Roti Jala, also known as Lacey Crepes, is a popular Malaysian dish that is often served as a side dish or with curry. It is a savory pancake-like preparation made from a simple batter of flour, eggs, and coconut milk. The unique aspect of Roti Jala is its delicate, lacy texture, which resembles a net or a lace. This attractive texture allows the crepes to hold and soak up the flavors of the curry or sauce it is served with.
Preparing Roti Jala is surprisingly easy, making it a great choice for those who want to explore Malaysian cuisine. To make Roti Jala, you will need a Roti Jala dispenser, which is a handheld tool with multiple small holes at the bottom. This dispenser helps create the intricate lace pattern while pouring the batter onto the hot pan.
The batter for Roti Jala is made by combining all-purpose flour, eggs, coconut milk, water, and a pinch of salt. Once the batter is well mixed, it is poured into the Roti Jala dispenser. The hot pan is lightly greased with oil, and the batter is poured in a swirling motion to create the lace pattern. The crepes are cooked until they are set and lightly golden. They are then folded or rolled and served alongside a flavorful curry or sauce.
Ingredients for Roti Jala
- All-purpose flour: This is the main ingredient for the crepe batter. It provides the structure and texture to the Roti Jala.
- Eggs: Eggs are added to the batter to provide richness and help bind the ingredients together.
- Milk: Milk adds moisture to the batter and helps create a smooth and creamy texture.
- Water: Water is added to adjust the consistency of the batter and make it pourable.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is added to enhance the flavor of the Roti Jala.
- Turmeric powder: This spice gives the Roti Jala its signature yellow color.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil is used to grease the pan for cooking the Roti Jala.
Once you have gathered all the ingredients, you can easily make Roti Jala at home. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish with various curries. The lace-like pattern of the crepes adds an elegant touch to any meal.
Instructions for Making Roti Jala
- Prepare the batter: In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add in 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup of water, whisking until a smooth batter forms. The batter should have a pourable consistency.
- Heat the pan: Heat a non-stick pan or a special roti jala mold over medium heat. If using a mold, brush it with some oil to prevent sticking.
- Fill the mold: Pour some batter into the mold or a squeeze bottle with a large opening. The batter should fill about half of the mold.
- Cook the crepes: Starting from one end of the pan, move the mold in a swirling motion to create a lace-like pattern. Continue moving in a circular motion until the batter is finished. Cook the crepes for about a minute or until the edges start to lift.
- Flip and remove: Use a spatula to gently flip the crepe over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the crepe from the pan and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Roti jala is best served warm and can be enjoyed with various types of curries or gravies. Its delicate texture and beautiful design make it a stunning addition to any meal. You can also experiment with different fillings or toppings to add more flavor and creativity to the dish.
Serving and Enjoying Roti Jala
One of the popular ways to serve Roti Jala is with a spicy and flavorful curry. The lacy crepes of Roti Jala are ideal for dipping into rich and aromatic curries such as chicken curry or beef rendang. The crepes soak up the flavors of the curry, creating a harmonious blend that is both satisfying and comforting. The delicate texture of Roti Jala adds an extra dimension to the overall dining experience.
To enhance the visual appeal and taste of Roti Jala, you can also serve it with a side of sambal, a spicy chili condiment. The spicy tang of sambal complements the mild flavors of the crepes and adds a kick to every bite. Additionally, you can garnish the dish with finely chopped cilantro or scallions for a fresh and aromatic touch.
For a complete meal, Roti Jala can be served with various accompaniments such as pickles, raita, or a cooling cucumber salad. These side dishes provide a balance of flavors and textures that complement the delicate crepes. You can also serve Roti Jala as an appetizer or a snack with a dipping sauce, making it a versatile dish for any occasion.