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In Search of a roti canai recipe

mnguyen Aug 29, 2008 09:25 PM

that results in something approximating the soft, flaky, layered rotis you can find at a restaurant.

I have been looking for a recipe through google searches, but there is mass confusion as to which recipe actually makes the real thing.

Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.


  1. alkapal Aug 30, 2008 01:36 AM

    try noodling around on the sites i link in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/517073

    are you perhaps thinking of paratha? anyway, that is our favorite indian bread. http://images.google.com/images?clien... (photos


    if you google paratha, you will get some how-to videos from manjula's kitchen. she is pretty good (although she does not use garlic or onions due to her jain beliefs -- but paratha employs neither garlic or onion, so..... you're good to go),

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal
      alkapal Aug 30, 2008 05:20 AM

      mnguyen, this rasa malaysia site has a photo and an explanation of the roti canai. it explains that the dough can be purchased at indian/asian shops, but that it has different names based on the country of origin. i was surprised to learn that it is also known as roti prata or roti paratha in singapore. http://www.rasamalaysia.com/2006/09/pour-some-sugar-on-roti-canai_01.html

      here is a video of a man making the dough, shaping it, griddling, and then layering (and "fluffing with smashing"): http://myhouseholdcapers.blogspot.com/2008/08/recipe-roti-canai.html

      apparently, there are two camps: one, a very simple flour dough with ghee, the second, a little fluffier type with a bit of milk and egg and ghee (though these cited use margarine).

      this recipe looks super simple: http://www.malaysianfood.net/recipes/reciperoticanai.htm

      a simple recipe, claimed to be authentic: http://www.recipezaar.com/270723

      aha! roti canai IS paratha: simple recipe: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Market/7773/roticanai.html

      this recipe looks a little fluffier, with a bit of condensed milk, sugar and eggs:
      similar: http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2005/0...

      would love to hear back if you try these out! ;-)

    2. sixelagogo Aug 30, 2008 05:11 AM

      I absolutely Love roti canai and have always been fascinated by the way it's made (very different from indian paratha's), as it's more akin to pizza tossing than anything...don't have a recipe, but have looked to google video and found a good one here:


      3 Replies
      1. re: sixelagogo
        alkapal Aug 30, 2008 05:40 AM

        well, you're right sixelagogo, it sure doesn't look like indian paratha. apparently, the dough is a paratha dough, but the treatment of the dough is quite different. (there is some idea that the prata name in singapore --as in roti prata -- implicates northern india as the source. more wheat flours than in the south -- or at least sri lanka -- with the use of rice flour. mmmmm hoppers!)

        that video shows the griddle man dotting it with butter (unlike the video i linked). looks goooood, all of it. now i'm craving some flatbreads with butter chicken!

        1. re: alkapal
          mnguyen Aug 30, 2008 07:58 AM

          Alkapal and Sixelagogo, Thank you for all these great links. Will check them out and definitely let you know if any of them were a success. Alk - yes the Malaysian roti canai's are extremely buttery and the texture is very flaky compared to Indian rotis. You should try and get your hands on some, if you get a chance. They are served with a curry dipping sauce.

          I just discovered Manjula's kitchen last week. Just posted a very rough adaption of one of her recipes on my website last week. Didn't realize she was Jain.

          1. re: mnguyen
            alkapal Aug 30, 2008 01:50 PM

            yes, i saw those delicious peas on the egg and muffin. yummy. i liked your "food failures" stories. you have a gift for humorous writing!

      2. alkapal Sep 18, 2008 03:56 PM

        hi mnguyen, what was your success?

        1. q
          qianning Dec 23, 2010 08:05 AM

          so, has anyone determined if any of these recipes/links to videos actually produce a good malaysian style roti canai? i have a bunch of recipes that i've tried over the years (from various sources, mainly cookbooks on Malaysian food) but have yet to find one that works and works consistently, so advice from someone who has had success would be most welcome.

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