Roti Jala is a delicious Malaysian food I got introduced to way back during my grad school days when I was living in the International House. A delightful group of young Malaysian students had started school and were keen on educating us about their food and culture. And, they were good enough to teach me the few words I know in Bahasa Melayu -viz., Selamat datang (Welcome) and Apa khabar? (How are you?) - which stuck in my head due to its similarities with Urdu which happens to be one of my favorite poetic languages (solely based on very old Hindi movie lyrics, of course).
Coffee Hour Fridays were the times I look back on fondly when I think of making Thai or Malaysian or Indonesian foods, when International students enthusiastically prepared snacks and beverages that showcased their culinary tradition.
Well, moving on...
I have made Roti Jala on and off over the last decade or so, improvising by using whatever is handy for spreading the batter as I don't have the mold (essentially a cup with a hole).
I have found that consistency of batter is all that matters, just like for crêpes, and some good way to pour them in a lacy pattern on to the pan for cooking.
I have come to like the simple old mustard or ketchup dispenser. I cut the tip off a bit to make the hole slightly bigger so the batter pours out evenly.
It is great to make it as thin as crepes, but, my skills being somewhat limited, I end up ripping them when I flip, so, my Roti Jalas are somewhat thick :)
Roti Jala is sometimes referred to as Lacy Pancakes, which describes it perfectly. It can be a light teatime snack, or a sumptuous brunch depending on the sides it is served with. And, much like Injeras or Dosai, it can be served rolled up or folded, along with an array of curries and dips.
1½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup light coconut milk
½ cup water (more as needed to get right consistency)
½ teaspoon salt
- Beat the egg and combine the rest of the ingredients, whip to a smooth runny batter
- Pour into the roti jala mould or a mustard dispenser and swirl it around as you squeeze over the pan
- Cook like pancakes, flipping to cook both sides as needed
- Serve with favorite curries or Korma or chutneys