Roti Prata aka Roti Canai, comes from the word Roti – Bread and Canai for Chennai. Its found mainly in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and even Myanmar! Its a type of bread which is to be eaten together with Dhal curry, chicken curry, mutton curry or even fish curry to give that spicy exotic taste. Its a favourite dish anywhere and at anytime. Though its not my favourite dish as its calories is rocket high like 1000 over, I dare not have it too frequently. However, my kids and husband love it a lot. Now even my 2 year old daughter, Mariam has take a liking to eat. She ate up one whole piece at someones place I visited a fortnight ago.
Hence, I decided to go through the painstaking process of mixing, kneading the dough, waiting and flipping and frying the prata myself. So as to get the soft fluffy layered look. Compared to the square flat thin style which the shops make, I prefer this.
Googling online for the recipe I came across this nice local site called ieatishootipost.sg, Dr Leslie Tay talks about everything you need to know about making Roti Prata aka Roti Canai.
So let’s get started with a discussion of the basic ingredients. The simplest Prata you can make consists of flour, water, salt and sugar. You can enrich the dough by adding oil, condensed milk and egg. Since we are making this at home, we can afford to put in some of the good stuff. So the recipe I would do in my home would be the following:
For an enriched Prata Dough Recipe (Richer taste, more tender),
1. Plain Flour 600g
2. Water 270ml
3. Condensed Milk 80g (1/4 cup)
4. Oil or Melted Butter/Ghee 15ml (1 tablespoon)
5. Salt 1 teaspoon
6. 1 eggs
For a leaner Prata Dough Recipe (Crispier texture) without the condensed milk,
1. Plain Flour 600g
2. Water 300ml
3. Salt 1 teaspoon
4. Sugar 1 tablespoon
5. Oil 15 ml
6. 1 egg
I learnt that you don’t have to knead the dough too long as you have to let them get to know each other “intimately”. Dr Leslie said its a kind of autolysis. New word I learnt today. 🙂 Roughly 20 minutes later, you have to start flipping the balls which were divided right after kneading, waiting and oiling to separate the prata “beda” (balls).
Here is a video to show the flipping method.
Prata in the making :
Some may ask, why bother making them at home when you can easily get them available anywhere in indian shops. The fun part is in the flipping and savouring a truly homemade prata taste made with the finest ingredients. Besides no one believes you can and its an accomplishing feeling you get when everyone enjoys a bite and every bit of it!