ISO roti prata and dipping sauce recipe
I loooove a good savory roti prata, and in particular I am thinking about the one at the Straits Cafe in San Francisco. A nice mound of flaky, crispy yet pleasantly chewy layered bread, not really complex but a nice salt/butter flavor. And it comes with a nice curry dipping sauce, with flavors of chili and peanut.
I figure that neither the bread nor the sauce is that hard to make... right?! Please help me satisfy this craving at home...
I'm pretty lazy when it comes to cooking and making bread is a little too labor-intensive for my liking so this is a quick fix because my boyfriend loves this stuff. We went to costco and bought 30 roti for around $6 and bought a small container of sauce from banana leaf for around $2. Super easy, cheap and yum. We've used the sauce for lots of other things too and made many meals out of it. I don't know how much just sauce would cost from Straits.
This discussion piqued my interest. After some research, I tried three recipes over the weekend.
The typical ingredient list is plain flour, equal amounts salt and sugar, a water or water/milk combo, possibly a bit of egg and some butter or ghee.
All recipes required resting over night.
Based on my findings, next time I make this, I will probably do it this way:
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup (1/2C milk mixed with 1/4C warm water)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp softened butter
Mix dry ingredients, then liquid. Knead until elastic and smooth, then knead in the butter just before placing in a bowl covered by clingwrap. Leave over night at room temp.
The next day, knead for 30 seconds, then break into golf ball-sized pieces. Flatten one between your hands, then roll thin with rolling pin. Smear a bit of butter in the middle, fold in half, and roll out gently. Fold again, and roll thin (2-3mm)again.Cook in hot non-stick pan, poss given the thinnest film of butter. Try to cook both sides as little as possible.
I've never tried a roti canai/prata in a restaurant, but I found this recipe produces a nice wrap/flatbread,which remains flexible even after it's cooled down. The folding and refolding is essential to get that layered flakiness when you rip in apart, and for this reason I would not make it without the butter.
Do you know the guys at Straits Cafe had written a cook book - "The Cooking of Singapore" by Chris Yeo and Joyce Jue. I happened to borrow the book from the library and had tried their roti prata recipe. Although I managed to get a multi-layered bread, it was still too thick, and I didn't managed to get the flaky thin layers. As for the curry, according to the book, they recommend the patong ayam, which is a nyonya coconut curry chicken, quite different from a Indian chicken curry, due to the use of Malay ingredients like galangal, lemongrass and blacan. However in Singapore and Malaysia, roti prata is often eaten with an Indian coconut curry as well, so this is no big deal. In all, I think the bread is hard to make if one aspires for a similar standard served in the restaurant, because you really need to get each layer to fine paper thin. After the experience, I will still stick with the store-bought roti prata. I use the frozen "Spring Home" brand of roti prata.
Roti prata can come served with a meat curry sauce or with dal (lentils) so not sure which one you had. There are several roti prata recipes online, and they are all basically the same. Roti prata is also known as roti canai, so do a Google search on both terms and see what recipe you like.