Eating Out

Published: Wednesday June 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday June 26, 2014 MYT 12:08:32 PM

Roti canai: The secret's in the dough

Trying roti canai at two restaurants in Star People's Food Award nomination list makes for a rewarding experience.

Malaysians love a good, hearty and crispy roti canai.

Although the flat bread may not be the healthiest of local food options, we love it to death (pardon the pun).

In conjunction with The Star People’s Food Awards, you can nominate your favourite roti canai stall/eatery come July 1 and stand a chance to win attractive prizes such as hotel stays and dining vouchers.

It is easy to take part.

Just take out your smartphone and snap a photo along with details of your favourite roti canai eatery and send to Metro Online Broadcast (mob.com.my).

Nominations will be accepted during the first 10 days of the month.

The awards are given out to the best Malaysian street food in the Klang Valley.

Each month, the public can vote for their favourite category-based street food such as chicken rice, satay, banana leaf rice via MOB.

This week, we feature two popular dining venue, popular with their serving of roti canai.

Raju Restaurant serves its roti canai on a fragrant banana leaf.
Raju Restaurant serves its roti canai on a fragrant banana leaf.

RAJU’S (Halal), 27 Jalan Chantek 5/13, off Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Ordering a familiar breakfast favourite, roti canai, at Raju’s Restaurant is like taking a step back to the 1960s.

Served on a customary fragrant banana leaf is the crispy sweet dough in its spherical form that has been well kneaded for a soft yielding texture.

Raju Restaurant serves its roti canai on a fragrant banana leaf.

The roti at Raju’s strikes a balance between the lightness and density commonly associated with the bread.

A slight sweetness from the roti is enhanced by the tangy flavour of fish curry and warmth of the dhal that leave a lingering aroma of spices.

Raju’s proprietor K. Kannan said he picked up the recipe from an elderly Indian Muslim man, and it has been unchanged ever since.

“The difference is not only in how the dough is made, but in the method of folding, when they put it on the stove, and even down to the number of times the dough is turned.

“It is something that people look forward to savouring,” he said.

Nava Kamalandran, who has been a patron of Raju’s for 40 years, since he was in secondary school, grew up eating at the restaurant.

“I usually get ill when I eat anywhere else because of the added MSG, but because Raju’s does not use it, I just cannot help coming back.

“It is the best roti canai I know.

“It is not oily and it has a fluffy crispiness to it,” described Nava.Although the cost per roti canai has rapidly increased since then to RM3, it is the price of a recipe and an old technique, which has remained, unchanged for over 50 years. — YVONNE T. NATHAN

A Seri Melur Jaya flipping roti canai dough.
A Seri Melur Jaya employee flipping roti canai dough.

RESTAURANT SRI MELUR JAYA SDN BHD (Halal), 26 Jalan SS19/6, Subang Jaya, Selangor

The typical Malaysian breakfast would include a plate of roti canai (or two).

In Subang Jaya, one eatery that serves good roti canai for breakfast on every morning is Restaurant Sri Melur.

The right way to order your roti canai would be to have it garing (crispy) or banjir, which means to douse it with lots of curry, dhal or a mixture of both.

Restaurant Sri Melur was established in 1995 when the first restaurant was opened in Sri Muda, Section 25, Shah Alam by the late K. Gopalakrishnan who is said to have been an avid food lover.

Today, there are 10 restaurants in Selangor.

At this particular branch, roti canai is made a few at a time — probably to ensure that it flies out of the hot griddle and onto a plate quickly, to keep hungry customers satisfied.

The plate of roti canai was served within five minutes of an order being placed.

I noticed that it was still warm but a little too chewy and tough to tear.

It was served with sambal, fish curry and dhal.

The sambal to me was mediocre but the dhal was so good that one could eat it on its own.

The thick, light yellow dhal had not much spice in it but it made my roti canai taste even better.

When you have ordered your plate of roti canai, try mixing the fish curry and dhal together as the combined taste leaves you wanting more.

One roti canai was not enough for me.

My next order was a surprisingly crispy and fluffy roti canai, which crackled at the stab of the fork.

It is recommended that you order a roti garing for that added crispiness instead of roti kosong (plain).

A plate of roti canai at Sri Melur Jaya is priced at RM1.20. — KATHLEEN MICHAEL

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Food Awards, MOB, Roti Canai

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