Roti Canai – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

Roti canai is Malaysia’s unofficial national bread! The flaky, buttery treat was brought to this country by Indian-Muslim immigrants, yet now bears no resemblance to breads of its original homeland.

“Roti” is the Hindi word for bread, while “canai” is a Malay word meaning to knead or to stretch. Like Indian roti, it’s an unleavened bread made from wheat flour, water, salt and ghee. The difference lies in the technique: dough is stretched until thin and almost translucent, then flipped repeatedly in the air like a pizzaiolo makes a pizza, earning it the nickname “flying bread.” It’s quite the spectacle to watch!

The multiple flipping and folding traps air in the dough – crucial to the flaky finished product. Pancake-sized pieces are slapped onto a ghee-smeared hotplate, and soon the roti’s layers become pillowy and its surface crisp. Within two minutes, its piping hot and ready to devour.

At its simplest, hot, fresh roti canai is served with dhal curry sauce – a thick, creamy lentil-based gravy that pairs perfectly with the thin layers of flatbread. It’s also served as a wrap, filled with curry sauce, or an array of options: plain roti with onion (roti bawang), egg roti (roti telur) or even sardine-filled roti (roti sardin). It even performs dessert duty in roti pisang, which is filled with banana.

Never settle for pre-made roti – it’s a limp disappointment! You will find freshly made roti at hawker centres and street vendors throughout Malaysia, so you’ll have ample chance to try our national bread at its best.

Shop name:
Delima Roti Canai
1681, Jalan TIB 3, Taman Industri Bolton, 68100 Batu Caves,

Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

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