Roti ('bread' in several languages, including Malay) is Indian by origin, but almost universal in Asian kitchens. It's commonly served in Malaysia with spicy curries.






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  • 600 g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable oil, plus extra for stretching and cooking

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 3 hours

  1. Place all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl. Gradually add enough water to make a soft dough. Tip onto a clean bench top and knead into a pliable dough. Divide into 10-12 balls, then use your hands to generously coat each ball in margarine. Place in a shallow container so they are snugly fitting, then pour over the oil. Cover with a lid and stand at room temperature for at least 3 hours or overnight if time permits.
  2. To stretch the roti, oil a smooth 40-cm diameter working surface well (rustic surfaces won’t work). Press down a piece of dough with your palm in a circular motion until it is even and about 3 mm thick. Gently hold the edge of the roti and pull outwards in a way that traps air underneath as this will help the dough stretch without it catching on the working surface. Work your way around the roti using this technique until it is as thin as tracing paper. Bring the opposite sides into the centre so it folds into thirds. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil between each layer - this will look like a long rectangle. Bring the shorter sides into the centre, into thirds, oiling between the layers, to form a squarish shape. Cook them as you make them.
  3. To cook the roti, heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the roti and cook until dotted with brown char marks and a little crisp. Remove from the pan, squash gently to separate the layers, then serve immediately with curry.


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