Roti canai is a favorite breakfast dish in Malaysia. It was said that the food was brought over from India by the Indian Muslims, also known as “Mamaks” in Malaysia. It is ubiquitously available in Mamak stall day and night in almost every urban area in Malaysia, and is among the popular Malaysian Indian cuisine. Despite its Indian-influenced origin, it was said that it is easier to find roti canai in Malaysia rather than in India.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”

-Julia Child

Roti canai or roti cane is a type of Indian-influenced flatbread found in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. It is often sold in Mamak stalls in Malaysia; also in Malay, Minangkabau and Aceh restaurants in Indonesia. It is known as roti prata in Southern Malaysia and Singapore, and is similar to the Indian Kerala porotta. It is also found throughout Thailand, where it is called “Ro Tee” and is typically sold by Muslims, most often with street carts, and is usually Halal.

In English and in Chinese, roti canai is sometimes referred to as “flying bread” (飞饼 fēibǐng), a term that evokes the process of tossing and spinning by which it is made. In Chinese, Roti canai is originally called 印度煎饼 “yìn dù jiān bǐng”, which means Indian pancake.

Traditionally roti canai is served with dhal (lentil curry) or any type of curry, such as mutton or chicken curry. However, the versatility of roti canai as the staple lends itself to many variations, either savoury or sweet, with a variety of toppings and fillings, which includes eggs, banana, sardines and onion. In Thailand, it is usually served sweet – typical fillings include condensed milk, peanut butter, jam and nutella, without the curry.

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