"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," explains food writer Lara Lee.

Lamb martabak recipe

Lamb martabak recipe

"The traditional version is made with a thin, translucent sheet of oiled homemade dough that is pan-fried in a cast-iron pan (which I have included as a variation overleaf), 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. The filling can also be used to make a martabak filo pastry oven-baked pie. Best eaten immediately and served with sambal on the side for dipping."

Lamb martabak recipe from Coconut & Sambal by Lara Lee


(Makes 30 pieces)

30 spring roll wrappers, 15cm square

1 banana or 1 beaten egg, for sealing

Coconut oil or sunflower oil, for pan-frying

Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

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

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp ground cumin

1/2tsp sea salt

1/4tsp ground black pepper

Lamb martabak from Coconut & Sambal by Lara Lee (Louise Hagger/Travel photography Lara Lee/PA)
Lamb martabak from Coconut & Sambal by Lara Lee (Louise Hagger/Travel photography Lara Lee/PA)


1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix well. Heat one to two 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.

2. 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 one to two 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.

3. 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 two to three minutes until golden. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

4. Cut the martabak in half so the filling can be seen, then serve.

Coconut & Sambal: Recipes From My Indonesian Kitchen by Lara Lee, photography by Louise Hagger and Lara Lee, is published by Bloomsbury, priced GBP 26. Available May 14.