KAPIT, June 15: Roti canai is a popular choice for breakfast among many Malaysians, but here in Kapit, the locals prefer the fried version, or ‘roti canai goreng’.
Unique as it may sound, ‘roti canai goreng’ is a must-try item for all visitors to this quaint little town. Some even say one must not leave until they have sunk their teeth into this flat bread.
So what makes ‘roti canai goreng’ here so unique?
Unlike the usual ‘roti canai’, this version is moist and fluffy inside but crispy and flaky outside.
Baidah Hassan, 56, operates one of the three halal stalls in Medan Selera Gelang Kenyalang. Located right in the heart of Kapit town, her eatery is usually crowded, especially in the morning and on weekends.
Baidah, who has over 20 years of cooking experience, said ‘roti canai goreng’ is actually very easy to prepare, but, ironically, not everyone is able to reproduce what her stall is offering.
She said the basic ingredients used to make it are flour, milk, butter, eggs, salt, boiled water and beef oil for frying.
“Some ‘roti canai goreng’ makers use machine to blend these ingredients, but the secret behind this dish is that you must use your hands to mix them. Yes, it is time consuming and tiring, but it has to be done this way to get the best taste,” she said.
“My elder sister, Hanifah Hassan, 60, is the one preparing the dough every day. Once the dough is properly mixed, it is left aside for about three hours before being divided into small round balls, or according to the desired size.”
The other secret shared by Baidah is that the oil used to deep fry the dough must be very hot, or else the ‘roti’ will end up absorbing the oil instead and become soggy.
For those who wish to have ‘roti canai goreng special’, Baidah said this one comes with eggs.
“Unlike the normal ‘roti canai telur’ from mamak stalls, ours is different. First, we will fry the egg omelette style, add a pinch of salt, put it inside the dough and fry it. This is why our egg inside the roti is crispy. It must be eaten while it is still hot with our special ‘sambal’ or chicken or meat curry,” said Baidah.
On average, she said her staff prepares about 10 kilogrammes of dough on weekdays, and 15 kilogrammes on weekends. Each kilogramme can make about 15 pieces of dough.
She said they get very good response from customers, including foreign tourists, of different races and religion.
Sharon Tan, a visitor from Kuala Lumpur commented that the ‘roti canai goreng’ here tasted better and was crunchy. She has sampled both plain ones and those with eggs.
“My arteries are clogging, but it is so delicious, especially with the sambal,” exclaimed Tan.
For those who have yet to try it, make a trip to Kapit. Then go to Medan Selera Gelang Kenyalang early in the morning as these ‘roti canai goreng’ are usually sold out before noon. — DayakDaily