Roti Canai, Malaysia's Favorite Breakfast Snack

Updated on January 5, 2020
lizmalay profile image

I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

Warm roti canai is so delicious!
Warm roti canai is so delicious!

Roti Canai: Malaysia's Favorite Breakfast Snack

Growing up in Malaysia, roti canai was one of my favorite breakfast snacks. In Malaysia, it is typically served with kuah dhal (dhal curry), fish curry, and sambal ikan bilis (spicy anchovies). This snack has the same texture as roti paratha, but it has a slightly different taste.

Roti canai shows the influence of the Indian Muslims who immigrated to Malaysia many years ago. Nowadays, roti canai is widely served at the Mamak stalls, which is where Malaysians love to go to eat cheap local food.

My husband loves this dish. In fact, the first time he tried it in Malaysia, he ended up eating it for a few days in a row. If you have traveled to Malaysia or Singapore, you may be familiar with this savory dish, as well.

How Do You Make Roti Canai?

Roti canai is made by twirling the dough until it is flat and thin, folding it to form a round or square shape, and then grilling it in oil on a flatiron skillet. However, there can be slightly different preparation techniques and ingredients depending on who makes it. If you go to the Mamak stalls, there is a higher chance that the person making it has been doing it forever. They look very expert in what they are doing.

My personal experience is that it takes a bit of practice to get the best result. Making the recipe does require a bit of time, so my best tip is to prepare the dough the night before and make the roti the next day.

Ingredients

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • Vegetable oil for soaking

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, egg, condensed milk, and margarine.
  2. Use your hand to mix all ingredients until it becomes like the bread crumbs.
  3. Add water to incorporate the ingredients. Knead until smooth. Make sure the texture of the dough is not too sticky and gooey.
  4. Divide dough into equal-sized balls.
  5. In the same bowl pour oil on top of the balls and let the balls soak into the oil. Cover it with a cling wrap and let it sit for at least 5-6 hours. (Remember you can prepare this the night before.)
  6. After 6 hours. Oil your kneading space or you can use the baking mat. Take out one dough ball, flatten it out into with your palms.
  7. Take the one edge and fold it to the middle. Do this another three times so that it will turn into a square.
  8. Grease a flat pan or skillet with cooking oil and flip it a few times for a crispy texture. It's done once it turns golden brown on the surface.
  9. Transfer roti canai into a plate and serve it with your favorite curry, or just eat it like that while it is still warm. Enjoy!

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, egg, margarine, and condensed milk. Use your hand to mix the ingredients until it becomes like bread crumbs. Add some water and start incorporate the ingredients. Continue kneading for awhile or until it forms a dough. Divide dough into equal-sized balls.In the same bowl, soak the balls with vegetable oil. Flatten the ball and make a square or circle shape and grill roti canai over a skillet or a pan. Turn the other side after a few minutes. Roti canai is done and ready to eat. I prefer roti canai with dhal curry. Yummy!
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, egg, margarine, and condensed milk.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, egg, margarine, and condensed milk.
Use your hand to mix the ingredients until it becomes like bread crumbs.
Use your hand to mix the ingredients until it becomes like bread crumbs.
Add some water and start incorporate the ingredients.
Add some water and start incorporate the ingredients.
Continue kneading for awhile or until it forms a dough.
Continue kneading for awhile or until it forms a dough.
Divide dough into equal-sized balls.
Divide dough into equal-sized balls.
In the same bowl, soak the balls with vegetable oil.
In the same bowl, soak the balls with vegetable oil.
Flatten the ball and make a square or circle shape and grill roti canai over a skillet or a pan.
Flatten the ball and make a square or circle shape and grill roti canai over a skillet or a pan.
Turn the other side after a few minutes.
Turn the other side after a few minutes.
Roti canai is done and ready to eat.
Roti canai is done and ready to eat.
I prefer roti canai with dhal curry. Yummy!
I prefer roti canai with dhal curry. Yummy!

Roti Canai Made In Malaysia

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Liza

    Comments

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      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        11 months ago from USA

        Hi Liz, I'm glad to hear that. I love condensed milk too! The usage of condensed milk in the roti will give a crispy texture on the outside of it. I definitely eat roti canai whenever I can :)

      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        11 months ago from USA

        Hi Linda. The condensed milk makes the roti canai texture crispy on the outside. Yes, it is delicious :)

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I was going to say the same thing as Liz even before I read her comment. I love food containing condensed milk. Roti canai must be delicious!

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        11 months ago from UK

        Anything containong condensed milk is a winner for me. This looks like a great start to the day.

      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        11 months ago from USA

        Hi Marlene, I am a fan of flatbread too! They are simple to make and the best thing about this type of bread is they used simple ingredients. I hope one day you can try Roti Canai. Thanks for stopping by!

      • MarleneB profile image

        Marlene Bertrand 

        11 months ago from USA

        I have never heard of this type of bread, but I am a fan of flat breads from all the different cultures. I will be trying this one too. I love how easy it is to make Roti Canai.

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