I love roti jala. I love the process of making it as much as I like eating it. When I was still in Kuching, I have never even heard of such a thing to go with curries. I was living in my little shell thinking that there is only roti or rice to go with curries. But I discovered this when I went for a raya open house many years ago. It’s basically like a pancake but done in like a thin, strip manner. Roti jala literally means ‘net bread’ but it’s more of a thin pancake rather than a bread. And you have this holes in between that when you roll it up just looks so interesting. Like a spider web.
To make roti jala, it’s best to have the roti jala funnel to make life easier. It looks like a cup with several cones (normally 3 to 5) underneath for the batter to flow.
You pour the batter into the funnel and just swirl it around the pan. It might take a few mishaps before you get it right and be prepared for some minimal form of mess but hey, that’s all part and parcel of cooking. It’s quite easy to acquire this funnel, they’re practically sold in most generic stores and even the small business holders. They’re not that expensive either. If you can’t get a hold of this, I have seen videos of people making roti jala using a piping bag. You’ll still get the same result albeit you have to swish around more times to get the effect of a ‘net’. A good substitute can also be these sauce bottles that either has a singular spout or those triple spouted. It’ll give the same effect of the roti jala you’re looking for.
RECIPE FOR ROTI JALA
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water (you might need a little
more depending on the consistency)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon oil (optional)
1. Sieve the flour into a deep bowl.
2. Add all the other ingredients.
3. Whisk till you have a runny batter consistency. Strain the batter to remove any lumps.
4. Test with the roti jala funnel. You want a batter that is runny enough to just flow freely through the holes of the funnel. If it’s not coming out as smooth and in little drips, add a little more water till you have your consistency.
5. Heat a non-stick frying pan till it’s rather hot but not smoking.
6. Use a piece of kitchen paper, fold it up into several layers. Dip the corner into oil and lightly wipe the surface of the pan. (When I use my good non-stick pan, I don’t even bother about this step)
7. Scoop the batter into the funnel, and let it flow into the pan making several circular motions.
8. I like a roti jala that has wide holes in the middle but some people prefer more batter and little holes.
9. Let it cook for about 5 seconds. Do not flip it over, take it out of the pan onto a plate and roll it into a cylinder or some like to fold it into a triangle. Your choice.
10. Eat with chicken curry.