Malaysian Roti Canai

By DK on Nov 12, 2009
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
The one thing that I consistently repeat and believe in is that the Language of Food is universal. Its inevitable to find similarities between different cuisines in some way or the other. If you thought that Italian and Indian cuisine have no similarities at all , then the technique of making Rumali roti and Pizza dough will amaze you. If you thought Bread pudding was an American tradition, then Indian Hyderabadi Ka Meetha will put things in perspective. I am not even going into the similarities of Mexican and Indian cuisine. Talking about the pizza and rumali roti, there is another close competitor there too.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
The Malaysian, the Singaporean, Indian and the Austrian share the "stretching" the dough technique by way of their Roti Canai, Roti Prata, Kerala Parotta and Apple Strudel respectively. The concept is same in all of them, with very minor technical changes. If you learn one technique, you can pretty much conquer the rest. How about that for convenience? :) Whatever technique I learnt from making the Pizza dough, rumali roti, parotta and the strudel , they all came into play for making the famous Malaysian Roti Canai which is v similar to Singaporean Roti Prata ( Indian "Parotta" - Singaporean "Prata" - even names match!). Add a fried egg at the end to this Roti and you get Roti Telur Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe I am going to show 3 methods of making this Malaysian delicacy. The first method is what is usually followed by the professional vendors there. Complicated to the less acrobatic inclined. The second method is my way of making it easier for the home cooks - who either don't want to the twists and turns in the air ( who wants a dirty ceiling or floor?) or don't have the patience/time for the same. May seem more laborious than the air twists, but believe me, it saves really lot of time if you are starting out. The third method is very similar to making parottas. I think the traditional Malaysian flat bread are mostly square/rectangle shaped, but I also found versions which are round. Hence my third method is for making nice round/oval shapes. Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe All of them make amazingly flaky flatbread and is delicious. But this is RICH and HEAVY dish thanks to the use of all that Ghee ( clarified butter). Butter may be used, but I would advise getting some traditional ghee for this dish. Its worth it and the taste is out of this world. Make any spicy side dish to go with canai. Many recipes use eggs in the dough, but I have made an eggless version. If you want, you can add an egg to this recipe and reduce the amount of water/ghee while making the dough. Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
Basic Information
Prep Time: 2 to 4 hours
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Serves: 3 people
Yield: Makes around 10 medium sized rotis
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups ( 10oz or about 300 gms) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 cup water, give or take few tbsp.
  • salt to taste
Method
1

Method - for making the dough

Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl.

Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
2
Now add 1/4 cups of ghee into a hole made in the dough.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
3
Mix well and gradually add enough water to bind the dough.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
4
Next knead the dough on a greased counter top for 5-8 minutes.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
5
It takes time and little muscle, but this step is necessary to make a pliable dough.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
6
Place it back in the bowl and let it rest for at least 2 hours. This helps the dough to stretch well.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
7

Method 1 - The Professional ( and traditional ) Method - Takes skill

Take a small ball of the dough.

Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
8
With the hands, press it with the hands and lightly stretch it.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
9

Now start doing as depicted in the video.Looks easy doesn't it? Oh well, looks can be deceiving sometimes. If you tried it and you found yourself cursing that man in there for misleading you, then Go to Method 2

Method 2 - Mostly Traditional Method - No skill set required

Take a small ball from the dough.

Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
10
On a very well greased counter top, place the dough and using a rolling pin,
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
11
roll the dough as much as you can.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
12
Then slowly using your hands, pull at one end of the dough. You can rest one hand in the middle of the dough and using another hand pull at the ends. Be gentle to avoid the dough getting torn ( not that it really matters that much ). Slowly do this at all the ends, until you can see through the dough.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
13
Now fold one end of the dough, by bringing the top end to the middle
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
14
Repeat with the bottom end.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
15
Now bring the right end
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
16
and then the left.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
17
Now slowly using your hands, stretch the dough a bit on all the ends.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
18
In a greased skillet, cook the prata for 1-2 minutes
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
19
until browned
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
20
Turn and then repeat.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
21

Method 3 - for making spirals/ round shapes.

The first 2-3 steps are the same. Take a small ball of dough and using a rolling pin roll it as much as you can until they are see through ( same as method 2)

Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
22
Now start with the longer end. Start pleating the dough.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
23
Do this until you reach the end.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
24
Hold both ends of this dough rope. Slowly twist and turn it in the air, lightly. It will start stretching between your hands. Make it as long as you can.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
25
Now slowly circle the dough, starting from one end, until you reach the other end. BTW keep your hands greased throughout this process. The dough should not stick anywhere
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
26
Once twisted completely, press it lightly with your hand to make a flatbread.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
27
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough as much as you can and to desirable thickness.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
28
Cook in a skillet greased with ghee for 1-2 minutes until browned.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
29
Turn and repeat.
Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
Serve warm. Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe They go very well with any spicy gravy based dish. Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe They are very flaky and soft. Malaysian Roti Canai (Roti Prata) Recipe
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105 Responses to “Malaysian Roti Canai”
  1. Nicole

    Hello thanks for sharing the recipe. The methods and pictures helped a lot! Btw please clarify…recipe calls for 1/2 cup ghee but in method pic (2nd step) says 1/4 cup!
    Do not use GOLDEN CURRY as that is used for Japanese Curry! If you are after authentic Malaysian curry….again quite overwhelming as there’s the chinese, mamak, nyonya or indian version.

  2. If you want something “similar” and ready made (in Australia) look for Asian Supermarkets and in the freezer section they most time have “Roti Parantha”. It looks like circular pieces of pastry which when fried come up tasting and feeling like Roti Chanai. It is an imported product so may also be available in Europe and USA.

  3. I’m going crazy right now, I cannot get roti prata anywhere here and I’m addicted to it since I lived in Singapore… I will definitely try that!! Thanks for sharing

  4. Richard

    Can I use butter instead of ghee?

  5. dodo

    For the egg version, crack an egg onto the stretched dough at step 12. Break the yolk and swirl it around a little. Then fold the ends in, stretch, and cook in pan.

  6. Umbreen

    In my excitement and haste I looked at the initial ingredients and
    Threw together 300g flour with 1/2 cup ghee and water. In the
    Method it says to put in 1/4 cup of the ghee….I’m assuming
    The other 1/4 is for greasing?? Can anyone help
    Me on this one please? I’ve left it to rest and worries
    In 2 hours time I will have a failed attempt!!

  7. Tini

    oh, also they used a lot of chilies in that recipe-use only as much as you want.

  8. Tini

    to bmadgwick-Dear Sir, I found a recipe that looks to be very close to what u may be looking for. http://rasamalaysia.com/roti-canai-roti-paratha-recipe/
    In this link they link to the chicken curry recipe.If u are not close to any ethnic grocery then i think that the spice blend mentioned by philou should work. Just roast all the spices on a low heat with no oil, then cool and powder in a spice/coffee grinder.Also take it slow with the tamarind at the end. Adjust it to taste.And let it sit usually currys taste best after a couple hrs to let all the flavours come together. Although it will never match the memory of the taste you had (and it is very hard to replicate the exact taste of street food because of the makers expertise and pots pans they have etc.)I hope it comes very close :)

  9. I think You can from supermarket Golden curry, :-P
    it can mix with some potatoes, carrots, little bit mince chicken or beef, it’s very nice to try :roll:

  10. D. Turner

    :-P Thank you for clearly explaining the different methods. I like the spiral method best. Missing Malaysian food sooooo much here in the USA.

  11. b. madgwick

    Now age 79, I was a peace corps volunteer in Malaysia from ’62-’64. I have longed for roti “dipping curry” since ’64. Longed! If someone comes up with a recipe I would be profoundly grateful. [Thank you for the helpful term!]1

  12. b. madgwick

    Now age 79, I was a peace corps volunteer in Malaysia from ’62-’64. I have longed for this roti “dipping sauce” [thank you for the helpful term!] since ’64. Longed! If someone comes up with a recipe I would be profoundly grateful.
    1

  13. claudia

    :-P I`ve desperately looked for this recipe everywhere on the net!! Priceless!! Thank you so much for sharing!! will try it asap!

  14. Philou

    Malasyian curry blend!
    2 tablespoons coriander seeds
    1 tablespoon cumin seed
    3/4 tablespoon fennel seed
    1/2 tablespoon chili powder, to taste
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    1/4 teaspoon clove
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon cardamom
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

  15. prachi

    Usually, they here in Malaysia serve it with the dal curry, which is simple and easy…they boil the australian dal with veggies of choice,turmeric and salt.once done, they temper it wid mustard seeds,curry leaves, curry powder and little tamarind.some people also like to add in some santan(coconut milk).try it.

  16. rara

    i like Roti canai/prata……..suitable 4 breakfast…it’s yummy :-D

  17. i love roti canai so much:)

  18. Robin

    Just watched Ming on Create tv when he was in Singapore; the trick to getting these rotis into layers is to make sure when you’re folding them to trap air pockets inside-it’s those that make the layers-no air- no layers.If you watch the roti makers again you will see that they do this.

  19. elaine

    cry: I made it 4 times,butcan’t. get the dough in layers

  20. Leah

    Hello,
    I was just wondering if i can replace ghee with normal butter? Does it still work?

  21. bharathi

    Wow:):)it looks awesome:):)will try at my home..

  22. Kalps

    Wow definitely awesome. Am gonna try it. Can you put the recipe for the chicken curry with potato that goes with this?

  23. Chrissie

    Thanks – I will hunt around also and post back if I find a good one, after I’ve cooked and tasted of course! :-P

  24. Chrissie

    When I was in Malaysia I had this for breakfast everyday with a lovely vegetarian spicy gravy wherever I went. Have you got a recipe for the gravy please? Thanks, Chrissie

    Unfortunately, I am hunting for a killer recipe myself. Will def. post it when I do find it :) –DK

  25. puja

    Can Someone tell me where I can get a good recipe for the dipping curry that goes with the roti??
    I have found Malaysian chicken curry recipies online. Is that the same one ? Also any particular curry mix you can recommend and some website that sells the malaysian curry mix?? THANKS IN ADVANCE

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