Monday 2 December 2013

Roti Prata a.k.a Roti Canai

In today's post, I'll be sharing my experience with making roti prata at home. Before that, let me just share with you my memories of homemade roti prata when I was growing up. 
Back in the days, frozen ready-made prata was non-existent. So there were two ways we could enjoy them, we either bought the freshly-fried prata from the coffee shop or we made them at home. Since eating out was not a norm, it was quite usual for many mothers to make prata at home, including my mum. Like me, anybody from my generation would have likely experienced making prata at home. Even my husband remembers helping his mum to knead the prata dough...

My mother even went one step further. She would add mutton briyani oil (more like briyani spread) to the  prata dough before stretching it. So the prata would have mutton briyani flavour! So yummy!! If you are wondering where the briyani spread comes from, it's actually the oil that floats when preparing mutton briyani dish (not the rice). By the way, my family often cooked Mutton Briyani Rice for thanksgiving feasts, that's where all the oil came from. My mom would  scoop up the oil & keep it. It would solidify into a spread. You must be thinking of  the cholesterol level..... well, back then, the word 'cholesterol' was not part of a layman's vocabulary, probably strictly used by the medical staff only! And, I didn't know anybody who had stroke....

Ok, enough with the nostalgia.... As usual, my mum never measured her ingredients, so I don't have her recipe. So I decided to start out with a tried-&-tested recipe, one by Singapore's very own food blogger, Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost. Dr Tay not only shared his recipe, he also shared his research on the ingredients & the steps involved in making the prata. Do read his post.
I'm very happy with the pratas that I made. They looked & tasted very good. The dough was very easy to handle & none of my stretched dough was torn. However,  I thought my pratas were slightly dry. So the next time I make them, I must remember not to stinge on the oil! 

Notes & modifications:
  1. There were 2 recipes shared by Dr Tay,  an enriched recipe that will produce richer & more tender pratas & another that will result in leaner & crispier pratas. I used the former.
  2. After step 3, according to Dr Tay, the dough should be tacky, mine turned out quite dry as you can see in the picture below. My mum advised me not to be stingy with the oil/butter when mixing dough & to stop thinking about my cholesterol level if I want to eat roti prata! Based on her assessment of my pratas (from my pictures), she said that I should also brush some oil at every step.
  3. I did not flip my prata like the way the prata guy effortlessly flips his. I just stretched it, the way "even a 5-year-old can do". Watch the video in Dr Tay's post.
  4. Towards the end of his post, Dr Tay also suggested adding yeast or baking soda to produce fluffier pratas. I didn't add any. I also notice that some frozen pratas have baking powder in the ingredient list.
  5. In step 10, I did what my mum often did whenever she made her prata, i.e. I  turned the dough into an S shape dough.
  6. Prata is best served warm.  I reheat my cool prata in the microwave oven for about 30 seconds. Serve the prata with fish curry , chicken or beef curry or dalcha.
- I love this picture.

Roti Prata a.k.a Roti Canai
Recipe by Dr Tay of ieatishootipost.

600g plain (10% protein) flour - I used Prima Plain Flour.
270ml water
80g (1/4 cup) condensed milk
15ml (1 tbsp) oil or melted butter or ghee (Next time, I'll add more.)
1 tsp salt
1 whole egg

1. In a container, combine water, condensed milk, oil, salt & egg. Mix the wet ingredients until well blended.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and liquid & beat at speed 1 (low) using the paddle attachment for 1 minute. You'll get a shaggy mess. Rest for 20 minutes.

3. Change to dough hook & knead at Speed 2 for 10 mins (rest for 5 minute after first 5 minutes). You should have a tacky dough. (Mine is quite dry.)

4. Divide the dough using a cutter into ten 100g portions. Shape each piece of dough into a ball.

5. Coat the dough with oil & place them in a container. I placed mine in a muffin pan, as suggested by Dr Tay. Cover the pan with a plastic & leave it in the fridge overnight.

6. Place a dough ball on a working table.

7. Using your palm & fingers, flatten the dough evenly.

8. Flip or stretch out the dough as thin & even as possible, without tearing it. Brush some oil onto the stretched dough.

9. Fold or gather the stretched dough to form a long piece as shown below. Brush some oil.

10. Starting from both ends, turn them to form an S shape dough as shown below. Brush some oil.

11. Pick up one part of the S-shaped dough & place it over the other part to form a bun-shaped dough as shown below.

12. Using your hand, flatten the dough to form a flat & even uncooked prata.

13. Heat up a flat pan & add some oil. Then fry the prata on medium fire until it turns golden brown.

I hope this tutorial will be helpful to those who want to embark on their prata-making journey. Good luck!


ady said...

tak sabar saya nak cuba ni

Anonymous said...

yay, one of my fave ever indian bread!
i never even had a guts to try this at home, besides, i din't had any polished stone table to stretch the dought..
btw, my uncle who had indian decent used to submerged the dought in canola oil to made it stretch,
salute for you my friend!

Shannon @ JustAsDelish said...

well done on your roti canai attempt! I tried making it once at the stall, it's super hard to flip it.

Vic said...

lovely pictorial tutorial! tks a lot

Victoria Bakes said...

very lovely pictorial tutorial! thanks so much for sharing

Bali Tour said...

This is Great Article
Thanks for the recipe
i will try to cook it

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