One of our favourite ways to eat Malaysian curries is with a serve of roti jala on the side. Literally meaning ‘net bread’, this lacy bread is similar in consistency to a thin pancake or crepe, and its net-like appearance is designed to trap and scoop up the delicious curry sauce. It gets its pale yellow colour and mild flavour from a hint of turmeric powder.
When Asian Inspirations launched its culinary hub in 2016, Malaysian cooking master Karen Chan demonstrated how to make this authentic Malaysian treat to Australia’s leading food editors. Brodee Myers-Cooke from Taste.com.au Magazine and Jennene Plummer from Woman’s Day tried their hands at this traditional bread.
Watch the video for making roti jala, then read Karen’s tips on making roti jala at home, so you can master this Malaysian delicacy for yourself.
To create the lacy texture, Malaysian cooks use a special funnel with four holes in the bottom, called a roti jala dispenser. If you can’t find one, you could use a squeezy bottle with a narrow hole, or puncture a few holes in the bottom of a can.
The consistency of the crepe batter should be enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon.
Pass the batter through a sieve to ensure a smooth runny batter and prevent clogging up the holes of the dispenser.
Fill the dispenser with just enough batter to make one crepe. Too much batter, and the flow is too quick and you wont get fine ‘net-like’ strands.
Serve roti jala with any curry, with lots of gravy. The high egg content in the batter doesn’t soak and get soggy as much as bread would, and the ‘net’ helps scoop the gravy, like noodles do.
For entertaining, roll the roti jala up as cigars, and guests can dip their cigars in their little ‘cup of curry’.
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