Mmmmm. Roti Chanai is the traditional accompaniment for Malaysian Curry - nothing like it. Watching Malaysian chefs prepare this flaky bread is a treat in itself. I love seeing them work the dough and then throw it around in ever expanding sheets. Fantastic. Recipe makes six roti = enough for four people.
3 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
- Mix in a big bowl
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/5 cup extra water
- Add the liquids (milk and initial portion of water) gradually to flour, working mixture with your hands.
- Kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic (like play dough or "soft like a baby's bottom" - if that helps).
- You probably have to add extra water during the kneading. Flours differ so you won't know exactly how much water you need until you get the texture you're aiming for.
- Form the dough into a roll
- Pinch the the roll into six pieces
Peanut (ground nut) oil
- Wet your hands with peanut oil.
- Form each piece of dough into a ball, ensuring the surface is covered with oil.
- Put the oiled balls back in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with cling film.
- Place the bowl in a warm place and leave for 5 hours.
And finally ...
- Tip a little oil on a clean working surface and wet your hands with some more.
- Place a dough ball on the surface and flatten as much as possible with your hands (should be roughly dinner plate sized).
- Add a little oil and oil a rolling pin.
- Roll out pastry until very thin (1-2 mm). It might break but that is ok.
- When thin enough fold the sides in to form a rectangle.
- Fry each side on in an oiled pan until pastry puffs up and becomes golden (don't take long).
- Repeat with other dough balls.