Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roti Jala (Net Coconut Pancakes)

Roti Jala is a very traditional Malaysian recipe usually made during the Malay festive holidays. Translated, "Roti Jala" means net bread or pancakes. The net-like effect of the pancakes come about with a special mold that is used during the cooking process. The pancake batter is very much like a traditional crepe batter but prepared with coconut milk instead of water. The textures of the Roti Jala vary to include a soft finish, or, if cooked a minute or two longer, a crispy consistency.

Roti jala 1

I very seldom eat this pancake when I was still staying in Malaysia because not many places make these. In my 20 years staying in Singapore I can say that I have never ever eaten it once.

Roti jala 2

Roti Jala by itself is very light and it is absolutely delicious as an accompaniment to any type of curries such as Malaysian Chicken Curry or Curry Kapitan, both of which are favourite Malaysian curries . As I have never made this before, I found it a bit difficult trying to produce the net-like effect. My first few Roti Jala looked like a huge mess, resembling a "Monster Blob". After an initial disaster I must say that the rest came out nicely.

Roti jala 3

Roti Jala (Net Coconut Pancakes)
Recipe Adapted from "Zarina's Easy Cooking"
Serves 3-4


225g sifted all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups coconut milk (either fresh or canned. If using cream, dilute it with water)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (if not you could use some yellow food colouring)
Vegetable oil to grease the pan


1) In a bowl, lightly whisk coconut milk, egg, salt and turmeric powder.

2) Stir in the coconut-egg mixture gradually into the sifted flour and mix, until a thin 'crepe-like batter' is achieved.

4) Strain the batter through a fine sieve and set aside for 15 minutes.

5) On medium-low heat, grease and heat a griddle or a medium sized non-stick pan with a brush. (I used a brush made out of pandan leaves to achieve a more aromatic flavour. Cut about 4 pieces of pandan leaves and trim them to about 6" in length. Tie the ends together.)

6) Put a ladleful of batter into a Roti Jala mould/cup and in a circular motion, form a thin lacy pattern in the pan (about 7 - 8 inchs in diameter depending on the size of your pan). You have to do this quickly.

7) Cook until set, turn over onto a plate. There is no need to cook the other side, much like a regular crepe.

8) Fold each crepe into quarters, staking them up as you go. (Alternatively it can be folded like an envelope shape.)

9) As you make the crepes, grease the pan ever so often. Add a little water to the batter if it becomes too thick so that you keep maintaining a crepe-like batter.

10) Serve Roti Jala with a curry dish.

To make your own Roti Jala mould/cup :

1) Use an empty tin can, [eg. a 12oz can of corn]

2) Using a hammer and a 0.2 inch nail, make 5 or 6 holes (evenly spaced on the bottom of the can). Hammer out any sharp edges

Roti jala 4

Roti jala 5


Emily said...

HAHAHA, the one and only time I tried making roti jala, the batter won't drip from the sprouts! made pancakes instead!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I bought the mold quite some time ago with the intention of making this and eating it with curry chicken.... the mold is still in my drawer waiting for inauguration! Salivating.

TheYummyMorsel said...

I have always seen photos of this dish but have never tasted it. It sure looks very light and yummy.

Angie's Recipes said...

Beautiful net...artistic and delightful!

tigerfish said...

At first I thought egg is used in the batter cos of the hint of yellow...but it is turmeric...ahhhh....! I like these lovely thin and light pancakes.

Noob Cook said...

definitely shiok with curry, i will prefer it to baguette. You achevived the net effect beautifully.

Blogger said...

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