I had been told this will be the best murtabuk you will ever eat.
My friends got frantic when we drove pass pointing out to me. Even overseas friends swears by it. Okay, EVER is a BIG WORD here. Quickly and eagerly, I need to find somebody to go on an exploration and eat with me.
Moving back to Singapore, I almost forgot there's a gem like Zam Zam. A century of traditional preparation of Briyanis and murtabuk. This heritage restaurant has been around since 1908. Generations of perfecting this heavenly layered slab of flaky pastry, enveloping the aromatic spices and juicy ground meaty goodness. Murtabuk originates in India and made popular in most Muslim Southeast Asia countries. The second it is serve, I know my palate is going to experience a new high, the only sounds we emitted were some barely suppressed grunts and moans. The mutton murtabuk was outrageously good. There's an alluring play in textures. It is somewhat between the french crepe and the italian pizza, flipped and tossed in the air till paper thin then pan-fried to a crispy exterior. Murtabuks are cook to order and pastry folded with an eggy spread, onions and heaps of aromatic meaty greasy goodness, ground mutton, beef, chicken, even vegetarian and exotic deer version spiced with a home blend of gram masala. All these goodness served deliciously hot accompanied with a tangy curry dipping sauce.
For those who had not tried Zam Zam, I urge you to go and order yourself one of the mutton murtabuk. A bite and it will be memorable. A juicy greasy slab of crispy prata with a generous speckles of juicy minced mutton and chopped onions. Immediately put you on a cardiac arrest with all the ghee laden to make this so good. Ultimately unforgettable. Even now, writing this, just the though of it makes me want to drive over and sink into one. I got to somehow learn how to knock one out. The flipping and flapping fascinates me. I got to flip a dough myself, it shouldn't be that difficult I bravely told myself, moreover, the prata man at Zam Zam had done a slow motion demonstration of his art for me thinking I am some tourist marveling at his skill. My first run on roti recipe totally failed and ended up improvising it for garlic naan. My second trial was a success. Me, beamed with joy like a kid, jumping from left to right from the first fry up. I got to credit to ieatishootipost, on mastering the art of flapping and demonstrating in details the fundamentals on roti flip flaps and its recipe. Now I know why Dr. Tay flapped hundreds of it to finally master the skill. It's actually quite difficult attempt. Well, that's only my second try, I couldn't care more, my roti canai tasted like the real thing, totally wicked buttery flaky, and that is all that matters for now, whatever that works to get it paper thin. *wink.
600g plain flour (Hi-gluten, Prima plain flour)
270 mL water
80g/ ¼cup condense milk
15mL Melted butter or oil
1.5 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Put everything together and knead it at speed 2 on KitchenAid for 10 minutes with a 5 minutes rest in-between. I knead by hand therefore had triple the process for more elasticity. The dough is actually quite sticky but that is correct. It will smoothen out eventually.
Divide the dough into 100g. you should end up with 10 small balls. Lightly oil it and pop it in the fridge overnight for more flavor.
When ready, leave it to room temperature and flatten the balls with palm and some oil. flip it if you are a professional or spread it paper thin the foolproof way like I did. Systematically, slowly, work your way around the perimeter of dough circle pulling outwards to thin the dough. For the first few rounds, pull 3 to 4 inches (about 8 to10 cm.) each time, making it thinner and thinner. As it gets thinner, it will be obvious where the thicker parts of the dough are. Focus on those areas. Keep going until you achieve a paper thin sheet. It should reach about 2 feet in diameter. Use the tips of your fingers to smooth those inevitably thicker parts paper thin. Butter/ghee or oil it again, then fold it trying to capture as much air as possible, and hit it on a medium heat oil pan. Fry on both sides over medium heat until golden brown. You can spread an egg and before folding the edges. The best and simplest way to eat it is with some sugar and curry. I reckon it will also be sensational with some slice banana and cinnamon sugar in-between.
Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant679,699 North Bridge Road
8am to 11pm daily
Labels: Asam fish, Bugis, fish head curry, Halal, murtabuk, mutton, recipe, Reviews, roti canai, Singapore good eats, Zam Zam