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Malawach served with tomato sauce and Sahawiq
Alternative namesMulawah, Malawax and Khobz Mulawah
Place of originYemen, Somalia
Region or stateMiddle East, Horn of Africa
Main ingredientsPuff pastry, oil or fat

Malawach, Malawah, Malawax (Arabic: ملوح‎, Hebrew: מלאווח or מלווח‎, Somali: Malawax) is a fried bread that is traditional in Somali and Yemeni cuisine.

Malawach resembles a thick pancake, but it consists of thin layers of puff pastry brushed with oil or fat and cooked flat in a frying pan.[1][2] It is traditionally served with hard-boiled eggs, Sahawiq, and a crushed or grated tomato dip. Or for a sweet taste, it is often served with honey.[3]

It is a staple of the Yemenite Jews. Through immigration of Yemenite Jews to Israel, it has become a favorite comfort food for Israelis of all backgrounds and national origins. Frozen malawah can be used as a substitute for dough in different recipes.[4]

Malawach is similar in preparation, taste and texture to the Somali malawax where it is usually eaten for breakfast with lashings of ghee and honey on weekends. It is also similar to the South Indian parotta (also known as Kerala paratha) and North Indian Lachha paratha, which are both layered flat breads popular in Indian cuisine.[5] It also resembles the North African msemmen, a typical bread eaten with honey and butter (sweet), or stuffed with a red pepper and tomato mixture (savory) used in Moroccan and Algerian (Berber) cuisine.


Malawach and its cousin jachnun probably originated as variations of Sephardic Jewish puff pastry, brought to Yemen by Jews expelled from Spain.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rachel Yedid & Danny Bar-Maoz (ed.), Ascending the Palm Tree – An Anthology of the Yemenite Jewish Heritage, E'ele BeTamar: Rehovot 2018, p. 132 ISBN 978-965-7121-33-7
  2. ^ Old memories, new dishes: Malawach reinvented
  3. ^ Roden, Claudia (1997). The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York. Knopf. p. 549. ISBN 0-394-53258-9.
  4. ^ Old memories, new dishes: Malawach reinvented
  5. ^
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food: Gil Marks