Authentic Roti Prata Recipe
First of all, what is roti prata exactly? Well this delicious dish is basically a fried, flour-based pancake which is cooked on a flat grill.
Roti prata reached number 45 of the World's 50 Most Delicious Foods 2011 poll compiled by CNN, and it can be flavoured with egg, cheese, banana, onion, noodles, mutton, red bean, mushrooms or anything else you want to put in there.
How Roti Prata is Prepared
The dough for roti prata is flipped into a thin layer and then the outer edges are folded inwards to give it a distinctive shape. The dough is then cooked on a big, flat iron pan.
The fillings go into the dough during the cooking process and your roti prata will be ready in just a few minutes.
This tasty pancake is often served alongside a fish or chicken curry, and some people enjoy it with dhal or mutton curry, while others enjoy it as a sweet snack with some sugar.
Roti prata is known as roti canai in Malaysia and parotta on the Indian subcontinent. It is especially famous in Singapore and Malaysia. You can find it in hawkers' centres and restaurants.
The best ones are probably those made by the mamak (Indian man) in Indian shops, and these roti-making professionals can swirl, toss and flip the roti prata with ease, for a perfect result.
Homemade Roti Prata
To make your own, you need to flatten the dough on the kitchen counter and oil your palms, then you can stretch it until it is more or less uniformly thin.
Use plenty of oil with the roti prata else it is going to stick to either your hand, the pan or your kitchen countertop, none of which you want!
It is important to get the dough perfectly elastic and knead it well. You can knead the dough using the dough hook attachment in your food processor or do it by hand.
As with many other recipes, it might take a while to get the knack of making perfect roti prata, but practice does make perfect.
Photo by Umami, on Flickr
- plain white flour - 1 kg
- sunflower oil - 300 ml, plus more as needed
- egg, at room temperature - 1
- water - 450 ml
- white sugar - 1 teaspoon
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- Put all the flour, egg, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor or else into a bowl where you can mix it by hand.
- Mix well, then slowly add half the oil.
- Again, mix or knead.
- Add the rest of the oil and mix or knead again.
- Pour in half the water and mix or knead.
- If you are using a food processor, use a dough hook and knead it on the lowest speed in there for about 5 minutes or until you have a soft, round ball of dough.
- If you are using your hands, knead the dough until it is stretchy and soft.
- Stretch some of the dough with your hands to check it is elastic but not sticky.
- Shape the dough into 8 apple-sized balls.
- Arrange them on a tray and rub a little sunflower oil over them.
- Cover the tray with plastic wrap and rest the dough balls for a 2 or 3 hours.
- Oil your palm and the kitchen counter and press down on the dough to stretch it out.
- Keep stretching it out and then fold the top and bottom end and then the two sides.
- Heat a pan with 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil in it over a medium heat.
- Put the prata in the pan and cook until it is golden underneath.
- Flip it over and do the other side the same.
- Repeat with the other 7 pratas.
- You might need to add extra oil.
- You can serve these with sugar as a sweet snack or with a curry as a side dish.