Roti Canai Recipe
Roti canai is a very popular flat bread in Malaysia.
Originated from southern India, roti canai is sometimes called roti paratha or roti prata.
These roti are modified and made famous by Mamak (Muslim-Indian) hawkers and street stalls all over the Malaysia.
They are crispy, buttery and flaky. The flat breads are made of ghee (clarified called) and flour.
I love this breakfast staple. My late father would always buy me a piece or two of the roti for breakfast.
They go well with curry sauce, daal, or plain sugar.
How to Make Roti Canai?
Chef Danhi has the detailed step-by-step recipe. Scroll down for the recipe!
Here is a short video on the traditional way of making roti canai, complete with the techniques of flipping the dough into thin layers.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
Serve roti with Malaysian curry sauce or plain sugar. For a Malaysian meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 3 1/2 cups (1 1/4 lb. / 580 g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup ghee, room temperature
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
Roti Canai Dough
- Combine flour, salt, sugar and 1/4 cup of the ghee in the bowl of a stand mixer. Run on low speed with a dough hook until mixture clumps.
- Add egg, milk and water. Continue to mix until a smooth elastic dough is formed. Knead into a smooth, soft, elastic dough, about 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be a bit sticky, but not wet.
- Transfer the dough out and cut into eight equal pieces, about 4 oz. each (113 g). Form into smooth balls.
- Coat each ball with one teaspoon of ghee, slathering them well. Arrange in a single layer on a plate, cover with a damn cloth and allow them to rest at room temperature for at least 6 hours. (The dough can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.)
Prepare the Work Space
- If the dough was prepared the day ahead, let come to a warm room temperature. So if your kitchen is cold, place the dough in
warm area, or you can even microwave it for 10 second
intervals. Warm dough is more elastic and easier to work
- Clean a 2-inch × 2-inch surface, and coat it with a 12-inch circle (30 cm) of ghee (about 2 tablespoons). Coat hands liberally with ghee.
- Stretch the dough into a sheet; put 1 teaspoon of ghee in center of the buttered work area.
- Arrange one dough ball in the center. Press with your buttered palm to flatten dough into a 6-inch disc, less than 1/4 inch thick, slightly thinner around edges.
- Pull and stretch it from the center outwards. Make sure most of dough is paper thin by moving around dough perimeter with your fingertips and thumbs, lifting thicker edges, pulling outwards to thin, and gently pressing against table to adhere.
- Systematically, slowly, work your way around the
perimeter of dough circle, pulling outwards to thin the
dough. For the first few rounds, pull 3 to 4 inches (about
8 to 10 cm) each time, making it thinner and thinner. As it
gets thinner, it will be obvious where the thicker parts of
the dough are. Focus on those areas. Keep going until you
achieve a paper thin sheet. It should reach about 2 feet in diameter. Use the tips of your fingers to smooth the thicker part paper thin.
- Using two hands, fold top quarter of dough over itself, almost reaching middle of sheet. Fold top edge over again to meet the top edge. Then repeat with other sides to create a square multi-layered square of dough about 6 to 8 inches (about 16 to 20 cm). Each time you fold, try to capture some air in-between layers.
Cook the Bread
- Heat a griddle or large saute pan over low heat.
- Firmly flatten and spread one disc of dough until it is 7 inches to 8 inches in diameter or (18 to 20 cm). The dough will be elastic, and may pull back a little.
- Drizzle the griddle with a little ghee. Add one bread to the pan, and cook slowly, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side, rotating occasionally to ensure even browning. Cook until each side is deep golden brown.
- Transfer the breads to a work surface, and then use a clapping motion (careful it will be hot), slapping the bread together between your hands to separate the layers.
- Repeat with remaining roti, cooking as many as will fit in the pan at one time. Serve immediately with curry sauce or sugar.
Amount Per Serving Calories 392Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 75mgSodium 417mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 7g