Sometimes when I miss home, immediately my thoughts would linger towards food. Then I would start to miss all kind of food that is impossible to get here in Perth. Roti Jala happens to be one of them. If I could translate, it would be lacy/net crepes. Texture is the same as french crepes as it is pan-fried on hot plate. Taste wise? Think of it like crepes, except you could taste coconut milk it in. Color wise? Yellow, as it is infused with turmeric powder. Like Roti Canai, Roti Jala is eaten with curries of any kind, but the most common is Chicken Curry. In Malaysia, Roti Jala is sold at Malay hawker stalls, or even some high end Malaysian cuisine restaurants as it is one of the unique and traditional Malaysian dish. So how is Roti Jala made? How do you make a crepe with gaps and holes in between? You need a mold, like this.
(Picture linked from of http://nrnfoodwriter.blogspot.com.au)
The mould looks basically like a cup with a holder, and with few puncture/holes on the bottom. The crepe mixture will be poured into the mould and then you quickly swirl around few times to create the crepe on a hot plate. Upon removal from the hot plate, the roti is folded into square, “V” shape, or roll it up. Since it is impossible to get Roti Jala here, I know it is impossible to get the Roti Jala mould here too. So when I was in Japan, I bought a Squeeze Sauce Bottle for real cheap from Daiso. It looks like the following image below. (After finding this image, I read that the author did the same method as I did using squeeze sauce bottle as a replacement of the actual mould, how fascinating!). The squeeze bottle just means more work when making the roti jala as the swirling motion needs to be much swifter and I needed to go more ’rounds’ to create the lace.
(Picture linked from http://foodpeopleeat-fpe.blogspot.com.au)
I was really thrilled with the Roti Jala results. It looks authentic, taste delicious and I was really happy. I made so much that I even brought some for my Malaysian colleague at work. The repetitive motion of making Roti Jala was really fun – though slightly tiring because I was rushing through it to cook dinner after work. But if you have got long weekends and feeling a little adventurous, you should try this recipe out!
This recipe makes 15 to 18 Roti Jala depending on size of the crepe.
- 250g plain flour, siften
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 320ml thin coconut milk
- Cooking oil
- Place sifted flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt. Stir in the beaten egg and coconut milk.
- Using a whip, mix until the mixture become smooth. If needed, strain the batter to remove any lumpy bits. Pour the mixture into the squeeze sauce bottle.
- Lightly grease a non-stick pan and place it over low heat. Squeeze the mixture while moving in a circular motion to produce a lacy patter. After 1 minute, flip the pancake over to cook the other side. When both sides are cooked, fold it half, then another half to form a “V” shape. Remove from hot pan onto a plate.
I whipped up a simple and quick Malaysian Nyonya Chicken Curry to go with the Roti Jala. Now I am satisfied…*burp*!!