Al-Motubug Recipe: A Delicious Arabian Dish


Al-Motubug Recipe: A Delicious Arabian Dish
Region / culture: Arabia | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 6



Al-Motubug is a traditional dish that hails from the rich culinary traditions of the Middle East. This savory pastry combines the heartiness of ground beef, the subtle sweetness of leeks, and the comforting texture of homemade dough into a dish that is both fulfilling and deeply satisfying. Perfect for gatherings, family dinners, or a special weekend treat, Al-Motubug is a testament to the art of Middle Eastern cooking, where every ingredient plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious and flavorful dish.


The origins of Al-Motubug can be traced back to ancient times when the Middle East was a melting pot of cultures, each contributing to the region's culinary landscape. This dish is believed to have evolved from the need to create hearty, nutritious meals that could feed large families or gatherings with readily available ingredients. Over the centuries, Al-Motubug has been passed down through generations, with each adding their own touch, making it a beloved staple in Middle Eastern cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Sift the flour and gradually add water and salt, mixing the dough until it becomes soft but pliable.
  2. Divide the dough into ten pieces and knead each piece well.
  3. Place the dough on a tray sprinkled with a little water and let it rise for at least one hour.
  4. Put the ground beef in a saucepan with chopped onion, black pepper, and salt.
  5. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the beef is cooked.
  6. Set the mixture aside until it cools.
  7. Chop the leeks and wash them several times through a strainer. Drain and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess water.
  8. Add the leeks to the ground beef mixture.
  9. Take a piece of dough, cover it in flour, and roll it out. Place it over the back of your hands and stretch it until the dough becomes quite thin.
  10. Place the stretched dough on a worktop and trim any uneven edges.
  11. Brush two tablespoons of the egg and oil mixture over the surface of the dough.
  12. Fold the dough to form smaller squares.
  13. Place a frying pan or griddle over medium heat with one tablespoon of oil.
  14. Place the pastry squares in the pan and fry them on both sides until they turn golden brown.
  15. Repeat the above method using five of the remaining pieces of dough.
  16. With the sixth piece of dough, repeat the steps until the folding stage.
  17. Place one fried pastry square in the center of the unfolded piece, generously cover it with ground beef and three tablespoons of beaten egg.
  18. Fold the dough into a square shape.
  19. Remember to sprinkle the oil and egg mixture between the layers.
  20. Fry the folded dough in three tablespoons of oil over medium heat until both sides turn golden brown.
  21. Repeat the process using the remaining four pieces of dough.
  22. Serve hot.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the ground beef with a mixture of mushrooms, spinach, and feta cheese. Spices can also be adjusted according to taste, with options like cumin, coriander, or cinnamon adding a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the perfect Al-Motubug, consider the following tips:

- The dough should be thin but strong enough to hold the filling without tearing.

- Letting the dough rest is crucial for its elasticity and workability.

- Be generous with the leeks as they shrink during cooking and provide a sweet contrast to the beef.

- Fry the pastries at a medium heat to achieve a golden brown color without burning.

Serving Suggestions

Al-Motubug is best served hot, accompanied by a side of fresh yogurt or a light cucumber salad to balance the dish's richness.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Al-Motubug lies in rolling the dough to the perfect thickness and mastering the art of frying to achieve a crispy yet tender pastry.

Ingredient Substitutions

If leeks are not available, green onions or shallots make a good substitute. For a healthier version, olive oil can replace corn oil.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough and beef mixture can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, making the assembly and cooking process quicker.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Al-Motubug on a platter garnished with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an added touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine or a refreshing mint lemonade complements Al-Motubug's flavors beautifully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat to maintain the pastry's crispiness.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Al-Motubug contains approximately 400-500 calories, making it a hearty meal option.


A serving of Al-Motubug is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from the flour used in the dough. Each serving contains approximately 45-55 grams of carbohydrates, providing the body with essential energy.


The fats in Al-Motubug come from the corn oil used in frying and the natural fats in the ground beef. A serving contains about 20-30 grams of fats, contributing to the dish's satiety and flavor.


Al-Motubug is a good source of protein, thanks to the ground beef. Each serving offers around 20-25 grams of proteins, essential for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is also a source of various vitamins and minerals, particularly from the leeks, which are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. These nutrients support immune function, vision, and red blood cell production.


Al-Motubug contains gluten (from the flour) and may not be suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It also contains eggs, a common allergen.


Overall, Al-Motubug is a balanced dish, offering carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. However, those with specific dietary needs should consider the allergens present.


Al-Motubug is a delightful dish that embodies the essence of Middle Eastern cuisine. With its rich history, nutritional benefits, and versatile serving options, it's a recipe that invites experimentation and can be enjoyed on many occasions. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, Al-Motubug is sure to be a satisfying culinary adventure.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for Al-Motubug. It was many years ago, when I was a young girl living in a small village in Morocco. My grandmother had passed down her love for cooking to me, and I had spent countless hours by her side in the kitchen, learning her secrets and techniques.

One day, a traveler came to our village and shared with us a recipe for a dish called Al-Motubug. He described it as a traditional Moroccan dish made with layers of thin dough, meat, and spices. I was immediately intrigued and knew that I had to learn how to make it.

The traveler was kind enough to teach me the recipe, and I eagerly wrote down every detail. He explained that Al-Motubug was a dish that was often made for special occasions and celebrations, as it was time-consuming but well worth the effort.

I couldn't wait to try my hand at making Al-Motubug, and I spent the next few days gathering all the ingredients I would need. I made sure to select the finest cuts of meat, the freshest vegetables, and the most aromatic spices.

As I began to prepare the dish, I could feel my grandmother's presence beside me, guiding me through each step. I rolled out the dough into thin, delicate sheets and carefully layered them with the seasoned meat mixture. I sprinkled each layer with a blend of spices that filled the kitchen with a warm, comforting aroma.

The dish required patience and precision, as each layer had to be perfectly placed to ensure that the flavors melded together harmoniously. I felt a sense of pride as I worked, knowing that I was carrying on the tradition of my ancestors and creating something truly special.

Finally, after hours of preparation, the Al-Motubug was ready to be baked. I placed it in the oven and watched with anticipation as it transformed into a golden, flaky masterpiece. The scent that wafted through the air was intoxicating, and I knew that I had succeeded in making a dish that was truly worthy of celebration.

When I served the Al-Motubug to my family and friends, their eyes widened in amazement at the sight of the intricate layers and the rich, savory aroma. They took their first bite and were met with a burst of flavor that transported them to the bustling streets of Morocco.

As we sat around the table, savoring each mouthful of Al-Motubug, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction and contentment. I knew that I had learned a valuable lesson that day – that the act of cooking is not just about nourishing the body, but also about nourishing the soul.

From that moment on, Al-Motubug became a staple in my cooking repertoire, and I continued to make it for special occasions and gatherings. Each time I prepared the dish, I felt a connection to my grandmother and the generations of women who had come before me, passing down their knowledge and traditions through the simple act of sharing a meal.

And so, as I sit here now, reflecting on that fateful day when I first learned to make Al-Motubug, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences and memories that cooking has brought into my life. It is a gift that I will continue to cherish and pass down to future generations, ensuring that the legacy of Al-Motubug lives on for years to come.


| Arabian Appetizers | Arabian Meat Dishes | Arabian Recipes | Egg Recipes | Ground Beef Recipes | Leek Recipes | Onion Recipes | Savory Pastry Recipes |

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