Quick facts about Roti Canai:
- Evolved from roti paratha which is originally from India
- Morphed into roti canai in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
- Circular flatbread most commonly eaten for breakfast
- Usually served with curry or dhal
I could write multiple posts about roti canai and it still wouldn’t be enough to describe what a staple and much beloved food this is in Malaysia. The main ingredients are water, flour and ghee. The dough is kneaded, flattened, oiled and folded, then the whole process is repeated. It is time consuming and requires deft hands and technique.
The resulting layers are flaky and buttery. It’s like eating a flattened croissant! I am always amazed at how cheap roti canai is when you consider the laborious effort needed to make one. It cost around US$1 each and this comes with either chicken or fish head curry, dhal and a side sambar (spicy vegetable stew). It is cheap, delicious and filling. Sometimes roti canai is stuffed with different ingredients such as eggs, onions, cheese, coconut jam, etc.. to form a compact and easy to eat pastry.
Roti Telur or Egg Roti:
Roti canai is what my girls ask for daily for breakfast and sometimes lunch whenever we visit Malaysia. Luckily, there are frozen versions that we can now buy in Asian grocery stores in the US. They’re not as good as fresh roti canai but they’re a close second and always brings back good memories of visits to Malaysia for all of us.