EVER since “roti boom” exploded into the Malaysian dining scene some 40 years ago, this smaller and thicker version of the roti canai has become a firm favourite with diners.
Although it has gone through many iterations along the way, many still gravitate towards what is considered the birthplace of this delightful morsel in Ampang Jaya, Selangor.
According to the self-proclaimed inventor of roti boom Parwiz Kausar, he has not changed the formulation or the price since its inception in 1983.
“I was then a 20-year-old part-time waiter at Bangles in Kuala Lumpur, which was a popular Northern Indian restaurant.
“I enjoyed the restaurant atmosphere a lot, especially interacting with customers and talking about food.
“At the time, most people could only enjoy Northern Indian food at high-end restaurants. But I wanted to bring this fare to the streets.”
With that in mind, Parwiz worked on modifying the roti canai into what would become roti boom as his signature dish.
This, he said, along with other staples like naan and tandoori became a hit at his small stall called Naan Corner, which is still operating at its same spot along Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama 1.
The roti boom here is richer and fluffier than roti canai. It is also not sweet or filled with sugar granules as is common in other places.
Naan Corner’s dhal and fish curry are the go-to accompaniments for the roti.
With its small size, it can be eaten as a mid-meal snack or as a main meal, which is one of the reasons why it is popular throughout the day.
The secret to this fluffy roti is evaporated milk and plenty of good quality butter.
“I only use tepung gandum cap kunci (Blue Key all-purpose flour) to make the dough.
“On a typical day, we can sell up to 1,800 pieces of roti boom, with the numbers increasing on weekends,” said 60-year-old Parwiz.
Amazingly, the price has not changed since it was introduced in 1983. It is still priced at 50sen per piece.
Apart from roti boom, Naan Corner also specialises in various types of naan, with cheese naan being a top seller.
They also have satay as well as other Asian and Western food for those wanting something more substantial.
Last year, Parwiz opened another outlet — in Taman Keramat, which can cater to larger crowds and host events.
Naan Corner 1983 is open daily and operates from 11am to 10pm.
It is located at No.12, Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama 1, Ampang Jaya, Selangor. For details, call 016-947 2020 or 012-206 2020.
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