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Roti Canai

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

What is Roti Canai?

In Malaysian, "Roti" means bread and "Canai" refers to the process of flattening a dough either with your hands or a tool. Roti Canai is a Malaysian adaptation to the Indian Roti Paratha.

Roti Canai is an Indian influenced staple widely consume in south east Asia and is made in different variation. Plain Roti Canai are almost always served with a side of curry for dipping.

Roti Canai (pronounsed as Roti Cha- Nai) is also sometimes called Roti Chenai.

When is Roti Canai Eaten?

In Malaysia, Roti Canai is a common breakfast item but it can also be for supper where Malaysian loves to hang out at Mamak (Night Street Food Stalls) late after dinner. At Mamak, it is rarely ever a meal but to hang out with your mate having a cup of Teh Tarik with some bread to munch on.

Have I also mentioned that Malaysia is a three nationalities country and a lot of our food are adapted from all around the world which is what makes Malaysian food one of its kind.



For the Roti

Makes 8 x rotis

580 g Plain Flour

10 g Salt

15 g Castor Sugar

340 g Unsalted Butter (clarified to 180 g)

50 g Egg

180 ml Full cream milk

130 ml Water

For the Chicken Curry

Serves 4 people with 2 roti each

2 Chicken Thigh

150 g Green beans

1/2 Sliced onions

4 teaspoon Cumin powder

2 teaspoon Mustard seeds

2 tablespoon Garam Masala

2/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2-3 Red Chillies

2/3 cup Chicken Stock

2/3 cup Coconut Milk

Qs. Vegetable oil

Qs. Salt

Qs. Black Pepper

Qs. Coriander


For the Roti

1. To make clarified butter, place the unsalted butter into a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. As the butter starts to boil the milk solids will start to float on the top and it is slightly whitish in colour. Skim the solids until they are completely clear.

Turn off the heat and let the butter to sit a bit and you will start to realise that the water content will start to sink to the bottom and the clarified butter atop. Pour the clarified butter in to a clean bowl leaving the bottom part and discard the bottom part which is the water.

What's left should be roughly around 180 g or more of clarified butter.

2. In stand mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment, combine all the ingredients and only 60 g of the clarified butter and start to mix until the dough comes together and becomes smooth. Reserve the rest of the clarified butter for later.

3. Transfer the bowl over a work bench that has been lightly oiled with the additional clarified butter, then divide them in to 8 equal portions and roll them in to individual smooth balls. Line the portioned dough on to a tray brushed with the butter and cover with a cling film to prevent it from drying.

4. Working with one dough at a time, brush the dough generously with clarified butter on both sides and with the help of your palms, flatten it then push the dough out, pushing from the centre out wards, spreading it until it becomes as thin as possible. It should look almost transparent.

Brush the thin dough with more clarified butter, hold one end with both hands, pull and fold halfway to the centre and do the same from the opposite end covering the first top fold. Repeat that with the other two ends, ending with a square piece of dough.

Tip: While you are folding the thin pastry, make sure to pull and drop to the centre trying to incorporate as much air as possible between the pastry. Place the square dough aside, brush with butter and cover. Repeat the process with the other pastry. Wrap the folded roti and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

5. Once the roti have rested, Place a non stick frying pan over medium heat. Take out one square of pastry at a time and brush with clarified butter, then gently flatten with your palm to stretch it to double the size than the original size. Place the roti on to the hot pan and when it starts to turn golden in colour, repeat on the other side.

Serve warm with curry.

For the Curry

1.Oil a non stick frying pan with some olive oil, combine all of the spices, chillies and garlic in to the frying pan and toss until fragrant. Cut the chicken breast in tho thin bite size strips (with a paper towel, dry it out as much as possible) and roll them on to the spices to coat then let it sizzle on the pan until they are nice golden and crispy on both sides.

2. Add in the Chicken stock and coconut milk, season with salt and pepper and keep cooking over low heat until the liquid have slightly reduce.

3. Garnish with coriander and serve with Roti.


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