Roti Jala Recipe

Roti Jala Recipe

[Photographs: Carey Jones]

Roti canai is probably Malaysia's more famous roti, but the lacy, crepe-like pancakes known as roti jala are even prettier—and much simpler to make. A simple batter of eggs, coconut milk, and flour is drizzled in concentric circles onto a hot pan, cooking in seconds and then folded to form a loose, netlike pancake whose nooks and crannies are ideally suited to mopping up curries and sauces.

This recipe comes from Malaysian cooking instructor Rohani Jelani and was prepared at her beautiful cooking school, Bayan Indah Culinary Retreat outside Kuala Lumpur.

  • Yield:makes 30
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour


  • 300 grams (about 2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 ounces coconut milk
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
  • Oil for greasing


  1. 1.

    Sift flour, salt and turmeric into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix coconut milk and about a third of the water. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour in coconut milk mixture, eggs, another third of the water, and oil. Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate flour into the liquid to make a smooth, thick batter free from lumps. Do not over-mix.

  2. 2.

    Stir in remaining water. Strain batter through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Heat a heavy iron griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat and brush surface lightly with oil.

  4. 4.

    Stir batter. Dip roti jala mould into it, filling it about half-full. Moving in steady concentric circles, form fine, lacy pancakes.

  5. 5.

    Once roti jala is lightly colored, remove using a spatula and place, top-side down, on a plate. (There is no need to cook both sides.) Fold into wedges or form into small neat rolls.