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Roti Canai (Roti Paratha) Recipe and Video

I get a lot of requests about roti canai or roti paratha recipe, and the techniques of flipping this so-called “flying bread” but I have no idea how to make it.

Roti canai (roti paratha) originated from southern India, but was modified and made famous by the mamak (Muslim-Indian) hawkers in Malaysia and Singapore. In Malaysia, this crispy and buttery (actually made with ghee) flat bread is called roti canai but across the straits in Singapore, they are commonly known as roti paratha.

I love roti canai; it was one of my favorites when I was little. My late father would always buy me a piece or two of this flat bread for breakfast or supper, without the curry sauce. In my family, everyone loves eating roti canai the plain way, with some sugar. Roti canai is cheap and affordable so it was never something that we would make at home. Plus, why would you learn to make them when they could practically be found at every street corner in Penang?!

For an authentic roti canai (roti paratha) recipe, I have only one person to turn to—my friend Chef Robert Danhi of Southeast Asian Flavors. Not only does Chef Danhi has the detailed step-by-step recipe, he also has a short video where he shows us the traditional way of making roti canai (roti paratha), complete with the techniques of flipping the thin dough…(get roti canai/roti paratha video and recipe after the jump)

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Please check out the video above and click here for the detailed recipe from his cookbook, Southeast Asian Flavors, which was awarded the “Best Asian Cuisine Book in the USA” and “2nd Best Asian Cuisine Book in the World” at the 2009 Gourmand Awards. (You can order the cookbook here.) Chef Danhi also shares his chicken curry recipe with us, to go with those hot-off-the-griddle roti canai (roti paratha).

Please take note that the PDF recipes take a while to load, so please be patient. A special thanks to Chef Danhi for sharing the recipes and video with us. To read my cooking adventure with him, please click here.

Enjoy and let’s get flipping!

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42 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Kate

    That is a fun video, Chef Danhi makes it look easy but I am sure if I were to do it, I will break the dough. LOL.

  2. “Flying bread”..yea yea…I think mine will fly to the ground. Nice video. Of all the big portions of food in American, I do not know why Roti Canai is such a tiny tiny serving there.

  3. Oh my gosh….now I really miss home!!! I wish there’s a roti canai shop here. I can’t stand the frozen ones. They are so different. Maybe I should learn and open a roti canai shop here in Scotland…haha. Every time we went back for holiday we would go to that restaurant at Subang airport and order a lot of roti canai and teh tarik. We just couldn’t wait til we reach home….haha. Sounds really greedy huh :P

  4. Vincent

    Besides curry and plain sugar, we used to take it with pickled onions and also condensed milk! The former is still poular in road side stalls of Penang

  5. In India we have them too, especially in Kerala S.India, when it starts to get evening you see in the roads side shops ( it is movable)the cook making them and people crowding the pace to get them, mostly with eggy curry, chckpea, or meat curry.
    How i miss thme, have made them few times at home still i never can make them like the road side shop cook.

  6. Simon

    I work with a lot of indian/tamils. On of the guys wife made Roti for the staff at work. It was so tasty and nice. im gonna try to cook this, but chinese is definitely my strongest passion when it comes to food.

  7. its great to see this malaysian staple here! and like you said, its so commonly found here that i never bothered to learn how to make it! i love all the different varieties and fillings the innovative mamak stalls have comed up with :)

  8. etowncook

    Hi! I’m very excited to try the recipe! I LOVE Roti!!!
    I have a question, is there anything you can substitute for the Ghee? As I would like to make a healthier option, perhaps Olive Oil?

  9. twoldbrowns

    I LOVE Roti Canai ut especially love the version I discovered in Penang – Roti Kaya! I have found Kaya jam here in the US but have been looking for the right roti recipe and now I have that too! Thanks so much!

  10. Noro

    It seems waaaaaaaaaaaaay too difficult for me!!!! I guess I’ll have to stick with buying my paratha at my Indian delicatessen…

  11. Thanks for this I have been researching “pancakes” for an international week of Pancake recipes on SippitySup. This is going in the line up! That is if I can make it… GREG

  12. My Malaysian friends have often told me how popular roti parathas are in Malaysia (incidently, did you know rotis & parathas will get you two different things in India? Rotis are simpler to make and a bit more healthy). Thanks for sharing that fab video and Chef Danhi’s cookbook that I have to go check out!

  13. I work with a lot of indian/tamils. On of the guys wife made Roti for the staff at work. It was so tasty and nice. im gonna try to cook this, but chinese is definitely my strongest passion when it comes to food.

  14. Thanks for posting the recipe! I recently went to Kerala where they had such a myriad of breads (including paratha) which was delicious… there’s nothing quite like a Roti Canai at a street corner hawker at 4am in the morning after a night of partying :)

  15. Simon

    Roti is so delicious. I’m planning a trip to India in march next year. I had a local roti man in sydney who made them deliciously fresh. I remember his charming indian accent pronouncing that he was selling “Rorti” and pakoda. This guy has a indian father and Malay mother from what i understood. We have a exclusive indian restaurant here with a tandoor oven.

    But time to get hands dirty and probably make Mahatma Ghandi turn in his grave after seeing my first attempt. haha

  16. adelina

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’m crazy about this “bread”! It’s almost like eating layers of bread heaven!

    The video really helps to understand how the dough is stretched and twisted and flipped! Very informative!

  17. Mat Saleh

    If you have any Indian shops nearby, check the freezer for “Kawan” frozen roti paratha. As close to the real thing as you’ll find anywhere in the US. While you’re there, grab a boil-in-bag packet of dal or curry and you’re all set. Simple, fast, delicious. Couldn’t live w/o it!

    (Kawan is made in Shah Alam, Selangor)

  18. lauren

    When I lived in Malaysia, they served Roti Canai with a chicken curry sauce. Do you have recipe for the type of curry served with this?

  19. linda

    When we were in Malaysia I had Roti John & Roti Bom how funny. They look different as well. A true Malay feast with Randang Malay cakes/jellies. Indian sweets all the wonderful breads. You cant go wrong although watch out for the chillie. The salads are beauitful . Malay cooking with coconut milk is my favorite.

  20. Melody

    Absolutely love this! Question: has anyone tried to freeze the dough? It would save a lot of time and make it easier as then you can make the dough in large portions.

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