Poh's Roti Canai

Poh's Roti Canai


500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/3 cup water
2 Tbs condensed milk
2 Tbs butter, ghee or margarine, at room temperature
1/2 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 cup vegetable oil for greasing


Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Make a well at the centre of the dry ingredients and into it, pour the water, condensed milk, butter/ghee/margarine and egg.

Work in a circular motion with your hand, gradually gathering more and more of the flour into the wet ingredients until you have a single mass.

Tip all the ingredients onto the bench and knead until smooth and elastic. At this point the dough should not be sticking to the bench top. If it is, add a little flour and knead until smooth.

Roll into a cylinder and divide the dough into 10 pieces. Knead each piece a few times to achieve a smooth texture, then shape into a ball. Gently cover each ball with butter/ghee/margarine and rest in a bowl. Cover in cling wrap and allow to rest overnight at room temperature.

After the overnight resting you will find the dough soft and stretchy. Start by oiling a substantial area of the bench liberally.

Place one of the balls of dough onto the table and press down with the palm of your hand while moving it in a circular motion. This is just to flatten and smooth out the surface of the dough as much as possible before you stretch it.

It takes a bit of practice to throw the roti the professional way and while it’s definitely quicker, an equally effective method is to work around the edges of the circle of dough, gently stretching the edges outwards as far and as thinly as you can before holes start to appear. The end result should be as thin as tracing paper and about 60-70 cm in diameter.

Pull opposite edges of the roti towards one another to overlap into 3 layers, each time drizzling a little oil between the layers.

Fold this elongated shape into thirds again, drizzling more oil between layers, so you end up with a squarish shaped roti.

Heat up your frypan on medium heat with a dash of vegetable oil and fry the roti until golden blisters appear on both sides.

When cooked, immediately slide the roti onto a chopping board, wrap your palms around the edges and smash your hands together so the roti bunches up and flakes.

Rotate the roti and do this several times while it is still hot.

Serve immediately with curry.

Makes 8-10 roti

Recipe promoted by Poh Ling Yeow for Malaysia Kitchen Australia

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