August 16, 2006


Roti Canai:
Pronounced as "Roti Chennai", this is a very popular snack in Malaysia. I treid as best as I can to make this, which is not that easy to make as traditionally done in that country.

Roti Canai (pronounced as Chanai)is a popular bread in Malaysia. As I read about their cuisine,they are made mainly by south Indians who migrated to Malaysia many years ago. It takes half a lifetime for a inexperienced cook like me to perfect it.They are really beautiful to look at and art of making it is astounding in the book! After a lot of trial and error, here is the 'how to', for layered flaky Roti Canai!!


4 Cups Plain Flour
1 Egg
2-3 tbsp Oil or Butter
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar or 2 tbsp Condensed Milk


1. Mix all the above and knead until you get smooth ,soft, pliable dough.Divide into 6-8 portions, make balls ,smear oil and cover the dish. Rest for half an hour,not more than that.
2. Take a ball of dough, roll out as thin as possible to a circle, spray no-stick oil on the surface.Then from one end make narrow pleats(like waves) to make a thin long rectangle and roll this around itself ,tuck the end underneath this pinwheel.
3. Roll this out again gently so as not to break the layers into a small 5-6" circles.Bake on a non-stick pan with little oil or ghee smeared until golden.
4. After you take it out of the pan,gently press the ends the Roti to release the beautiful layers. Serve with any veg or non-veg gravy.I served with Bhindi(Okra) Masala.

Bhindi Masala:

Okra!! Some hate it (mainly 'cause they don't know how to deal with the 'slime'!) and some love it !! I belong to the latter group. This is a simple but tasty recipe goes well with Chapatis. Hope you will try it !

1/2 lb Okra sliced
2 Small Potatoes(if you like to add)
5-6 Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 tsp Sugar
Lemon Juice 1 tsp (optional)

2 tsp Oil and Butter
1 tsp each of Chana Dal and Urad Dal
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Cumin Seeds
Few Curry Leaves
1 Red Dry Chilly

1/2 tbsp ground ginger
2 Garlic ground Garlic
1 Onion finely chopped

2 tsp Coriander Pd
1 tsp Cumin Pd
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp chilli pd or more

1. Fry Okra pieces in a single layer with some oil in a non-stick pan until golden and you donot see any glutinous slime. Fry potato cubes the same way .Keep aside.
2. Heat Oil and butter,add seasoning ingredients, stir and add in ginger to onion stir-fry until soft.Add Salt and sugar.
3. Add all powdered spices and tomatoes, stir until thick and shiny on top.
4. Put in okra and potatoes with 1 cup water , cover the pan and cook until cooked.
5. Garnish with Cilantro ,lemon juice and serve Chapatis or Parathas or Rotis.



Unknown said...

This is actually wat they call as porotta in India. I've also eaten it in Sri Lanka but it was not as tasty & as soft as the M'sian one. Itz is the most famous breakfast in M'sia. Goes well with 'pulled'tea.
There r many diff recipes for this roti. Normally in restaurants, they prepare the dough the night before & make the rotis the next day morning. A ball of dough will b 'flown' to make it into a large very very thin piece of disc. It is then, gently folded my times and finally becomes into a lose ball shape. then, itz flatten gently & pan fried. This process gives the multi layers and the softness to the roti. There r also many variations like egg roti, break an egg into the flatten roti & fold again carefully or sardine sambal, sliced bananas etc.
Often there will b competitions held here & there to 'fly' the roti. People even make stunts while doing it. Itz all fun.

FH said...

WOW!!! Malaysia sounds lot of fun. May be one day, when my kids get out of my house, we will visit your country.I borrowed some books on food of M'sia and loving it!I followed this recipe as it was in the book except condensed milk.

I hope you have all the other recipes you mentioned above like 'pulled'tea.I love tea,will be prowling in your blog for them.You better have them , lady!!!


Meena Kandlakuti said...

Hi Asha,

thank you very much for your compliment.I hope you will the kaaram recipe along with dosa.Its spicy.Ofcourse you can increase or decrease spice.Do tell me when you try.It would be my pleasure to know how you like it or not:-).Sure asha i will try to come up with more traditional recipes soon.In your blog i find all new recipes .They are unique on there oen.I will try them.thank you

Krithika said...

Have eaten Roti Chanai at my friend's house. THanks for sharing this recipe. Thanks for visiting my blog

Prema Sundar said...

This looks more like parotta to me.I love this dish but it takes a long time to make. It is available in frozen section in indian stores..
But original is original. making at home will surely taste good. ur photo tempts me to make.
Thanks for visiting my site.Do come again..

Anonymous said...

Hi Asha, just found you through your link to my blog - thanks! I have returned the favor.

You have some fantastic recipes here. I will definitely be trying eggplant gravy soon...

Best wishes from Massachusetts :)

Latha said...

Hi Asha,

This is my first visit to your blog! You have a lovely blog. I am so impressed that in such a short time you have blogged so many wonderful recipes.
And many fo these recipe are close to my heart! I am from Bangalore and relate to all these. I must say, your pictures are lovely!
I want to try your green peas saagu recipe and couple of others. Will let u know when I try them.
I have many Tamilian friends here (originally from Madurai, Tuticorin etc.). They make this dish called Parotta or Barotta which is similar to this Malaysian Paratha!
Keep it going. I am going to add u to my blogroll!

FH said...

Thanks Meena ! I am making your 'Karam' today and let you know.

Krithika , you are welcome ! It's delicious, isn't it?

Hi Linda from hot and muggy NC ! Thanks for linking me and you are welcome!

FH said...

Hey Prema, it is hard work ! In the Malaysian book I have, this Roti looks like a fluffy rich golden cloud ! YUM !! It calls for 7 tbsp butter and condenced milk which I didn't add ! So my skinny Roti Canai looks like it came from the poor house :) Oh! well !! It's delicious to eat nevertheless !!

Hi Latha, thank you homegirl !! We used to live at Jayanagar before we left India and my brother is in Vijaya nagar. It does feel good to see dishes familiar to us, main reason why I surf blogs :) and try posting recipes close to my heart (with one index finger I use to type these, believe me it takes forever..sigh..!! )

indianadoc said...

This looks like Keralaporotta(I had posted long back)...hmmm very likely a South Indian influence..Malaysia and singapore has been home to plenty of Keralites for a long time...before the gulf boom came,Malaysia was the favourite for most malayalees!

FH said...

Hi Shynee, now I know that it is like a paratha. Pushpa( above comment) who is real Malaysian, told me that it's made by south Indians moved there long time ago. However, Roti Canai is very rich with condensed milk etc.unlike paratha but equally delish!!

I just found your blog, I have yet go through all your recipes but I will, believe me :) Nice Ganesha in your blog, loved it!! Thanks.

backStreetGluttons said...

Hi from a backstreet fooder in KL

roti canai together with the newspaper -packed triangular- shaped nasi lemak are popular breakfast ( & also main meals ) snacks in KL, normally taken with teh tarik

infact it is the national breakfast menu for Malaysians of all races !

so if you r here the next time u must try them, preferably by the backstreet for authentic flavour (serious )! I can show u where !

cheers !

FH said...

Hello tonixe! you bet we will be there in M'sia one day! Keep in touch so we can get directions from you for the best corner there!I am serious too !
Thanks and I am thinking of making Murtabak or Roti John next and post it! Any advice?

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow, this is my absolute favorite appetizer to order at Malaysian restaurants. Thank you so much for posting the recipe!

FH said...

Welcome Danielle and thank you!!I love it too! Delicious!!You are lucky to have eaten the real thing , though!!:))

Tee said...

so question? Is this meant to be slightly sweet? This reminds me of anda paratha from a cafeteria by college in Dubai.

FH said...

Yes!! The original recipe requires 7 tbsp of condensed milk!! As you can imagine, they eat with spicy gravy!!I couldn't bring myself to add somuch sweet!!
It is a kind of paratha actually which south Indians in M'asia churn out! Mostly Kerala layered Paratha, I guess! Tastes good though,little hard work!!:))