It was a black frying table shining with the oil. The cook kneaded the dough hardly and made it into the small balls. He picked up a dough randomly, added oil, kneaded it, flattened it again until the dough was glossy with the oil evenly. Suddenly, the cook picked up the dough expertly, one hand held the dough and the other hand spread it out. Just like the basketball player spun the ball with a finger, the dough became bigger and thinner until paper thin. The cook put it into the frying table decisively and folded it agilely. After the dough become golden, he used the spatula to make the dough become fluffier. Finally, the delicious “Roti Canai” was ready!!
It was our first meal after we arrived at Balik Pulau, Penang. It was already evening and we were so hungry, exhausted and had no idea what to eat. Our friends from the UK led us to the Indian restaurant and ordered two pieces of Roti Canai for us.
In Malaysia, you can find Roti Canai easily. They are either in the Malay restaurant or the Indian restaurant, besides, you can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. “Roti” means bread in Malay, and there are many origins of the meaning of “Canai”. Some people said it means “to roll out dough”, like the way they make Roti Canai. However, some people think that it may be derived from Chennai, the Indian city. Because there were lots of local people from India came to Malaysia to pursue a better life. And because the ingredients of Roti Canai are cheap and easy to find, so this yummy dish is kept in these days. No matter what, Roti Canai is a simple, inexpensive but full of historical message food.
Roti Canai has lots of flavors: Roti Canai Bawang is with onions, Roti Telur is with egg. Furthermore, you can order more specific, Roti Plaster is with the egg stick on the Roti and Roti Cotek is with the half-cooked egg. Besides, Roti Pisang is the famous banana pancake and Roti Planta is with butter.
Additionally, with different restaurants, they will provide different curry sauce. They might be with chicken, beef or fish, all of them are match with the Roti Canai.
The cook made the dough into paper thin, panned fry the Roti on the frying table again and again until the Roti became golden and was created layers. Then repeat these steps until it became a bit dry and yellow. Before the Roti was ready, the cook made the Roti became tender by hands. That’s why the Roti always with the rich taste. The crust is chewy, but inside the Roti is fluffy. You can order the Roti and a cup of cold drink as a snack after lunch or dinner. Then you can enjoy the simple and tasty meal in Malaysia.
Next time when you visit Malaysia, don’t hesitate to go to the small Malay or Indian restaurant and order the Roti Canai for yourself. Finding the seat which you can watch the street view and enjoy the fluffy, chewy and yummy taste of Malaysia.
Breakfast：Pak Ku Roti Canai (Closed on Monday)
Address：Jalan Titi Teras, 11000 Balik Pulau, Palau Pinang, Malaysia.
Address：Jalan Quah Sin Kheng, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia.
(It’s on the opposite side of MayBank)