grams of leek
50 grams of red onion
1 chopped garlic
1 spring onion
spring rolls from the freezer
bit of milk
15 grams of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ketumbar (coriander powder)
1/2 teaspoon of kunjit (turmeric)
1/2 teaspoon of jinten (cumin powder)
1/4 teaspoon of cardamom
1 teaspoon of salt
First, defrost the spring roll sheets. They need some time to be flexible enough to handle.
As soon as I can pull one off the pile, I place the sheets under a damp towel. Otherwise, they dry out quickly.
I sauté the meat in a tablespoon of oil with finely chopped garlic, chopped fresh ginger and half of the salt.
I make sure the meat is cooked through and then take it off the fire to let it cool.
I whisk four eggs firmly and add the finely chopped leek, onions and spring onion together with the ketumbar, jinten (cumin), kunjit, cardamom and the rest of the salt.
When the meat has cooled I add it to the egg mixture. If the meat is too hot, the eggs turn into omelet and that is not what you want at this stage.
My spring rolls skin is nice and flexible now and I lay it on my cutting board like a diamond. I use a small sauce spoon (it catches the egg well) and place some filling just under the center of the diamond.
The sauce spoon ensures that there is enough egg filling in the martabak; it will hold the contents together.
Now I fold the bottom point over half way: see below.
I fold the left and right side over the middle.
I wet the top of the sheet with some milk that works as glue.
Now I fold the top down and for a square parcel.
Now I flip the martabak over…
.. and close the top and side with some milk too.
I try to work quite quikly. If the martabak lay too long they tend to stick to the board and there is a possibility you rip them before frying.
Meanwhile I heat up vegetable oil but not too hot (about 160 degrees Celsius). If your oil is too hot the martabak can break.
I fry them untill golden brown. They float in the oil and need to be flipped over half way.
I let them drip off their excess oil in a sieve and then serve warm and crisp.
Martabak is great to dip into a hot chili or sambal salsa. Or if you like it sweet, serve kecap manis as a condiment.
Also a simple acar will work. I make mine with cucumber, red onions, cane sugar sirup, salt, pepper and rice vinegar.
This martabak telor can be the best bite for Christmas or new years eve. I’ll definitely put it on my list ;-).