These tender and delicate Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes) are a must try with chicken or beef curry. Easy to prepare using only a few ingredients.
Roti Jala is the lesser known and more elusive cousin of the famed Roti Canai. In Malaysia, you are more likely to eat these net crepes at a social gathering than in a restaurant. It is especially popular during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Eid) and traditional kenduri (Malay feast) to mark auspicious events like weddings. Growing up, I looked forward to this treat during Hari Raya.
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 (caramelized beef curry), or serunding daging (spicy beef floss).
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 you do not have this special cup, use a squeeze bottle. A Do-It-Yourself alternative is to use an empty milk can punctured with holes.
The ground turmeric gives these Roti Jala a nice yellow color and a mild turmeric fragrance. Usually 4 to 5 crepes per person will suffice. This recipe will serve 2 to 3 persons.
- Sift flour and ground turmeric into a large bowl. Add salt. Stir in beaten egg and coconut milk until a smooth batter forms.
- Strain batter to remove any lumps.
- 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.
- When cool enough to handle, fold in both sides of the crepe and roll to form a neat package.
- Serve with your favorite curry.
NOTE: This post was updated on July 18th, 2014 with new pictures and video.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎