Murthaba – Made in Koothanallur!

Murthaba – Made in Koothanallur!

Not many know what “Muthaba” is. If you are from Tamil Nadu, Malaysia or  Singapore you would know. Murthaba is a very common dish in these parts especially with the Muslim community. The word is possibly derived from the word “Murtabak”. Generally it is a dish where meat/vegetables are stuffed into bread forms and cooked/baked. Many say it originated in India and was taken to other places by traders during the Muslim rule. Different places have different versions, but none compared to the “Murthaba”! Some would disagree if I said it belongs to Koothanallur, a village somewhere near Thanjavur in South India. It’s actually the place where I was born. It’s mailny a Muslim community and famous for a variety of delicious mouth watering cuisines! We believe in the saying that the way to the heart is through the stomach!

The Murrthaba is basically a filling of mutton, chicken or vegetables wrapped in dough and pan cooked over a slow fire with lots of ghee! It is very filling and of course amazingly very very delicious!



The reason I thought of writing about it is because of Imthiaz’s mother-in-law or “mami”. Last night I went to visit them in Deira, Dubai. It was just a casual unexpected visit and I was in luck. Mami prepared another version of the murthaba called “Jaaler Murthaba”. Jaaler is another dish made by dripping watery flour mix directly onto the pan which forms a net like pancake.  The filling is then folded into a few of the Jaalers and pan cooked. It is similar but has a different taste. Nonetheless it was a treat! Very tasty and I ate all I could. It fills you up pretty fast. I have to thank her for the wonderful Murthabas.

Mom is also a superb cook and she always prepares all these dishes whenever possible. Whether the Murthaba originated in Koothanallur, I don’t know. …but it prospers very well over there! If you do plan to visit us in Koothanallur please don’t forget to ask for… you know what!

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This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Who cares from where Murthaba originated!?! It tastes yummy 😛 Especially the beef Murthaba which you forget to mention!!!!

  2. We have to speak about Koothanallur are a large but u did in ur article very small Murthaba So, stop all special items to eat in the home of mother-in-law or “mami” house.Eat when u hungry, let it be a quarter empty space in ur stomach coz it leads to gud health of yours. If u practice ” pasiyaarai” in ur home in the morning – 40th day fathiha in any street or any house and Dinner in Marriage hall lead to ” specialised DHALCHA GROUP” in ur home town.
    Write what u think which will be fair to read but dont write what u ate for your hungry.


    Abu Jahir

  3. Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting too. It would be nice if you would introduce yourself.

    Let me get to your comment. First let me thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I don’t fully understand what you are saying, but I think you would like me to write more about Koothanallur, ie in a bigger perspective than just a small one like a Murthaba! Well I do agree with you. A valid point.

    Please not that you have not come to a site “ON” Koothanallur but my own personal blog. Do you know what a “personal blog” is? Let me help you. It means that this is MY website and what I write here is MY own desire. If you want to know more on Koothanallur please go to a website which gives information on it.

    Let it be clear to that

    1. I will NOT stop writing about what I eat or when I eat
    2. I don’t care if I eat half stomach or full stomach
    3. Even though you care about my health (I don’t know who you are), I don’t need this from you!
    4. I WILL NOT write what I think will be fair to read, but WILL write whatever I WANT to write!
    5. What I write or don’t is None of YOUR business! If you don’t like what you are reading, then JUST LEAVE!
    6. I don’t care who you are, but DON’T tell me what to do! Tell that to your family!

    This is MY BLOG. If you don’t like what you are reading. JUST LEAVE!

  4. murthaba romba tasty mr ravoof please onemore parcel rawoof annan

  5. Can anyone tell me where I can find an authentic Murthaba/Murtabak in Dubai? It was one of my favourite foods in Singapore, but nobody here knows what I’m talking about! All my Indian colleagues are from Kerala & have never heard of it, and can only suggest Dosra(?) which is not the same. Thanks in Advance, Achmeddie.

  6. I have also been searching but couldn’t find any Authentic Murthaba joints. We usually make it at home! Anyway will keep you updated once I find out.

  7. ஹாய் யு என்னப்பா இது முர்தபா சம்சா எல்லாம் ஆன்லைன்ல போட்டு மானம் கப்பல் ஏறுது கொஞ்சம் இந்த வெப்சைட்டை அளித்துவீடஉம் இப்படி சாப்பாட்டு ராமன் எல்லாம் வெப் பேஜ் திறந்து கூத்தாநல்லூர் ??????????மாமி இறந்தால் என்ன இப்படி முர்தபாவை வெப் பேஜ்இல் போட வேண்டும் என்று எந்த மாமிஉம் அலுகமாட்டார்கள். சை நாசம்

  8. pls…..
    koothanallur mamtha kapathugha…..
    delete this pls…..

  9. Fathima. athu aparam kapathalaam. ippo nee yaarunu sollu pls. what have you done to make koothanallur proud? Chumma delete this, F@#! this etc is not the way the way to do things! Thanks for the post anyway. If you do know anything or have anything to write or say about KNR, please feel free to mail or post here. Thanks anyways! 😛

  10. Thanks for information,

    pls mention how to make cutlet

    best regards

  11. Nice article about delicious dish Murtaba.

    I think we can get murtaba in sharjah (rolla)
    al kallaf (old yasmeen restaruant),
    panama restaurant.

    But we may not get that koothanallur touch.

    Earlier there was one al thani but it is closed now.


  12. My family is also from the down south (Loothanallur) specifically. The Murtaba is originally from Singapore and taken to Koothanalur.

  13. I tried Murthaba and it came out really well.. my neighbours in dubai doesnot know what i have done.. but they just liked it… i was actually intersted to do it only after seeing this website… though mine looks little different from the above pic

  14. Thanks Zeenat. Just wondering if you spelt it wrong or if Loothanallur is a place.

    Nisha, Im glad this website inspired you make Murthaba. In fact your inspiration has got me thinking. Got an idea. Thanks.


    முதலில் ஒரு விசயத்தை நீங்கள் புரிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டும் ,நீங்கள் ஒரு blogger ,blogger என்றுமே விசிட்டர் ரிடம் கோபம் கொள்ள கூடாது ,அப்படி உங்களுடய ப்ளாக் என்றால் நீங்கள் விசிட்டர் பகுதி யை நீங்கள் வைத்துஇருக்க கூடாது அதை நீக்கி விடுங்கள் ,விசிட்டர் வரும் கமெண்ட்ஸ் வைத்து தான் நீங்கள் உங்கள் ப்லோக்யை செம்மை படுத்த முடியும் ,அப்படி இல்லை என்றால் அலே இல்லாத கடையில் டீ ஆத்துவது போல ஆய்விடும் , என் blog நான் என்ன வேண்டுமானுலும் எழுதுவேன் என்றால் உங்கள் டைரி இல் எழுதிகொல்லுங்குல், இது இணையம் உங்களுக்கு கருத்து பிடித்தல் நன்றி சொல்லுங்கள் பிடிக்கவில்லையா விட்டுவிடுங்கள், உங்களுக்கு கருத்து சொல்ல எவலோவு உரிமை உள்ளதோ அதே உரிமை அவருக்கும் இருக்கிறது ,அந்த உரிமை எனக்கும் இருக்கிறது, அதனால் வாரிகட்டி கொண்டு எனக்கு பதில் எழுத வேண்டாம் பதில் எழுதினால் மல்லாக படுத்து கொண்ட உமிழ் நீரை விட்டால் என்ன ஆகும் என்று எல்லோருக்கும் தெரியும் ,ஆகையால் blog யை சீர் படுத்து , விசிட்டர் கமெண்ட்ஸ்க்கு மதிப்பு கொடுங்கள் இல்லையென்றால் comments பகுதி யை நீக்கி விடுங்கள். congrats for your blog….

  16. hai im like it

  17. I agree with you Fathma. The only reason I got upset was because he was telling me what to write! All comments on my blog are welcome. Thanks for your concern and comments. Good day!

  18. I would like have your contact details, if possible

  19. you can see my contact details on the right panel.

  20. hi.. murthabha..

  21. hahahah….i miss my koothanallur murtahaba. as i married outside our home town my wife doesnt know how to make i only enjoy when i come home to visit my mom

  22. haha.. next time when you bring her to knr make her learn how to make it. Dont tell her i said so! thanks for your comment.

  23. Yes… one of my favourite dish it is quite popular where i come from thats kodikkal palayam.
    thanks for reminding me of it .
    i should have some this week..

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