The Revival Feast: Al-Motubug

Irfan Israr Khan

Al-Motubug is a stuffed pastry with a delicious beef, onion and leek filling. It is a very popular and classic Saudi Arabian dish, yet the ingredients required to make Al-Motubug are easily available. If you are ever visiting Saudi Arabia you should definitely try it there as it’s absolutely delicious!

Serves 10


  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 eggs beaten with ½ cup of corn oil
  • 2 bundles of leeks (medium sized)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs Minced beef
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 onions (finely chopped)
  • Flour for rolling
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


1. Sift the flour add a little bit of salt into a bowl, and some water a little at a time while mixing the dough until it becomes soft but pliable.

Divide the dough into ten pieces, and knead each piece well. Place on a tray sprinkled with a little water and let it rise for at least one hour.

2. Put the minced beef in a pan with the chopped onions, black pepper and salt and stir over a medium heat until cooked. Set aside to cool.

3. Chop the leeks and wash several times through a sieve; drain and put on kitchen towel paper until excess water is absorbed. Add to the minced beef.

4. Take a piece of dough and cover in flour, roll out, place over back of hands and stretch until dough becomes quite thin. Place dough on a worktop and trim any uneven edges. Brush two tablespoons of egg and oil mixture over dough surface. Fold the pastry to form a smaller square.

5. In a frying pan, over a medium heat, add one tablespoon of oil. Place pastry squares in pan and fry on both sides until golden brown.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 using five pieces of the dough.

6. With the 6th piece of dough repeat step 4 but only to the folding stage. Place one of the fried pastry squares in the centre of the unfolded piece, cover generously with ground beef and three tablespoons of beaten egg. Fold into a square, using an oil and egg mixture between the layers.

7. Fry in 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Repeat steps 6 and 7 using the remaining four pieces of dough. Serve hot.