Simple Roti Canai Style

Needs to Rest But Has More Layers


Form sheets into layered ropes: Drizzle the paper-thin dough sheet with 1 teaspoon of ghee. Using two hands, fold top quarter of dough over itself, almost reaching middle of sheet. Fold top edge over again until you create a 1 to 2-inch (3 to 5 cm.) wide long rope. Each time you fold, try to capture some air in-between layers. (Alternate, simple method: loosely roll dough, jellyroll-style, into a 2-inch (5 cm.) wide rope.)

Beginning from one end, coil up the rolled rope into a loose pinwheel. Pull the outer end into center, and tuck it in. Flip the coil over. Each coiled disc should resemble a turban, and be filled with pockets of air. Repeat with all remaining dough balls. Let them rest at least 5 minutes for gluten (protein) to relax. This will make flattening them easier, and result in a more tender flatbread.

Cook the Breads

Heat a griddle or large sauté pan over low flame. Firmly flatten and spread one disc of dough until it is 7 inches to 8 inches in diameter or (18 to 20 cm.) The dough will be elastic, and may pull back a little: That’s okay. Drizzle the griddle with a little ghee. Add one bread to the pan, and cook slowly, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side, rotating occasionally to ensure even browning. Cook until each side is deep golden brown, even if that means more cooking time than you expect. The first bread is always a “tester,” telling you whether to raise or lower the heat. Transfer the breads to a work surface, and then use a clapping motion (careful it will be hot), slapping the bread together between your hands to separate the layers. Repeat with remaining roti, cooking as many as will fit in the pan at one time.

Serve with curry, other flavorful heavily sauced dishes, or use it as a flatbread for a warm sandwich.