Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes)

Roti Jala is the lesser known and more elusive cousin of the famed roti canai in Malaysia. You are more likely to encounter roti jala in a social gathering than in a restaurant. It is especially popular during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Eid) and a favorite at traditional Malay feasts or kenduri to mark auspicious events like weddings. Growing up, I looked forward to this treat at friends’ homes during Hari Raya.

Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes)
When translated, roti jala literally means “net bread” because of its lacy or net-like appearance. Well made roti jala is tender and delicate. It should never be brown or crispy. They are usually served with chicken curry, beef rendang (dry curry), or serunding daging (spicy beef floss).

Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes)

To make roti jala, you need a special cup with five nozzles. The batter is poured into the cup and moved in an overlapping circular motion to create the lacy effect. The key here is to move the cup constantly so that you do not end up with a big blob of batter in the pan resembling a regular pancake. It takes a little practice but you should get the hang of it after the first few. If the roti jala cup is not available, a squeeze bottle with a single nozzle may be used. A DIY alternative is to use an empty milk can punctured with holes.

Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes)

These roti jala have a nice yellow color and a mild turmeric fragrance with the addition of ground turmeric. A few drops of yellow food coloring maybe used in place of turmeric. Usually 4 to 5 crepes per person will suffice. This recipe will serve 2 to 3 persons.

Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10 crepes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup (180ml) coconut milk mixed with ¾ cup (180ml) water
  • Vegetable oil to grease pan
Instructions
  1. Sift flour and ground turmeric into a large bowl. Add salt. Stir in beaten egg and coconut milk until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Strain batter to remove lumps.
  3. Brush a little oil onto a non-stick pan on medium heat. Pour a little batter into the roti jala cup until about half full. Move the cup in a circular motion over the pan to form a lacy pattern. Cook until set. This only takes about 2 minutes. Slide crepe out of pan onto a plate. Repeat until all batter is used up.
  4. When cool enough to handle, fold in both sides of the crepe and roll to form a neat package.
  5. Serve with your favorite curry.
Notes
If a roti jala cup is not available, a squeeze bottle with a single nozzle or an empty milk can punctured with holes may be used.


Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes)
NOTE: This post was updated on July 18th, 2014 with new pictures and video.

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Comments

    • Biren says

      These crepes will also be delicious with beef stew. I hope you will give it a try.

      Thank you so much for the award! I am honored to be in your list. :)

  1. says

    I always wondered how these were made! They look so elegant. I’ll have to keep them in mind for the next time I make curry. I can’t wait to try them!

  2. Dongxing says

    About time I take mine out from the deep end of the drawer and make this! It has been quite a while since I ate this. I think my kids would be intriqued by the lacy crepes – the trouble is they can eat faster than I can make them…Thanks for the recipe! Have a nice weekend, Biren.

  3. says

    You know what? The roti jala cup over the pan just reminded me of the milking cow’s udders. Oops, apologies for that wild imagination :p

    I hardly have roti jala while growing up in S’pore. Roti prata is definitely more popular.

  4. says

    Wah…you made roti jala! That looks pretty. They are so good with curry. I bought one roti jala mould a few years ago but have not used it yet. Time to dig it out to try this. Now I am drooling 😀

  5. says

    Hi Biren, did you get the roti jala mould all the way from Malaysia? Cool! Then again, the DIY idea is great. My sis did send me a recipe on this some time ago, but I haven’t got round to doing it. Guess it’s time, huh? But first I want to make the tofu fah with the agar2 😉

  6. says

    These look like fun to make not to mention delicious! I’m a huge fan of turmeric and coconut milk so I’m going to have to give these a try. I don’t have the right tool, but I guess I could punch a hole or two in the bottom of the coconut milk can? Can’t wait to make these!

  7. says

    Wild – these sound like they’re similar in concept to the Ethiopian injera? The coconut milk totally has me excited to try them!

    • Biren says

      I am not familiar with Ethopian injera but I read that there is some kind of fermentation going on as a sour dough starter is used. This would be more like the Indian dosai. I really enjoy dosai and hope to make that soon. :)

      Roti jala is very easy and quick to make. The texture is smooth, soft, and tender and it can be eaten with curry or serawa (a kind of sweet syrup made with coconut milk and sugar in the southern state of Johor). I personally have never tried it with serawa.

Trackbacks

  1. […] selling for only 99 sen in Carrefour, yippee! I didn’t take a photo of it as other blogs http://www.rotinrice.com/2012/03/roti-jala-malaysian-net-crepes/ and http://icookforsanity.net/2011/12/lacey-coconut-milk-crepes-with-curry-roti-jala/ AND […]

  2. […] in a span of two weeks because the family enjoyed it so much. It was really delicious served with Roti Jala and Nasi Biryani. To cool things down a little, I also made some Cucumber, Tomato, and Boondi Raita […]

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