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Malaysian Roti Canai Recipe

Roti Canai Malaysian Roti Canai Recipe

Roti Canai

Malaysian Roti Canai Recipe

The Malaysian Roti Canai:  the  name ‘canai’  is derived  from the  word ‘Chennai’  which is a state in India as it is obviously  inspired from the Indian paratta AND from the malay word ‘Canai’ which means  ‘ to roll out dough’.

It is a very popular hawkers and street item and had in Malaysia as a breakfast item as well. Not a very figure friendly or healthy menu item but it is without doubt delicious and kids seem to really love it!

Here is a great recipe. Mind you it can take some practice to flip the sheets like a pro. You could instead roll out with a rolling pin as thinly as possible if you find that the flipping is not for you.

Malaysian Roti Canai


  • 500g/17.64 oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp margarine or ghee at room temperature
  • 1 small egg or 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Extra margarine
  • Extra vegetable oil


  • Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the water, condensed milk, margarine/ ghee and egg.
  • Gather towards centre with your fingers, loosely, gently till all the flour is mixed in with the wet ingredients and begins to hold together in on mass.
  • Drop this mass of dough onto a clean, large work surface and begin to knead gently. Do not apply too much force to begin with. Start gently, adding a little love. Trust me it makes a difference!
  • Once it is somewhat elastic, knead with a little more effort, rolling the dough as you do so.
  • In total knead about 8 minutes.
  • Roll into a cylindrical log and then cut into 10 equal sized discs.
  • Knead each disc gently into a smooth ball, then press to flatten slightly and lay alongside but not stacked in a large tray.
  • Rub each disk with some margarine, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest overnight or 6-8 hours.
  •  The dough should be very elastic by now. Using an oiled worktop and oiled fingers,  flatten the disk using fingers while pushing around the edges to extend and make the disk as large as possible. Then lift this streched disk and flap in the air using both hands till it develops into a thin round sheet using your palms more than fingers to prevent tearing the roti. (Okay so that needs some practice, If you’re starting out – pull around the edges, evenly till you can stretch it no further into a large sheet, once it starts developing holes on the side, that means stop stretching)
  •  stretch as thinly as possible without making holes in it.
  • Now you will have  large elongated sheet in front of you.
  • Heat your griddle stone or pan for frying the roti cani.
  • Brush with an oiled paper towel.
  • Sprinkle margarine all over the sheet. Fold upwards and inwards (¼width of the entire sheet)  from both sides vertically. so that you have staright vertical edges.
  • Now fold upwards and inwards the top and bottom just towards the centre so that the bottom ‘just’ overlaps the top, Press these overlapping edges gently with fingers to seal and you now have a square shaped roti.
  • Flip this ‘sealed’ side down onto the hot pan and allow to turn golden. Then flip, sprinkle some margarine and allow the other side to turn golden.
  • Serve hot with dal or Malaysian Chicken Curry.

Malaysian Roti Canai

Do try and let us know  Malaysian Roti Canai ?

Malaysian Roti Canai Recipe


  • Roti Canai, is an unleavened bread, To puff them up like in the restaurants, simply scrunch them in from all sides (hold each one delicately between your palms and give a single clap). This helps them to sort of pop up.To be done while they are still crisp off the griddle.  Similar to how they fluff up Malabar Porotta.

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  1. Avatar Joseph Lok 3 years ago

    Dear Sir,

    May I know what brand of plain flour is best for making “Roti Canai”?

    Best Regards

    Joseph Lok

    • Hi! Apologies for the late late reply. I use the regular Plain Flour of the ‘Prima Flour Brand’ and it comes out quite nicely. Hope this helps. Happy Cooking!

  2. Hi. I followed your recipe but my dough is breaking after I mixed all the ingredients. However, I managed to roll them in flat balls to prepare them for resting. Will resting eventually make them stretchy and workable after resting? What did I do wrong and should I do to manage it? Will be really happy if you can help. Thanks

    • Hi if the dough is falling apart and unable to roll, it most likely is due to lack of moisture. Add a tsp of cool water – no mote than a tsp at a time – try not to work the dough again till moistened. To make rolling easier you could lao wrap the dough covered in cling film and chill it before rolling again. Also the dough really does require 6-8 hours testing before it becomes elastic. Hope your roti canai turns out well

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