I spent my gap year in Kuching, East Malaysia. Whilst there we had the most incredible food, a cacophony for the taste buds. A lasting memory is sitting at a table on the street, and watching expert local hands quickly stretch and fold the roti into a flakey layered buttery pastryish bread. I cannot really compare it with anything here except perhaps puff pastry, though it is slightly chewier and more pliable.
It is actually pretty easy to make. You could make the dough in the morning in preparation for cooking in the evening as it needs to rest for at least 6 hours.
540g plain flour
250 unsalted butter or ghee
1tsp salt 1tsp sugar
250 mls water
350 mls milk
1. Put the flour, salt and sugar, preferably in a bowl of a kitchen aid. Mix in the ghee with your hands until it is like breadcrumbs, or let the kitchaid do the work for you.
2. Gradually add the liquid ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes until it is less sticky.
3. Divide into 8 balls. Spoon 1 tsp of ghee over the top and loosely cover until ready to use.
4. Now when you are ready, take the ball and roll it into a round shape. Gradually stretch it pizza style, or roll it. It needs to be paper thin so stretching it with your hands, using the palm of one hand and the thumb of the other, is more effective. It does not matter if it has a few holes in it.
5. Spread 1 tsp of the ghee on all over it and hold it like an A4 letter into 3. Then fold it once more and bend it around into a snail shape with the end of it tucked into the centre of the bread.
6. Repeat with all of them.
7. Roll it out or flatten it to about 12 cm width.
8. Fry in ghee, turning when it is browned.
Now really enjoy dipping it into a curry sauce, and use your fingers, without them it just won’t taste the same!
- To make ghee, if you do not have it, simply melt a pack of butter and allow the milk solids to sink to the bottom. The clear yellow top part is ghee.