Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat)

4.17 stars

'Roti canai' or 'roti prata' is a flatbread of Indian origin and is extremely loved in countries like Malaysia and Singapore. Usually eaten with dhal curry, fish or chicken curry, it is sometimes served sweet with condensed milk, bananas or even chocolate cream.

Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 20 mins

Main

Roti Prata, Roti Pratha, 马来千层饼

Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Bruneian


Nutrition per Serving

221 kcal
38 g
5 g
5 g


Roti canai is like the Southeast Asian flat croissant. It is rather similar due to the flakiness of the layers of oiled dough. With a combination of flour, water, salt and oil, no one would have guessed that this flatbread which is also known as roti pratha or roti prata could be so delicious.

In this simple recipe, you will learn how to make authentic roti canai any time in the comfort of your home.

I have practiced making roti canai multiple times. I must admit it was a mess when I initially started. However, practice makes perfect and I definitely improved over time.

Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to creating this flaky and crispy flat bread. Anyhow, it is fun flexing the muscles while flipping the dough.

Type of flour

In Malaysia or Singapore, roti canai is made using all-purpose wheat flour packed as ‘tepung gandum serbaguna’. This type of generic wheat flour is used for making cakes, cookies and sometimes bread. Do note that bread in Asia is very soft unlike those in the Western countries.

In most Western countries, this type of wheat flour is marketed for making cookies and cakes as it has a lower gluten content compared to bread flour.

Bread flour is higher in gluten content which helps in stretching the dough but it will cause the roti canai to taste more like bread instead. That’s because bread flour is made of hard wheat which is more coarse. When the wrong type of flour is used, the taste of the flour maybe too strong for your liking as commented by a viewer on our YouTube channel.

We recommend adding a teaspoon of butter or ghee to the dough to improve the flavour.

Here is a guide to the type of flour which should be used for roti canai if you're in other countries.

Country Name of flour
US pastry flour
UK Soft flour
Japan Hakurikiko
China DiJinMianFen低筋
Germany 405
France 45
Italy 00
Czechia/Slovakia Hladká mouka výběrová 00
Poland tortowa
Argentina 0000

Oil is essential for roti canai

It does require a lot of oil to make roti canai in order to create the layers of flaky and moist dough. When less oil is used, the dough will be hard and dry. Begin with dipping your hands in some oil or have a generous amount of oil on your palms.

How long does it take to knead the dough?

The dough does not need to be kneaded for a long time. As long as the dough comes together, you should stop kneading and separate them into 6 portions. This should take ca. 5-7 minutes.

Over-kneading the dough will damage the structure of gluten molecules. When that happens, you won't be able to stretch the dough and it will break instead. This is how it will look like:

roti canai dough over-kneaded
roti canai dough over-kneaded

Letting the dough rest

Mamak restaurants usually prepare the roti canai dough in bulk one day before. Not only does it helps to save time, there are reasons why the dough is left to rest overnight. Dough which is left overnight will ferment slowly to develop its flavour.

Furthermore, this process helps to relax the gluten which contributes to its stretchability. This is extremely important because that's exactly the effect we want in order to create those thin layers in the roti canai.

At the very least, it should be left to rest for a minimum of 40 minutes if you are rushing for time.

How to serve roti canai?

Roti canai is delicious even if eaten plain just as it is. Usually, freshly made roti canai is served with curry dhal or fish and chicken curry. Sometimes, it is also eaten dipped with sugar. Have it with a glass )of teh tarik or your favourite cup of beverage for a satisfying meal.


Ingredients

Servings:  
1⁄2 tbsp
salt
1⁄2 tbsp
sugar
290 g
wheat flour
200 ml
water
2 tbsp
oil

Steps to Prepare

Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat) Step 1

Step 1 of 6

    • 1⁄2 tbsp salt
    • 1⁄2 tbsp sugar
    • 290 g wheat flour
    • 200 ml water

Dilute salt and sugar in water. Mix flour and salt/sugar mixture evenly. Knead dough until smooth. The dough may appear wet. Just dust some flour to be able to shape the dough.

Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat) Step 2

Step 2 of 6

    • 2 tbsp oil

Divide dough into 6 small balls. Coat each dough with oil and place them on an oiled plate. Pour oil over the dough. Let dough rest overnight.

Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat) Step 3

Step 3 of 6

Flatten dough and flip it several times until it expands. Lift the left side of the expanded dough and fold to the right covering 2/3 of the whole surface. Do the same with the right.

Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat) Step 4

Step 4 of 6

Pinch the tip of the dough and gently pull the dough off the working surface. Swirl dough to form a circle and press gently.

Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat) Step 5

Step 5 of 6

Sprinkle some oil on the dough before letting the dough rest for 3-5 minutes. Flatten dough once more. Place it on a pan heated at medium heat.

Roti Canai (Mamak Copycat) Step 6

Step 6 of 6

Once roti canai lightly browns or is crispy, remove from pan and give it a light ‘clap’. Serve with curry, dhal, sugar or enjoy it plain.

Published: July 23, 2016


10 Discussions

8 months ago

Stacy

I had to double the flour in order to get the dough to a consistency that could even hint at resembling the dough in the recipe photos

8 months ago

Stacy

I had to double the flour both times i made this. The end product was perfect with twice as much flour.

5 months ago

Lola Lemons

This was an absolute fail! Dough was dry - even when additional oil was added. Have made roti bread before and it was much more successful than this. Sorry to have to leave a bad review. :)

5 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you, Lola. We've had many successes by the community with this recipe. Perhaps I can help you to troubleshoot the recipe. Was the dough dry before shaping or after cooking?

5 months ago

Sophie Filer

I used to live in Malaysia, and at my local mamak I would always order Roti Cheese. Now I’m back in U.K and would like to recreate this dish. Do you have any advice on how to add cheese to this recipe and what type of cheese I should use? Thanks :)

5 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Mozzarella! Sprinkle some on the flattened dough (step 3) and fold the sides in, like an envelope. Skip step 4. Let me know the outcome!

4 months ago

Sophie Filer

Thank you! It was delicious with mozzarella, but I still need some practice at flipping.

4 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

I'm so excited to hear this. No one has added cheese to this recipe, yet. If you have a photo, upload it to your food snap! We've got to see it :D

4 months ago

Toto Roro

The dough in this recipe was very wet. I had to add a lot more flour to get the right consistency.

4 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

After refrigerating the dough, it will harden. The texture will be just nice to spread and pull.

4 months ago

do J ob

It worked for me.. Thank you vm @grace and nyonyacooking.com.. Btw can I make 'Roti Telur(egg)' using this recipe? :D

4 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Sure. I made roti pisang with this recipe. :)

3 months ago

do J ob

🌹👩‍🍳

3 months ago

David Armstrong

To those having issues with dough consistency, I recommend not adding all the water at once. Add it gradually and stop once you reach the right consistency of dough, discarding any remaining water. This potentially means you're discarding some of the salt/sugar that was dissolved into the water. Either dissolve that into a half quantity of water that'll be added to the flour first, then use plain water for the remaining amount, or whisk the sugar and salt through the flour as dry ingredients before adding water.

3 months ago

Meiling Akbarally

Hi, I made this recipes 5 times, the 2nd and the 3rd time it turned out perfectly, flaky and light. the 4th and 5th it suddenly became very heavy. any tips please?

3 months ago

David Armstrong

Did you change the flour between 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th cook? For me: 1st time - spelt flour. Crumbly, not flakey, a little heavy. 2nd time - bread flour. Better, lighter, stretchier, but still not quite flakey. 3rd time - "00" flour. Bingo, winner. Light, stretchy, flakey, yum.

3 months ago

Meiling Akbarally

I used wheat flour all five times actually. Hence I was puzzled, and I also ensure the measurements are always very accurate. Cant figure out why the texture became so thick and dense as opposed light and flaky.

3 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

David is right. Only all purpose flour (00) flour is recommended. The flakiness of the roti also highly depending on the folding and the amount oil use during folding. We have the tips above, check them out.

3 months ago

Meiling Akbarally

Hi Mira, The recipe actually says Wheat Flour, there is no mention of 00 flour I believe. Unless I have missed it.

3 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Hi Meiling, 00 flour is wheat flour. In the background section above, we have listed all the types of flour we recommend depending on your location. You can find the explanation under "Type of flour".

3 months ago

Kaycie Yong

What brand "00" flour did you use?

3 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

In Malaysia, I used the local "tepung serbaguna". It is an equivalent to "00" flour. Any brand of all purpose flour or "00" flour can work. David, do you have a specific brand to recommend?

3 months ago

Kaycie Yong

The chart says to use "pastry flour" if in the U.S. Will all purpose flour work?

3 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Yes, that can work.

a month ago

David Armstrong

I can speak for flour readily available in Australia Mira, I'm not sure if that'll help Kaycie. I used Lighthouse "00" flour (https://www.lighthousebaking.com.au/specialpurpose/Pasta-Tipo-00-1kg).

a month ago

Trang Dang

The process was very smoth but then the roti I made was still powdery when eating. Can you give me some tips to solve this problem?

a month ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Hi Trang Dang! What do you mean by powdery? Was the dough not kneaded properly?

3 days ago

EL

I think i have the same problem with Trang Dang , the moment stretch it 1-2times... it will break in pieces... if I transfer to pan and cook...not cripsy and like eating the raw dough.. on the thicker piece

2 days ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

It needs to be stretched to create the layers. Otherwise, it's just a piece of dough. Did you knead the dough for 5-7 minutes? It does seem like the gluten didn‘t develop enough.

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