Roti Canai

Make It Fresh: Roti Canai

August 11, 2016

This recipe originally appeared in Tablecrafter, the world’s easiest way to learn food photography and styling.

Roti Canai: A popular accompaniment to both sweet and savory dishes in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Traditionally served with curry sauces, dhal, and condensed milk, its mild, neutral character lets bold flavors take center stage. Roti canai adds texture to every bite—similar to puff pastry, this flatbread requires flattening out and constant addition of oil to create a flaky texture. Letting the dough rest for a while will ease handling, so try making it a day in advance if possible.

Roti Canai

Roti Canai

Yield: 6–8 pieces, estimated
Time: 2 hours (30 mins prep / 1 hour and 30 mins resting)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or ghee


  1. Dissolve the salt in the water. Stir to ensure that the salt is completely dissolved.
  2. Pour the salted water into the flour. Mix and knead until smooth and elastic, about eight minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 68 balls. Liberally coat with oil and put the balls into an oiled bowl.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
  5. With the palms of your hands, push the dough into a disc. Gently lift the dough with your fingers and throw it away from you. Repeat the process about five times. The dough will stretch paper thin, avoid making holes. Add more oil when necessary.
  6. Fold the stretched dough into the center until the two sides overlap. Lift one end of the dough and swirl it into the shape of the snail. Tuck the loose end under the disc. Let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes.
  7. With oiled palms, flatten the discs until they are about half a centimeter in thickness. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the roti for two minutes on one side. Flip and cook for one minute more. Serve immediately with either dhal, curry sauce, or condensed milk.
Roti Canai
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