Monday, May 19, 2008

Murtabak Raja

Eeem...sedapnya. Perut lapar begini sememangnya elok jika makan murtabak daging. Tapi di Kelantan ada murtabak yang istimewa yang diberi nama murtabak raja.

It was her grandmother who first came up with the idea of making "Murtabak Raja" (royal murtabak) — a special deluxe version of murtabak to serve the Kelantan royalty back in the 1950s.But as word of the delicious royal dish spread, their friends and neighbours also clamoured for a taste and today, Nik Faizah Nik Abdul Rahman and family continue the tradition by making the three-layered square-shaped version of roti canai with spiced meat filling, for both royals and commoners alike.

Nik Faizah Nik Abdul Rahman (right) preparing the 'Murtabak Raja' with her worker. The special dish is a favourite of the Kelantan royalty and specially made for them. Now, it is available for both royals and commoners alike.

Besides her, two other uncles and aunts are also involved in making "Murtabak Raja".

The dish is made either with beef or chicken and is eaten with a sweet pickled onion.

At RM11 per piece, the price may be higher than the normal version but it is filling enough to feed five or six people. Nik Faizah, who has been helping her grandmother and mother with the business from the age of eight, said the process is tedious but worth it.

"We have to make and cook the two layers filled with meat and onion filling separately before combining it with egg filling in the middle." Back then, her family mainly served it for the Kelantan royal family as it was expensive to make and the preparation was done by hand.

"I am thankful for the royal stamp of approval as it helped popularise the murtabak. When the customers knew about it, they started asking us to sell it to them too. Even the name was coined by the customers who kept referring to it as 'Murtabak Raja'."

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