In Malaysia, roti canai is a well-known dish among locals. It is usually sold in Mamak restaurants and is eaten with various curries such as chicken curry, beef curry, fish curry, chickpea curry and more.
The light, fluffy and crispy flatbread pairs well with various dishes and curries. Besides, it is commonly taken for breakfast, but its versatility has made it a popular option for lunch, teatime, dinner and supper as well.
Origin of Roti Canai
This flatbread dish is immensely popular among Malaysians and is found in all parts of the country. It is a dish unique to Malaysia and has lost its roots from its origin country of India.
The name ‘roti’ comes from the Hindi (and Malay) term for bread and the term ‘canai’ comes from ‘channa’, referring to a spicy gravy of boiled chickpeas that it is traditionally served in.
Roti Canai RecipeDifficulty: Easy
Roti canai, also known as roti paratha is a type of flatbread that is commonly found in Mamak restaurants in Malaysia. Enjoy making this popular dish right at the comforts of your home.
520 g bread flour
1 egg (room temperature)
3 tbsp unsalted butter (40 g, melted)
1 tbsp condensed milk
1 1/4 cup water (310 ml)
1 tsp salt
- In a standing mixer bowl, add in flour, salt, egg, melted butter, condensed milk and water. Mix to incorporate the ingredients together and knead for 10 minutes. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes and then knead for another 5 minutes.
- Separate the dough into 10 small balls. Coat each ball generously with unsalted butter and place them in a container that has been generously buttered as well. Cover the container tightly with cling film and keep in the fridge overnight.
- On the next day, spread some unsalted butter on the working surface. Take one ball of dough and lightly flatten it. Push and press it with the heel of your palm to make it stretch bigger. Stretch it as thin as possible, until you can almost see through it.
- Spread some softened unsalted butter on the dough to help with the stretching. (Optional: lift up one edge of the dough and gently pull to stretch it even more).
- Scrape and push the upper end of the dough to the middle. Do the same with the lower end, forming a wrinkly thin log. Starting from one end of the log, roll it into a circle and tuck the other end inside. Set aside for 10 minutes before cooking. Repeat the same process with the remaining balls of dough.
- Once ready to cook, take one rolled circle and flatten it to a diameter of about 10-15 cm with your fingers.
- Heat some unsalted butter on a pan using medium heat. Place the flattened dough on the pan. Cook for several minutes and then flip. Continue cooking for a few more minutes.
- This next step is important for a fluffy roti canai. Remove the cooked roti canai from the pan and place it on a working surface. Grab it using both of your hands and squeeze it to the centre quickly. This is the fluff up the roti canai.
- While cooking the rest of the dough, keep the cooked roti canai under a cloth to keep them warm. They are best served with dhal curry or any type of curry with some sambal. Enjoy your homemade roti canai!
Ways to Enjoy Roti Canai
This dish is versatile to be eaten for any meal of the day. There are different ways in which you can enjoy this dish. Some prefer to eat it with dhal curry and sambal, while others prefer other types of curry.
It can even be topped with condensed milk or sugar for those that like it sweet.
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