Roti – Malaysian Pancakes

Mmmmm. Roti is the traditional accompaniment for Malaysian Curry – the combination being called Roti Chanai. Nothing like it. Watching Malaysian chefs prepare this flaky bread is a treat in itself. I love seeing them work the dough and then throw it around in ever expanding sheets. Fantastic. Recipe makes six roti = enough for four people.

Roti - Malaysian Pancakes
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  1. 3 cups plain flour
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. Pinch of sugar
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1/5 cup extra water
  1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a big bowl
  2. Add the liquids (milk and initial portion of water) gradually to flour, working mixture with your hands.
  3. Kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic (like play dough or "soft like a baby's bottom" - if that helps).
  4. You probably have to add extra water during the kneading. Flours differ so you won't know exactly how much water you need until you get the texture you're aiming for.
  5. Form the dough into a roll
  6. Pinch the the roll into six pieces
  7. Peanut (ground nut) oil
  8. Wet your hands with peanut oil.
  9. Form each piece of dough into a ball, ensuring the surface is covered with oil.
  10. Put the oiled balls back in the bowl.
  11. Cover the bowl with cling film.
  12. Place the bowl in a warm place and leave for 5 hours.
  13. Tip a little oil on a clean working surface and wet your hands with some more.
  14. Place a dough ball on the surface and flatten as much as possible with your hands (should be roughly dinner plate sized).
  15. Add a little oil and oil a rolling pin.
  16. Roll out pastry until very thin (1-2 mm). It might break but that is ok.
  17. When thin enough fold the sides in to form a rectangle.
  18. Fry each side on in an oiled pan until pastry puffs up and becomes golden (don't take long).
  19. Repeat with other dough balls.
  1. Serve with Malaysian Curry - the combination being called Roti Chanai.
  2. Also good as a dessert: fill with sliced banana, cooked a bit until the banana melts, then sprinkled with sugar.
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