Sunday, January 23, 2011

Malaysian Paratha (Roti Canai)

Jan 22nd 2011

You know how sometimes you  are driven by this urge to accomplish and you can't rest till you finish what you set your mind on. Well, there was this period when I underwent the same. But sadly it was not oriented towards work, maybe I could have tried for a promotion or two :) But it was directed towards where my first love is, the kitchen and trying out some recipes that I had bookmarked for some time.

We have loved Roti Canai every time we have tried it. It was not a totally new taste as one of my favorite dishes has always been paratha chops at Hotel Saravana Bhavan. Well I cannot proceed without taking a moment to pause and think about how utterly I miss that restaurant. It would not be an exaggeration to say that if I had to move back then this restaurant would be a very big motivator!

I tried this recipe one such weekend and I have to say it was a labour of love. This is not easy but oh the feeling of pride when you bite into that first paratha, I must say is priceless. This goes well with any gravy but the pick is this Malaysian Potato Curry (my vegetarian version of the Chicken Curry that this is usually served with).

Difficulty level : Hard

Time: 1 hr ( Prep Time), 6 hrs or overnight (resting time) 30 min ( Cooking Time)

  • 3 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup ghee at room temperature ( to use at different steps)
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
Method de Preparation

1.  Making the dough: I used my hands but if you have a mixer, good for you.  Combine flour, salt, sugar and 1/4 cup ghee. Add egg, milk and water. Keep mixing and kneading till a smooth, elastic dough is formed, about 8 to 10 min. It should be sticky but not wet. Cut or form 8 equal pieces, and form into smooth balls. Now for the fun part, coat each ball with one teaspoon of ghee (yes..that is a lot and the ball will shine with ghee :)). Arrange in a single layer on a plate, cover lightly, and allow them to rest at room temperature for at least 6 hours (The dough can be made a day ahead upto this point and refrigerated. 
2.  Prepare your workspace: If the dough was prepared the day ahead, let come to a warm room temperature. Most likely our kitchens are cold, so it is important to thaw or warm the dough. You can microwave it for 10 sec intervals till it is elastic and easier to work with.  I did not use a surface like recommend and found it easier to use my pizza pan and I coated that and my hands liberally with ghee.
3.   Stretch the dough into a sheet: Put 1 tsp. 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 disk, less than 1/4 inch (0.6 cm.) thick, slightly thinner around edges. Basically try to spread/stretch it as thin as you can on all sides.
4.  Making the roti canai: The method I used was just to fold the stretched piece in 1 inch strips, all along the way. Then go ahead and roll it like shown in the picture to form a round. Then press it out to flatten and stretch a little bit. Just cook on the tava with a little bit of ghee, (yes this is the last you will use it) until it browns on both sides. 
  1. Serve hot with some Malaysian Potato Curry.
Source :  I read a lot and then used the following sources to make this Roti Canai. I followed the recipe directly from here which was originally posted in the Rasa Malaysia site. I also liked the link from Chef in you.  

  1. This recipe calls for a decent amount of ghee. So if you are faint of heart, don't attempt.
  2. This recipe will leave your kitchen messy, so don't do it after you have cleaned your kitchen, in fact do it before and then do your cleaning, or even if you don't it does not matter, the ghee will make everything glisten :D
  3. You will have new respect for the Kawan Paratha and that it has only 220 calories per paratha :)
  4. All said and done, try it to feel your heart and stomach swell with pride!


SriAndal said...

looks yummy.....

MaySan said...

Nicely done Anu. Worth the effort I see and I love your potato curry ;)

Priya said...

Prefectly done flaky roti canai..great!

Anu Karthik said...

Thanks all for your support and comments :)

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