This martabak is one of my favourite snacks to eat. With coriander- and cumin-spiced lamb encased in pastry, it’s Indonesia’s answer to a Cornish pasty. The traditional version is made with a thin, translucent sheet of oiled homemade dough that is pan-fried in a cast-iron pan, but for easy entertaining, I wholly recommend using spring roll wrappers. Lamb martabak is a fantastic canapé or appetiser to kick-start a dinner party. Best eaten immediately and served with sambal on the side for dipping.
Origin: Popular all over Indonesia
This recipe is extracted from Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from my Indonesian Kitchen by Lara Lee (Bloomsbury). Photography © Louise Hagger
Ingredients for lamb martabak Serves: 30
- 30 spring roll wrappers, 15cm square
- 1 banana or 1 beaten egg, for sealing
- Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
Ingredients for the filling
- 450g lamb mince
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 small banana shallots or 4 Thai shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 8cm piece of ginger (about 40g), peeled and finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 bunch of chives, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
- 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
Method for lamb martabak
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix well. Heat 1–2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the lamb filling and cook, stirring, until it is cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Line a tray with baking parchment. Place one spring roll wrapper on a chopping board, storing any unused wrappers under a clean tea towel so they do not dry out. Spread 1–2 tablespoons of the filling over one half of the wrapper, leaving a 1cm border. Cut a thick slice of the banana with the skin on and rub the banana flesh over the edges of the wrapper to help seal the skin together (if you prefer, you can brush with beaten egg). Fold the other half of the wrapper over the filling and press all the edges down. Place on the tray. Repeat until all the filling has been used up.
- Fill a deep saucepan one-third full with sunflower oil and heat to 160°C. (If you do not have a kitchen thermometer, check the oil is at temperature by adding a cube of bread; it should turn golden in 25–30 seconds.) Fry the martabak in batches for 2–3 minutes until golden. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Cut the martabak in half so the filling can be seen, then serve.