The first time I saw a roti jala (Malaysian Net Pancakes) was some 8 years ago at Malaka Spice, a really pretty restaurant in Koregaon Park in Pune. The eye-catching pancake soon turned into a Piece de resistance! Since then I have always hoped to make it at home but never got down to it. Last week whilst surfing for some recipes for work I came across this dish again and it was quickly noted down to be made the following weekend. I needed time to design the mould to drop these pancakes too!
Yes, I could use a bottle with a nozzle but that may not have given me concentric rings, and I am a bit of a OCD. So my trial by rings actually started by making this mould! Nothing difficult, just get hold of an ice picker and air tight plastic container. Heat the picker on a flame so it can bore holes through the plastic lid of your container. In my enthusiasm I made way too many, you need just 3 medium-sized holes (if you make sev at home, the holes need to be the size of the thick sev) and one largish hole on the other side to maintain the pressure and ease in drop. A little bit of physics will take you a long way! Or you can use a squeezy sauce bottle too.
This meal needs you to make a curry to dip your pancake into and veggies because greens are a must with every meal!
Time taken: 1 hour
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Skill level: Someone ready to explore and learn more
Serves: 2 adults
Equipment needed: 2 Skillets, Thick bottomed pan
For the Chicken Curry
- 300 grams chicken breast, chopped into 1 inch pieces ( to make a veg curry: use carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, spring onions, french beans and tofu)
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, chilli powder and coriander cumin mix (veggies can use this in the gravy)
- 200 ml of coconut milk
- 100 ml water
- Salt to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 2 teaspoon ginger garlic chilli mix
(Marinate the washed chicken in the dry masala overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours.)
For the Roti Jala (this quantity makes 8)
- 1 3/4 cup refined flour (I’ve used gluten-free flour)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon oil
For the Stir Fry Veggies
- 100 grams French beans, par boiled
- 100 grams broccoli, par boiled
- 100 grams carrot, par boiled
- 100 grams coloured bell.peppers
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 tablespoons of Keya Chinese seasonings or make your own
- 3 tablespoons chopped celery
1. In a thick bottomed pan heat the oil and add the star anise and bay leaves. Add the ginger garlic chilli paste and cook till its golden. When it sizzles add the onion and fry till the onion is translucent.
2. Add the marinated chicken and let it fry till golden
3. Add the coconut milk and water and cook till tender.
4. Season with fish sauce and then add salt to taste.
5. Cover and keep aside till the pancakes are ready!
For the Pancakes
1. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Make a well in it.
2. Break an egg in the well.
3. Add the milk and water in the well and start mixing from the centre to the outside.
4. The mixture should be of dropping consistency.
5. Fill your mould with it.
6. On a hot fry pan add a bit of oil. I use the Base of half a potato to spread the oil on the skillet.
7. Now starting from the outside start creating your roti jala. The less the overlap the crisper your pancake will be.
8. Flip and cook both sides fold into quarters and keep aside.
9. Make all your pancakes in a similar way. Remember too much oil will reduce the ease in making the pancakes.
For the Stir Fried Veggies
1. In a skillet, pour your oil. When hot add the veggies and Chinese seasonings. Quick cook it. Since its par boiled it doesn’t need to be on the flame for too long
2. Add the seasonings and celery, season with salt and serve immediately.