The batter consistency is like a thin pancake. Traditionally it is ladled into a roti jala mold, a contraption that looks very much like a measuring cup with holes poked in the bottom. The batter drizzles from the holes in thin lines, and by moving in circles, you create a flower-like shape. (Watch the video on Veggie Belly’s site for details.)
(Anybody remember Spirograph?)
The resultant roti jala is reminiscent of a crepe, but with a delicate, lacy pattern. Eat it soon in order to retain the crispy crunch around the edges. Otherwise they will be soft and somewhat chewy.
I was tempted to jerry-rig my own roti jala mold by punching holes in the bottom of a measuring cup, but I opted for the less destructive method of re-using a mustard bottle. (Re-duce, Re-use, Re-think!)
I made the recipe as written, using an egg, but Sala Kannan at Veggie Belly says a vegan version can be made by substituting about 2 TBS cornstarch or rice flour for the egg. (I haven’t tried a vegan version yet, but I plan to and will post about it when I do.) I also used whole wheat flour to increase fiber and nutrition.
Roti Jala (Net Bread)
Makes about 12 roti
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
Oil for frying
Mix all ingredients together with a fork or whisk. Strain to remove any lumps.
Pour into a clean squeeze bottle.
Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle until hot. It is ready when drops of water sprinkled on the surface skitter and bounce across it.
Pour about 1 tsp oil onto the pan or griddle. With a fluid motion, quickly squeeze the bottle, pouring batter in overlapping circles.
Cook until the bottom starts to turn brown, then fold it over into fourths.
Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil to the skillet each time.
Serve immediately with Malaysian Broccoli and Tofu Curry.