There are many food items we strongly identify with and take pride in showcasing as truly Malaysian – think nasi lemak, teh tarik, or asam laksa, to name just three.
And then there’s roti canai, a popular breakfast dish but also enjoyable at all times of the day. It’s best eaten with dhal or other types of curry, or with sambal on the side, and can popularly be combined with other ingredients such as eggs and sardine for a delectable savoury meal.
Alternatively, to satisfy your sweet cravings, enjoy it with some sugar and butter or even condensed milk – yum!
While roti canai is available at every neighbourhood mamak restaurant or stall, you might find it difficult to find overseas. The solution is simply to make your own. All you need are some very simple ingredients and a little bit of muscle.
- 1kg flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1.5 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp condensed milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup oil (set aside in a bowl to soak dough balls)
- In a large bowl, combine the water, milk, and condensed milk.
- Add the flour, butter, egg and salt, and mix until it forms a batter. Using your hands, knead it into a ball.
- Pour the cup of oil into a separate bowl. Make small balls out of the dough and place them into the bowl of oil. This recipe makes about 18 balls. Let the dough rest in the oil for 5-6 hours.
- Now flatten out each ball of dough. Then hold it with both hands and whip it around in a circular motion, smacking it against the table after each round. This will stretch the dough out into a circular shape. Keep doing this until the dough is almost translucent.
- Now grab the edges of the dough and fold it in to form a rope-like length. Then, holding both ends, roll the “rope” into a spiral. See 0:18-0:33 of the video below for a visual guide.
- Repeat until all the balls of dough have been made into ropes and rolled into layered balls.
- When you’re ready to cook, lightly press down on each layered roti until it resembles a pancake.
- Heat a flat pan on medium and cook each side until it is a light golden brown.
- Remove from heat, and lightly clap the sides of the roti canai together to fluff it up a bit.
- And it’s done! Serve with dhal, your favourite curry, or a bit of sugar, and enjoy!
- If you’re making a big batch to keep, cook the roti halfway through, and then bag and freeze them for another day. When ready to eat, simply let each piece thaw before cooking it fully.
- If you don’t have butter, you can use margarine or ghee instead.
- Condensed milk can also be substituted with fresh or full cream milk plus a bit of sugar.
This article was written by Aunty Fauzah for butterkicap.com, a food and culture platform and community that enables anyone to experience Malaysia through stories of its people, food and places. Check out more Butterkicap recipes here.