Roti Canai or Prata is a staple in many Malaysian and Singaporean diet. Thought to be invented in Malaysia, this flat bread is served during breakfast and in the evenings with a cup of teh tarik or pulled tea. It is not the most healthiest of meals, as usually roti prata comes liberally drenched in oil. As with any breads, it can be served plain or with several fillings like onions, cheese, minced meat, egg or for the sweet tooth with ice creams, chocolate syrup and more. Roti prata is usually served with dahl or a savoury curry. Some people just enjoy plain with sugar.
This recipe comes from my mother who made a vegan version for me and my hubby. Normally, roti prata is made with margarine so vegans have to be careful of the sneaky dairy added to margarine. Also, this is a healthier version without much greasiness. If you'd like feel free to add as much oil as desired. My mother never measures when she cooks hence this measurements might look a little weird. Feel free to adjust them according to your needs. Also, while this was hand kneaded and took a long time, I think a powerful mixer like kitchenaid can work too!
Vegan Prata/Roti Canai (this was made to feed a family of seven with extra to freeze)
130ml vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oil (additional)
1) In a large bowl, measure out the flour.
2) Heat the water until it is quite warm. (Feels hot to the fingers). Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water.
3) Pour in the water and oil into the flour.
4) Mix well and get a handsome strong man (like my hubby!) to knead...
5) And knead....
6) until a soft, smooth and pliable dough is created. Brush the surface with the 1 tablespoon of oil and cover the bowl.
7) Leave it to rest for several hours. We made the dough around 12 in the afternoon and my mother made the prata in the evening around 6 pm.
8) Roll the dough into small balls, around the size of a golf ball or slightly larger (depending on how big and thick you want the parata).
9) Rest the dough again for about 1/2 hour. This relaxes the gluten in the dough allowing it to stretch.
10) Prepare a large work area. Oil the work area surface. Spread the dough out with the palm of your hands as much as possible. If you can follow according to the video. If not using your fingers, you can gently stretch the dough out until it becomes really really thin.
11) Fold all sides in to create a square.
12) On a pan, over medium heat, drizzle a little oil. Place the parata dough on it and wait for it to cook. The dough will change from opaque to translucent.
13) Flip and cook the other side. Drizzle some oil if it is dry or necessary. Flip as necessary until brown spots start to appear (pic above -partially cooked) and continue until the prata is cooked and ready.
Note: This dish is a healthier version, hence the oil content is lower. If you are looking for the authentic version, be liberal with the oil use especially when spreading out the dough and cooking it on the pan.