Malaysian Monday 40: Roti, roti everywhere

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello Monday, hello everyone. It’s all about the bread today.

Some have called Nasi Lemak (a rice dish) the national dish of Malaysia, but I think Roti Canai (roti=bread, canai=knead) is a pretty serious contender. When we headed over for our recent visit, roti was our go-to breakfast.

Mr. Kitchen Hand is a pretty conventional breakfast eater: toast, cereal, eggs, and usually finds it hard to come to terms with what I consider breakfast: noodles, rice congee, bak kut teh, but roti canai is one thing we can both agree on.

Roti canai served with (l-r): anchovy sambal, dhal and fish curry. Yes, curry for breakfast :)

Actually, roti canai is not just for breakfast, it can be eaten any time of day. Catching up with friends over a roti and a teh tarik (pulled tea), is the Malaysian equivalent of a coffee break.

I’ve never attempted to make roti canai at home because one of the steps involves tossing and throwing the balls of dough around until it is stretched paper thin. I’d rather leave it to the experts, and considering a plain roti canai costs about 70 Malaysian cents, it’s definitely an affordable indulgence. (Indulgence is the right word when you take into account how much oil / margarine is put into the dough – best not to think about it).

When you get tired of the plain version, you can get other variations including ones with egg (roti telur), sardines (roti sardin) and onions (roti bawang).

Or go sweet with either roti tisu or roti bom. Both of these are sort of the same flavour but the texture is different. Roti tisu (named after tissue), is ultra thin and crispy, while roti bom (named after bombs?) is dense, thick and chewy – both slathered in margarine and crusted with sugar (I repeat, do not think about it too much).

Here comes the roti tisu! This roti started out as a small plate-sized version, then someone got the bright idea to make a 1m tall version, so everyone started doing it.

It's so huge, it needs two plates!

 The MC's LOVED it!

This is roti bom - doesn't look like much at first

 Look inside: crusty sugary bits

And of course, if roti canai gets too much, there are other sorts of breakfast bread to enjoy:
This is a rice flour based bread, called apom/apam

Top view of the apam. It is served with sweet coconut milk

Puri: deep fried puffy bread (don't think about it).

Hope you enjoyed today’s roti, and a little birdie has told me that a blogger friend will be joining me with a Malaysian Monday post too (EDIT: YEs, the birdie was right, everyone say hello to Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies who's joined me today).

Why don’t you join in too? Come along next Monday to find out how.

 As an added bonus, you can check email while having your roti! :)

Have a great start to the week :)


3 hungry tummies said...

Oh I been to roti heaven and back! Didn't get to cook butter prawns since I was not able to get any fresh prawns but that is on the way.

Trissa said...

Shaz, where is that place? I would love to go there. I've only been to mamak once and loved the roti but would love to try other places too!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, marvelous! Thanks for sharing!



shaz said...

Never mind tummies, I'll wait (and salivate) in anticipation ;P Thanks for joining me today!

Trissa- unfortunately this place was the local roti joint round the corner from my parent's place in Malaysia. So far in Sydney, I like the roti at Mamak, sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Thanks Rosa.

Juliana said...

Oh! What an interesting place...the roti looks so tasty :-)

grace said...

i would devour every example of roti you've displayed here. gadzooks, woman! deep-fried? sweetened? stretchy and crusty? where would i begin?

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Amazing roti making process, looks so good.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Mmm I adore Roti! And great job making yours too, it looks perfect! Can I tell you something funny? Mr NQN can eat about 15 of them at a go. We only know up to 15 as I refused to give him more! :P

~~louise~~ said...

I totally enjoyed today's roti, and my blog visit. What a wonderful place to visit. I just better bookmark it right now.

I'd take a peek around but as you know, I'm getting set for the Picnic Game. You didn't miss it. The Round-Up will be posted July 1st just in time for Picnic Month in the US. Will that be the 2nd in Australia? The basket is brimming with goodies, I hope you'll come take a nibble, Sharon:)

Thanks for sharing...

P.S. And yes, there will be a Picnic Game next year...good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze, lol:)

shaz said...

Cheers Juliana

Ha ha, the trick is to eat everything Grace :)

Thanks for visiting Umm Mymoonah

Whoa- 15 is a whole lot of roti Lorraine!!

I'll definitley come check out the picnic Louise

Megan @ FeastingonArt said...

Mmmm roti! It is one of my favorite things. I am going to Malaysia in October and am going to eat myself sick on it!

Barbara said...

Fascinating photos, Shaz! I've never had roti. :(

shaz said...

I hope you get to one day Barbara, it's really tasty.

shaz said...

Ooh, have fun Megan!