Roti Canai: curry up and eat it

roti canai glutto digest

Where Can I Get it?  |  How Can I Make It?

What is roti canai? 

Roti canai (a.k.a. “flying bread” or “roti prata” in Singapore) is a popular Malaysian flatbread served warm and has a crispy, yet chewy texture.  It is typically served with a savory curry dipping sauce.  Variations include either savory ingredients (e.g. eggs, sardines and onions) or sweet ingredients (e.g. bananas, condensed milk, peanut butter, jam and nutella).

This Indian-influenced Malay food was supposedly introduced to the Malay peoples by Indian Muslims and is usually Halal. “Roti” is derived from the Sanskrit word rotika meaning “bread.”  It is a staple flatbread in India (similar to naan, but thinner and made with whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour).  The Malay word “canai” translates to: “stretching or pushing something pliable or elastic.”

Where can I get it?  

Roti canai can often be found in Malaysian or Thai restaurants.  Here are a handful of spots that serve this satisfyingly flaky pancake-like bread.

Anaheim, CA: Seasons Kitchen USA

roti canai anaheim oc orange county california
photo: Seasons Kitchen USA on Facebook

New York, NY: Nyonya

roti canai new york
photo: Nyonya on Instagram

San Francisco Bay Area (Millbrae, CA): Ipoh Garden

roti canai san francisco bay area millbrae california
photo: Ipoh Garden on Facebook

Looking for more places that serve roti canai?  You can find them on Glutto right here.

How can I make it?  

Roti canai only takes a few ingredients to make.  However, it does take a bit of skill (and time) to make it properly.  Follow this authentic recipe for the best results.

Special Tools


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • curry (your preference from your local Malaysian, Thai, or Indian restaurant)


  1. First, combine the salt with water and mix well.
  2. Put the flour in a bowl and slowly pour in the salt and water mix.  Mix until it becomes a dough and knead to a smooth texture (not tacky).
  3. Rub hands with vegetable oil (to prevent sticking) and shape the dough into baseball-sized balls. Then, in a large bowl add vegetable oil and carefully place the balls so they are coated with the oil. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave overnight.
  4. Remove the oil-coated balls one at a time and flatten on an oiled surface to a plate-sized shape.  Then, flip it like this.
  5. On a greased pan, cook the roti canai until golden brown.
  6. Serve with curry and enjoy!

Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.

One Response

  1. Nyonya roti canai is amazing. I have not been able to go to NY during the pandemic. Do you have a recipe for the sauce?