Saturday, April 07, 2007

Roti Canai

Dear people back in Malaysia, the next time you go out to the mamak stall for a quick roti canai and teh tarik, count your blessings that it’s so convenient and cheap there, emphasis on the convenience part. I have discovered that home-made roti canai is no easy feat. Sigh. My "canai-ing" skills need a lot of work. Tastewise, it was pretty authentic, texture was so-so, like I mentioned earlier I had problems "canai-ing" or flipping the dough to make it thin. Well it was enough for a quick roti craving fix. Used Amy Beh’s recipe from

400g plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon salt
20g sugar (I used 2 tablespoonfuls)
40g margarine (I used butter instead, if you do too make sure it’s slightly softened)
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup milk
½ cup water
Oil or ghee for oiling and cooking (Or in my case lots of melted butter).

1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour. Add in the egg, milk, and water, mix together well to form a soft dough. Leave dough to rest for about 20-30 minutes (It’s important to let the dough rest, I read on some other site that this lets the dough build up its elasticity).
2. Divide dough into 10 portions, and roll into balls. Rub oil lightly over each ball and set aside.
3. Oil a fairly large, non-stick work space. Oil hands. Place a ball of dough on the workspace, and spread it as thinly as you can with your palms. If feeling brave enough pick up dough and flip it around, ala pizza-making style to make it thin. Fold edges of dough back to the center. Repeat the flattening and folding process a couple of times; it seems to make the texture of the roti canai better the more times you do this. Spread a bit of butter into the flattened dough before folding. End with flattening the dough before it goes in the pan.
4. Heat up a bit of oil on a non-stick frying pan. Fry flattened dough over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, spread more oil over dough to create the brown markings.

I used a scary amount of melted butter for oiling and spreading the dough. (I didn’t have any normal cooking oil, I only use olive oil for cooking at my place, and well, olive oil for cooking roti canai just seemed odd). Though somehow I feel my liberal use of the melted butter resulted in my roti canais actually being kind of crispy in some parts which was nice. Sort of reminiscent of roti planta. Hehee…

Served with a chunky dhall curry (recipe in next post). Here's a tribute to all the highly skilled roti-canai flipping mamak stall workers out there!

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