Roti Jala

Lace Crepes

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Roti jala, also known as lace crepes or net pancakes, is one of the most requested menu items for my cookery lessons and food demos in the UK. The recipe is very similar to basic French crepes, except that it uses fewer eggs. A pinch of turmeric powder is also added for colour. To create the lacy pattern, I use a squeeze sauce bottle with three nozzles. A single nozzle works as well, and you can use your imagination to create any design. In Malaysia, roti jala makers are used. These are basically cups with three to five spouts. Some home cooks may also use their fingers to drizzle the batter. Whichever way these delicious crepes are made, they are best enjoyed with creamy chicken curry.

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7 oz) plain flour
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 200 ml ( fl oz) water
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) milk
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of turmeric powder

Method

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and process. Pour the resulting batter through a sieve into a jug to remove any lumps of flour. Transfer the batter into a squeeze sauce bottle and set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Squeeze the batter onto the pan while moving your hand in a circular motion to form a lacy design about 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter. I make mine with a squarish net design.
  • Leave to cook for 1 minute. Cook the crepe only on one side, so the other side remains glossy. Transfer to a plate.
  • Fold the left and right sides of the crepe towards the centre, then roll it up tightly like a spring roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Serve with a chicken curry.

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