Tuesday, 3 August 2010


With some fried mince, egg and onions left over from making Roti John, I hit upon the idea of trying to make murtabak, an Indian fried bread filled with mince and onion that I always miss the moment I arrive at Heathrow Airport. A quick search on Google turned up a recipe for Roti Prata (or more accurately, what the Indians call Paratha), which serves as the base for murtabak.

The pratas I'm familiar with however usually make use of ghee, which, obviously, is not available in the Sainsbury's Basics range. However, I also do remember several stalls I've patronised making use of Planta Margarine, and so, I will take this as an excuse to use Sainsbury's Basics Soft Spread to make this happen.

I would generally avoid vegetable oil-based products, having been scared off by trans-fats occurring in products containing partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils. While most of the soft spread products are now free from such things, I'm still a bit sceptical, especially of a food item made from ingredients that don't naturally solidify. At the same time though, it does appear to have lower saturated fat than butter.

The quantities that follow is good for two servings. Start with sifting 1.5 cups of flour into a bowl, before adding 2.5 tablespoons of melted soft spread, and blending until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add half a cup of milk, and knead until the resulting dough is slightly sticky, but can easily separate from the sides of the bowl.

After letting the dough rest for at least 5 hours in the fridge, take a ball of dough and drench in oil, stretching it out until flat and thin. Heat a pan with generous amounts of oil at medium heat. Add the flat dough to the pan and cook.

Finally, add the mince mixture to the centre of the dough and fold over to cover.

I must have gotten the quantities and proportions for the dough mix wrong, since I was unable to get the kind of results that you would find from ordering at a stall. Still, the experience has evoked memories when my roommate tried to make noodles from dough, and on failing, salvaged the situation by making roti prata from the dough batch.

Price per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Soft Spread£0.45500g+£0.15 (£2.40 for 2kg)Official support for use in baking. No other known benefits.

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