Monday, 11 October 2010

The no. 1 breakfast

Without doubt, the most favourite meal to start the day for most Malaysians is a plate of roti canai. Pair that with a glass of teh tarik (or in my case, nescafe tarik) and we have the quintessential Malaysian breakfast.

Roti canai is a simple flat bread that originated from India. I first knew of this bread by its original name of paratha.There are a few theories on how the Malay name of canai came to be... Wikipedia offers three possibilities.

What started off as a simple plain dough-only bread has now evolved into a few versions. We now can order roti telur (an egg beaten into the folds of the bread), roti telur bawang (the previous version plus chopped onions), roti planta (with a knob of margarine), roti sardin (with some sardines) and even roti pisang (with sliced bananas). Another popular variety, at least here in JB, is roti tampal. I had breakfast with a friend from Penang recently and when he heard me ordering roti tampal, he was a bit puzzled. Roti tampal is made by frying an egg (bull's eye style) and placing an already fried plain roti on top of it so the egg sticks to the bread... hence the `tampal' name. The skill in doing this is to make sure the egg sticks and the yolk remains round and not fully cooked. This way, you will have the nice gooey yolk smearing over the bread pieces as you tuck in.... yummy.

Even the way roti canai is served has different variants. While the standard sauce or gravy accompanying the bread is plain curry, most mamak shops offer dhal-curry or fish-curry. Most Malay stalls also offer a dollop of sambal tumis on the side. Some patrons prefer the gravy spread over the bread and soaking it... the term being used here is `kuah banjir'. Others prefer the bread to be shredded to pieces first before serving (roti koyak). And then there are others who like their roti canai served with sugar or even condensed milk.

When I worked in the UAE a few years ago, it was easy for me to have paratha for breakfast because there are many Indian restaurants. A standard order of paratha comes in two pieces... it seems that the Indian workers over there have large appetites. But that's just about it... no roti tampal or roti telur or roti bawang or whatever else have you. So when it comes to variety, there is no place like home.

Ok then... enough of writing. Time to get my morning dose of roti tampal and nescafe tarik...

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

in kelantan roti tampal is known as roti cotek. Kuah banjir being a mix of curry and dhal. yumm.

lili said...

Yeah, I guess in Penang they don't have roti tampal! I usually have mine in Ipoh - a good roti tampal at that. And same here, I love my roti canai wash down with nescafe tarik kurang manis! :))

VersedAnggerik said...

My faveret is roti telur double. Satu biji roti, dua biji telur!

Sinfully cholestrol ladden, but too good to resist!

Grandpa said...

Incidently I wrote about how we 'eat all the time' here:

http://fruitofmylabour.blogspot.com/2010/09/boy-do-we-like-to-eat.html

Oldstock said...

Hi Anon of 11.10.10,

Thanks for that info about roti cotek in Kelantan. Now I'll know what to ask for when I'm in KB.

Oldstock said...

Lili,

You and I seem to have plenty in common ya... hehe..

Oldstock said...

Whoa Verse, double eggs! Tapi takpe la... you are an active person, can always burn off that excess cholesterol :-)

Oldstock said...

Hi Grandpa,

How true... we eat all the time, hehe. You sudah makan ka, my old man?

Welcome to this blog.

Nin said...

Oh my, that roti tampal sounds delicious. Haven't come across it yet. I might like it cause I love gooey egg yolks. I eat nasi lemak with half-boiled eggs!

masterwordsmith said...

Just stopping by to send you my greetings and to say I miss your writings and hope that you will write again.

Take care and best wishes to you and yours.

Salam

STEEST said...

Hello Oldstock!

It was only today or yesterday that I mentioned that Roti Canai for breakfast is one of the meals most missed by those who have left the Asian region.

I said it was the preferred breakfast for many of us if we are given the chance to choose.

I once had Roti Canai with durians rather unwillingly. However, I have to admit that when I did, I liked the combination. I had 3 servings!

:)

Nurie said...

Hello there old fren! Tho we have roti canai or prata as they call it Riyadh, it is just not the same as malaysian style. Ours are more nipis and garing, just the way I like it!

Some people say that roti canai takes a week to digest in the tummy...heh heh..betul ke?!

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Dear Mr Oldstock,

Sorry for not dropping by for a long long time. Too many things happening at my end.

Yesterday, I went to a mamak stall somewhere in Hulu Kelang for my roti and guess what, this particular stall (sorry, forgot to take the name) had 21 - yes, TWENTY-ONE - different types of roti.. from your basic roti kosong to some very exotic ones like roti milo and roti tutti-frutti. Looks like the humble roti has come a long way, eh?

Looking for a Car? said...

indeed! the best food among mamak foods!

Oldstock said...

Hi Nin.... whom I believe is the one previously known as Ladymarko,

Gooey egg yolks are nice... to me that's the proper way to eat eggs :-)

Sorry lama tak blog-hop. Nanti I drop over your new place.

Oldstock said...

Paula @ MWS,

Thanks for the kind thoughts. I hope to resuming writing very soon.

Oldstock said...

Hello STEEST @ Lita,

Thank you for dropping by again... to this outdated blog, hehe..

Roti canai with durians? Now that's a new one for me... but I guess it works.

Oldstock said...

Hello there Noor... how's the aidiladha celebrations over there in Riyadh. Actually macam you kata, parata yg dijual kat middle east is not as flaky and crispy as our version.

But the good thing I like over there is the variety of fresh fruit juices. Kat Malaysia takde lagi macam tu...

Oldstock said...

Dear Andrea,

No apologies needed... I'm the one who is actually out-of-date.

Now you must tell me where this stall with 21 varieties of roti is... I will surely try to check it out.

Oldstock said...

Err... Mr/Ms Looking for a Car,

You are not spam, I hope.