Our recipes and stories, delivered.

Roti Canai
¼ c
condensed milk
1 md
free-range egg
¾ tsp
1 tbsp
vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing and covering
2 ½ c
all-purpose flour
Roti Canai

In Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen, author Ping Coombes shares comforting recipes from her home country.

In my humble opinion, this soft, flaky, and slightly sweet bread is the best flatbread ever. If you are ever in Malaysia, visit the Mamak stalls where you can see this bread being made. They flip it with their hands until it has tripled in size, then it is folded to trap the air and griddled to order. We usually eat this for breakfast, but to be honest, you can eat roti at any time of day.

TIPS: If the dough is too dry, slowly add some of the leftover liquid to create a sticky dough. I find that different brands of flour might need a little more liquid.

The bigger the container you rest the balls of dough in, the more oil you need to cover them. You can reuse the oil though.

6 servings

  1. Beat the water, condensed milk, egg, salt, and oil together until well incorporated. Pour 1⁄4 cup of the batter into another bowl and set aside in case the dough is too dry later.
  2. Sift the flour into another bowl and make a well in the center. Slowly pour in the milk mixture, incorporating it into the flour as you go, until the dough comes together. The dough will seem a little sticky at first, but after kneading for 5 minutes, it will become smooth. Don't be tempted to add extra flour.
  3. Leave the dough to rest for at least 20 minutes, covered, then knead for another 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 balls. Coat your hands in oil and coat the dough balls. Put the balls in a shallow container in which they fit snugly. Pour over enough oil to cover the balls. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. The next day, take a ball out of the container and place it on a work surface. Press it lightly, then stretch it out with the palm of your hand until it's big enough for you to hold with both hands. Put your left hand on top of the dough with your thumb tucked underneath and put your right hand underneath the dough with your thumb on top. Lift the dough up and flip it from your right hand to your left, and then immediately slap it on the surface. Repeat this process 3-4 times. The idea is to stretch it out as thinly as possible.
  5. Fold the 4 corners in towards the middle to form a square, trapping as much air as possible, and put a nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Dry-fry the breads on both sides until they are golden brown. Once cooked, put them onto a work surface. Using the palm of your hands, scrunch the edges of the warm bread in towards the middle, much like clapping your hands with the bread in between. This will give the breads a lovely flakiness.

The following recipe has been taken from MALAYSIA: Recipes from a Family Kitchen by Ping Coombes (Weldon Owen Publishing, 2017)