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INNOVATIVE COOKING: ROTI JALA

I was craving to have roti jala or literally translated as ‘net’ crepe one day. In case you have not heard of roti jala, it is a traditional Malaysian crepe made of flour, eggs and milk, like pancake. The difference and the beauty of it is that it is pattered like a fisherman’s net. In order to make the roti jala, I need a special three-hole contraption which is currently unavailable in Australia where I am. Well, at least I think so because I can’t find it in the local Asian stores.

roti_jala_contraption

So the urge to make the traditional crepe was so overpowering that I thought of substitutes for the actual contraption. I looked at plastic jugs with a spout and an empty milk carton from which the batter can be poured and dismissed the idea of getting them as I thought the ‘one hole outlet’ will not work. I tried to find a three-hole squeeze bottle but my search at the local supermarket was futile. So I resorted to using a cheese shaker. Yes. It has many holes on top and will be wonderful for a lacy effect on the pan.

cheese_shaker

And hey presto! It works. The cheese shaker has given justice to the roti jala and creating the ‘net’ or lacy effect was effortless after the first attempt. The tip here is to make sure that the consistency of the batter is just right for the full on lacy effect. If too diluted, the fluid will just drip off uncontrollably like a tap.

So here is the product.

roti_jala_in_the_pan

Nice and lacy, huh? Like paper doilies.

The Recipe

Roti Jala or ‘Net-like Crepe’

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour
3 eggs
2 cups low-fat milk
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumeric
cooking oil

Method

1. Sift flour, salt and tumeric in a bowl. The tumeric gives the batter a slight yellow colouring.

2. Add eggs and milk and whisk the mixture.

3. Add water bit by bit while the mixture is whisked to ensure the batter is not too thick.

4. Once batter is well whisked, check on the consistency. It should be just right, not too thick nor too diluted. To check, scoop batter with a spoon to see if it drops back into the mixture easily.

5. Cover the batter for 30 min.

6. Use pastry brush to dab some cooking oil on the base of the pan.

7. Pour batter into the mould and cover it. Using your wrists, pour the batter into the pan, making a net-like pattern.

8. Flip over the batter once one side turns golden.

9. Fold cooked batter into quarters.

Ensure that batter is not too brown and burnt. I’ve substituted coconut milk with low-fat milk for a healthier option.

Here is the result.

roti_jala_recipe

It is best eaten hot and served with curry of your choice.

I will post my special beef/lamb vindaloo curry recipe in my next post.

Afternote: The cheese shaker is a perfect substitute for the original contraption but got rusty after one wash in the dish washer. Perhaps a manual wash could have avoided that blunder?
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