Roti prata is the Singaporean evolution of the Pakistani and Indian paratha, a pancake bread made of dough composed of fat, egg, flour and water. Roti means bread in Hindi, Urdu, most other North Indian languages and Malay, while Prata means flat. It is traditionally served with curry or, more rarely, with sugar or condensed milk. In addition, although consumed at any time of the day by some locals, the vast majority tend to consume it as a late night or early morning dish, particularly at 24-hour outlets.
There are two main types of the dish – the smaller but crispy version (made famous by the Jalan Kayu chains) and the flatter and more fluffy version common elsewhere. Both versions are prepared in similar fashion – by flipping the dough into a large thin layer before heating it on a hot plate.
How to make Roti Prata
- 12 oz. / 375 g. wheat or plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- a little sugar
- 1/2 cup boiling water, to bind
- 1/4 cup milk
- 6 oz. / 180 g. ghee or oil
- Sift flour and salt together.
- Rub 1 oz. of ghee into the sifted flour. Add boiling water, sugar and milk gradually and knead well (about 10 – 15 mins) to form a smooth soft dough, divide into tennis ball size portion (8-10 equal portions), rub with remaining ghee or oil, cover and let it rest for a couple of hours.
- Oil the work top and work each ball into a very thin sheet – first flatten with your oiled palms, then thin further by pulling the edges (professionals do it by flipping the dough in the air in a circular motion), adding enough oil to prevent sticking. Oil the surface and fold into a square (egg can be added before folding).
- Alternatively, you can thin out the sheet, oil and roll it up, coil in up like a sea shell, flatten and oil again and reapeat the flattening one or two more times.
- Fry in a oiled pan on both sides till brown spots appear and crispy. Crush by pressing it together with both hands and serve immediately.
- The bread can be eaten on its own with a sprinkle of sugar, or with any meat or vegetable curry.
How to make Simple Curry:
- Egg Plants – cubed and boiled
- Potatoes – cubed and boiled
- Curry powder
- Onion – finely sliced
- Coconut milk or yoghurt
- First fry the onion in oil till soft and brown, add curry powder and fry till fragrant. Add stock and the rest of the ingredients, last the coconut milk. Season with salt if necessary.
Note: Add enough stock or water to make a thin curry.