That’s the way to do it…

Well, this is the way he does it – my regular roti canai guy at his stall by the road in the vicinity of the Bandong commercial centre here in Sibu.

He would have prepared the dough the night before and every morning when he opens up his stall, the dough would be ready for use…

roti canai- dough

He takes the balls of dough out and presses them to flatten them a bit…

roti canai - step 1

Then he takes one and pulls it to stretch it into a broad thin sheet….

roti canai - step 2

…after which he picks it up…

roti canai- step 3

…and twirls it around in the air to stretch it further…

roti canai - step 4

…before he places it back on his working area…

roti canai - step 5

The skill is in doing all these without breaking or ending up with holes all over the dough.

Then he folds it…

roti canai - step 6

…into squares…

roti canai - step 7

If he is making murtabak, he adds the egg and meat and finely chopped veg and onion at this stage – before wrapping everything inside the thin dough like a packet. Finally, he cooks it on a hot plate…

roti canai - cooking

Once golden in colour, the roti canai is done. He picks it up, squashes it in a clapping motion to make the layers come apart and serves it with dhall curry…

roti canai- dhall curry

He sells his at RM1.00 a piece and his murtabak is RM2.50 each.

Business is really good in the morning and that day, there were a lot of other customers and as I was in no hurry, I asked him to attend to them first and in the meantime, I could take all these photographs. Hehehehehe!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

40 thoughts on “That’s the way to do it…”

  1. These pictures is good enuff to make those angmoh drool over our roti canais. *grinz* And poor our Malaysians oversea… ur an evil man, u. Sure they cannot tahan see these punya… sure kempunan.

    I used to love roti canais… but when i was still studying, I makan these until I muak and now I dun fancy them as much. You see… last time it’s the cheapest food around. At 60cents, it’s something very filling and affordable for poor students…so it’s either this, or maggi. LOL.

    That’s the whole idea. We here see this so often we simply take it for granted…but I passed by a stall at a coffee shop in town. Adoi! The roti canai looked so horrible – dry and burnt…like naan!!! Just can’t believe that there are people willing to pay money to eat that!

    I also ate a lot in the early 70s in Singapore, they call them roti pratha there – I think they were 50 cents each only – wanted to scrimp and save to look tall and slim…and use the money to buy nice trendy clothes. So vain hor last time… Now gone case liao! LOL!!!!

    1. ROFLOL… no comment on the gone case part. LOL…

      I makan too much during my college/uni years til I see roti canai oso takut liao. Makan that not because vain and wanna buy nice nice baju, but because pokai… hahaha… so not much choice la… mau tak mau must makan these lo. Students, not much money…I was quite a mummy and daddy’s girl. Most of my money went to uh…those flight ticket and bus ticket… cabut balik rumah every now and then ma. >.<

      I never really liked it then – just ate as it was the cheapest and since then, I hardly ever ate it…but this guy’s canai is nice. Has a special buttery fragrance – some say it’s because he uses ghee, not just plain cooking oil…and I like his thick dhall curry dip – others watery like soup and don’t taste nice.

  2. oh i miss roti canai!
    long time no eat edy!

    Why? You can get it easily there – everywhere you turn, any time of day. You’re on diet, wanna look slim and handsome? Young people, all like that… So kesian! LOL!! 😀

  3. Murtabak only RM2.50? Here going at RM4.50 bro..macha how?

    Alamak! Ours RM2.00 last year…and now RM2.50, so I seldom buy now… Once in a while only. Canai no increase in price, so ok….

  4. My younger bro’s version..♫.Nescafe ah haa ah haa I like it ah haa ah haa..

    I should be singing that too! Drinking it every day – don;t want to use the coffee maker, have to brew one whole pot and I would have to drink that all day long. Too much coffee for one day – a mug or two would just be enough.

  5. Suddenly craving for roti canai and roti sardines….my favourite… my son love the roti tissue.

    Amazed at the skilful way this malay man make the dough into so thin sheet and twisting and throwing into the air. All these performances need skills…

    Definitely…and the thin sheet must not tear or else considered failed! I’ve seen many canai stalls – they do not know how to throw so they just put the dough on the surface and they pull and pull to make it thin…no tossing and twirling and of course, not so nice lah! I only go for plain canai, none of those extras…egg or sardine or whatever.

  6. hahahaha… for sure he feels proud that his photo taken. Should try when i’m back in sibu.

    LOL!!! He’s a very nice man – From Penang mainland, somewhere nearer to Kedah, I think. I’m sure you’ll like his canai… 🙂

  7. Wow..u actually took the pics of the whole process…Great!!! Make me drooling for roti now.

    No problem there. Anywhere you turn, there is somebody selling! 😉

  8. That’s pretty cheap for murtabak. Can hardly get at that price over here and most of them aren’t nice at all.

    Oh? You’re in KL as well? But some say the canai there is much cheaper than here?

    1. Yeap. I’m from KL. And it’s not cheaper over here unless it’s in ultra small size or some tasteless piece of dough. Hehe.

      I see. Everyone was telling me canai’s 80 sen or less…but nobody ever said anything about murtabak. I think RM2.50 is reasonable as prices of everything has gone up, just that I prefer canai kosong…

  9. The other day while in KL’s Brickfields, I went to this Kortumala restaurant at 3.12961,101.68403. The one our PM went to last year and they even have a corner called “Najib’s corner” coupled with a huge photograph of him. We had a Roti Cani, Chapati, Tosai, and 2 others with names I already forgotten. You help yourself to the half a dozen different type of sauces. 3 cups of Tek Tarik and all for RM9.50. I thought they counted wrongly and asked them to double check. No mistake.

    Brickfields! That’s smallkucing & Cleffairy’s territory – some book place there…and they love the char kway teow at one shop in the vicinity. I guess that works out to RM1 for each roti and RM1.50 for a glass of teh tarek. I’m sure they used a glass not a cup – never seen teh tarek in a cup before. So when are you starting your blog? Then we can see photos of the place and the food to drool over and only then will people bother to make a beeline to that place. Just mere hearsay wouldn’t have any effect…

    1. Nice Char Koay Teow at Brickfield? You really must give me the name of the shop and coordinate please. I love that stuff and tried 3 of the supposedly good ones in Penang, the one at Heng Huat with very strong charcoal taste (5.41691,100.32466), Ah Leng with the out-of-this-world prawn (5.41286,100.31946) and Chew Jetty (5.41300,100.33961). All nice but slightly different.

      Oh…..I just went to check out one of those newer compact digital camera that has GPS built in. You should consider getting one and we can all make a beeline to the places you have the nice food instead. Then no need for me to set up any blog of my own. You are already doing super and with the GPS coordinate, it will be super super…

      There is? A camera with GPS? Ummmm….my birthday’s in December, not long before Christmas. That would make a very nice double celebration present, don’t you think? Hint! Hint! Muahahahahahaha!!!!! 😀

      1. Read this is one of those incoming function they are building into cameras. Price ranges from RM1000 for a on-offer Sony HX5 to top-of-the line Panasonic compact TZ20 for RM1500. One thing for sure, these GPS eats battery.

        You’re telling me. My cousins stayed at my place over the weekend and I kept seeing them charging their iPhones…. Didn’t see them using it so much also…maybe just uploaded a few photos, that’s all. Anyway, the best things in life are free…so, which one are you going to buy for me? Hehehehehe!!!!

      2. When you have such a big screen like the iPhone, what do you expect? Running on air? That’s the No.1 reason why I opted for a phone with small screen coupled with the largest battery on the market, the Nokia E52. Then when I am using it, I complained about the small screen. What to do?

        After I dropped all those hints about availability of camera with GPS function, I thought you are going to buy me one? No? Well, I did try…..

        Thank goodness, no need to carry a big battery like those ATUR mobile phones in the past! Muahahahaha!!!!

  10. I wasn’t too impressed with the one I went to in Penang called Sup Hameed @ 5.42181,100.33403. I had their supposedly famous Sup Kambing etc and Roti Cani. Just normal IMO.

    I went for the sup kambing as a Penang friend said it was the best – not nice, so oily and the spices too strong. I went back there again a few times…for the pasembur, nasi kandar and mamak mee…all not great. I don’t think I ever featured them in my posts since they were not worth sharing. I only went there as it was near Cititel Penang where I was staying. Didn’t like the nasi kandar place across the road either. 😦

    1. Seems that make the two of us not thinking highly of the sup Kambing. May be we Sarawakian have different taste bud?

      As for the Nasi Kandar. I only tried it once at Hotel Merlin (5.41962,100.34173) and it was very nice but expensive. Cost me RM21+ a plate but then again, I did have 2 very big prawn.

      Really wanted to try the Nasi Kandar Beratur (5.41672,100.33764) as well. But the original one is only available after 10pm and the queue was sooooooo long. Couldn’t wait.

      So you think the one at Line Clear wasn’t nice? I didn’t try that because we were there too early in the morning and didn’t have the time nor the stomach space to go back again.

      All nasi kandar expensive. Never had Line Clear…but I did eat at the one at the shop in front of the lane. Just the usual – nothing great and expensive. I had very nice sup kambing in Singapore in the 70s and they served it with slices of French loaf – one roadside stall along either Queen or Waterloo Street near the National Museum. Of course, it is no longer there… 😦

      1. Well, I didn’t know they are THAT expensive. In comparison, the wonderful Turkey Curry was cheap.

        I don’t think I ever had anything less than RM10 at those nasi kandar shops when I opted to choose the things I wanted to go with my rice… 😦

  11. i like if they make the roti cannai crispy. Yummm

    I like that too. Sometimes, when I have leftovers from the morning for afternoon tea, I would heat them up, refrying in a non-stick pan…and I would fry till a little crispy. 😉

  12. STP, do you ask permission from him first before taking pics? I dare not take without asking, one time when Elin asked, the man said, no pictures… but some gladly liked to be taken…

    I just told him I would be taking photos and he did not object. I know one kompia place where the old lady would scold anybody taking photos…even of the food. It seemed that some reporter came and took photos and publish an article in the papers…and before they knew it, the inland revenue people were at the place…and they were fined for tax evasion!!!!

  13. He should give you free or discounted roti canai because you give him free advertising. Hehehehe. It’s good that he doesn’t mind you taking pictures. Some people may not be so accommodating.

    Anyone in town who reads my blog would know about him already and what he sells and some may have even gone all the way there to buy. No need to ask for discount lah – good things, must share with people…good food, must let everyone know so that they can also go and enjoy. He was very sporting – after all, we know each other pretty well already since i drop by quite regularly.

  14. Arthur,
    Nowadays, many Malaysians are scattered all around the globe. Some set up shops selling roti canai. I’ve seen in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and even Darwin. I also saw a Sri Lankan married to Malaysian selling roti canai in Rome and when I was living in Bangkok, a Thai muslim doing the same (his roti very nice). When I was living in Beijing, I saw 3 shops selling the same thing and now in NZ, just 8 minutes drive from your brother’s and my place, there’s a foodcourt selling all thing rotis too…and their rotis and dosa (thosai) are scrumptious..better than some rotis in Malaysia. At least nowadays hubby, son and I don’t feel so homesick as the best remedy for homesickness is to have roti canai. Agree? Eh,roti canai naik harga already,ah there?

    Sibu memang mahal sikit compared to the peninsula – very few Malays here…and almost no Indians. Turnover not so huge, so need to charge a bit more lor – even more expensive if at the stalls in the kedai kopis…and theirs not so nice.

    Ya…when I went to Auckland in 2005, my brother took me to eat kampua (NZ$8), tasted ok but not the same and one plus point – they gave real char siew, not the red-coloured boiled meat that we have here. Then he took me to eat laksa (also NZ$8) – no, it wasn’t Sarawak laksa…some guy from Penang, more like curry laksa…or curry mee with mihun…and he took me for dim sum AND to a nyonya restaurant… Gee! I did not want to eat all those. If I wanted to eat them, I would have stayed at home.

    I would prefer western or even Maori traditional… I had fish and chips from some shop…and some fast food franchise fish and chips (some place where there were Pak n’save and Warehouse)…some meat pies from a shop by the road in the city and roast pork at a big food court near the ferry jetty in the city…and yes, they had pizza at home once, takeaway from Pizza Hut (which I can have anytime here)!!! That was about it – in our two-week stay there. 😦

    1. Arthur,
      I sendiri pun have never tasted the Moari food…hangi. Told hubby I want to try and he say no need…nanti he korek a lubang in the garden and i can throw in sweet potatoes, potatoes, ayam,kambing , babi and whatever I fancy into the lubang and he’ll masak them for me. No seasoning, nothing! Entah ya kah bukan my old man tu…he temberang me also i don’t know…but feedback from those who have tasted hangi say the same thing, wor!
      Never mind, you come here and I bring you out makan…no kampua, no laksa,no pizza hut etc. I’ll bring you eat some Asian stuff …but nice one la but no fish and chips as I hate them…all soggy and lepas makan, pening! Bring you to my fav Jap restaurant and to the authentic Korean where you will not smell as if you are on fire or cooked meat yourself and of course all those kiwi thick slabs of meat etc. Want?..come,come!

      Hahahahaha!!! Well, stick around for my next few posts and see whether Ican entice you to come to Sibu or not. Yup…Melissa tried hangi and she said it was quite tasteless. I wouldn’t mind trying…just to experience the culture. I think actually our ethnic tribes here have a lot more nicer stuff, cooked traditional-style e.g in bamboo.

      1. The place where you had your fish and chips tu is Botany “The Hub”.

        Dunno. Can’t remember the name. I’m hopeless at names…old liao! 😉

  15. wondering..did u ask his permission to take these pics?

    I let all the other customers who came later than me get theirs first (See! I’m such a nice guy!) while I went to the car to get my camera and I did tell him I was taking his photographs and he did not object. He even tossed it in the air for me to snap – twice! The first time, I did not get a good shot. I’m quite a regular customer and we know each other pretty well – always chit-chatting whenever I stop by to buy… Me, so friendly bah! Hehehehehe!! 😉

  16. i prefer thosai to canai 🙂
    too oily ..

    My daughter likes thosai too…and I quite like that as well. An acquired taste though- some may not be used to the fermented taste.

  17. I am back to comment!! hahahahha missing for few days.

    Roti canai, even took pictures on how he made the roti canai.

    Last few days i brought my mum and nephew to the mamak stall that near my place for roti canai, my mum said taste very good. A lot better than the one in Sibu and it is only RM0.80 per piece, plain one.

    Ya…it is more expensive here – very few Malays and almost no Indians mah. I think it costs a lot more in the shops, this one can consider cheap already. So how was your holiday? I saw on Facebook that you went to the beach – PD or Langkawi. Lucky you!

  18. wow wow… is the dhall curry nice? my company’s canteen serves nice roti canai too.. but too bad that they dilute the dhall with water… sienzz… 😦

    Yes, it is. Another plus point for this fella. His dhall curry dip is very thick, almost like paste – not like other places, so watery…and no taste of dhall.

  19. Yum! Gotta import that guy to NZ.
    We’ve got a really damn good one in Jakarta. With extremely tasty lamb curry but at a hefty price of 5 NZD for a small bowl of curry and one serving of roti, huge price of an Indonesian pocket.

    In Jakarta? I thought it would be really cheap there? I guess in Welly, you would need to fork out at least double that price for something similar.

  20. actually am quite amazed by how they can twist it without making any hole. i did it few times, all failed! 😦

    That is why you’re not a roti canai seller! Muahahahaha!!!! 😀

  21. roti canai making step by step photographed by the man himself, STP! Cool, did you actually stand at the side just photographing him? He must be so honored.. XD

    No problem with him, very nice man…and I’m so nice also what! It always amazed my daughter how I could stop to buy things and talk to everybody like we were such close friends. She does not talk to people like that unless she knows them really well…not like the father, so social or in other words, so kay poh! Muahahahahaha!!!! 😀

  22. Yum ! Feeling hungry now…..
    This guy is really good, it must be fascinating just to watch him make the roti canai. Am sure they are very tasty.

    I never really liked roti canai. Though I’ve eaten it a number of times here and there, I never actually liked it…but this guy’s one is really to my liking. Have been eating it more often than before since I stumbled upon his stall. 🙂

  23. Eh Bro, stand so near take photos ah, luckilly roti chanai didn’t stuck to your camera lenses…he he he!

    …or fly off his hands and land on my head! Muahahahahaha!!!!

  24. nice description on “the making of roti canai”..
    well done.. and yummy yummy.. 🙂

    Thanks for the compliment. Hello!!! Haven’t seen you around for a long long time. Busy? Hope you’re keeping well.Do drop by again, don’t throw stones (buang batu)… LOL!!!

  25. RM1 is still ok. Wow it used to be 50 cents and then 70cents… prices are going up fast.

    They say it’s 80 sen over at your side…so it’s cheaper than here then. 😦

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