On Friday, Deric and I decided to try out making our very own rendition of roti jala (which when translated literally, becomes “net bread” in English) and chicken curry.
We’ve cooked chicken curry several times before, usually deploying the handy Adabi curry powder to make it all come together (in other words, it is not completely made from scratch hehe).
But this would be our first time attempting roti jala.
As usual, we relied upon the brilliant resources of the World Wide Web to gain insights into how to make the delightful yellow roti that we love so much (or that I love, not sure how much Deric loves it, but he eats just about EVERYTHING anyway).
This time around, we sourced our roti jala recipe from the very nifty Rasa Malaysia website.
It isn’t the first time we’ve referred to this site, and yet again it has not disappointed us. It turned out to be really easy to make the roti jala batter.
For the oil required to be mixed in as part of the batter, we used regular cooking oil. And for greasing the pan, we relied upon our existing supply of unsalted butter from our fridge.
The batter turned out great, but we had some challenges getting the batter to flow out properly from the three spouts on our plastic jug/mould thing.
The batter would spurt out in small little dots instead of coming out in a steady stream, making any form of roti formations impossible.
Here’s a picture of our mould so you get a better idea of what I’m talking about:
It was only after Deric figured out the correct angle to tilt the mould over the frying pan that things began to take a turn for the better.
One of the spouts still did not pour out the batter as evenly as the other two, but we still managed to make convincing looking pieces of roti jala towards the later batches.
Anyway, we think the mould has a bit of a design flaw: its a tough act balancing the angle to tilt the spouts and how much batter to pour in such that it doesn’t spill while tilting it.
Ideally, it shouldn’t have to be this complex. We’ve seen other pictures and videos online where the mould has the spouts placed at the bottom which is so much easier to work with.
Yet other people we saw online merely used ketchup squeeze bottles (which have a single spout but can be waved about to get the random roti jala pattern). One guy just took an empty mineral bottle, poked a hole in the cover with a heated screw/nail and used that.
Wow. So much more straightforward and no need for special equipment. Worth a try next time, I guess.
As for the chicken curry, we decided to buy boneless chicken fillets this time and added potatoes, carrots and long beans to the mix.
Due to the fact that we only have a single induction stove, we wanted to save time by cooking the curry via microwave. We had a recipe on hand that detailed how to do so, but its ingredient list was only meat so things became a whole lot more challenging than it should be due to the extra veggie ingredients we added in.
In the end, frying the roti jala was completed much faster than the curry. We also faced this curious situation of having too little curry in proportion to our dry ingredients.
Lesson learned: either follow the microwave curry recipe to the letter or just cook the entire thing on the stove like how it ought to be done.
In the end, we had to top up the curry powder, chilli powder, coconut milk and water in self-estimated measurements just to increase the amount of curry in the dish. It was not easy.
But, anyway, as the above picture shows, we still succeeded in making a decent looking roti jala + chicken curry dinner in the end.
The only downside was that we ate at around 10ish instead of the more reasonable 8pm or 9pm meal time. Hehe. Oh well, I guess we Malaysians are willing to go through a lot for good food.
I’m definitely keen to cook roti jala again. It was fun and not really that hard to do after all.
We’ve got plenty of leftover curry so it’s likely we may whip up another batch of roti jala just to finish it off. (Or we might get lazy and just eat the dish with rice or bread instead. Haha. We’ll see.)
Well, this is the first meal we’ve cooked in 2015 so far, I think, and it’s a great feeling to be back in the groove.
I feel much better now in the second trimester of pregnancy. I have regained enough energy to potter around the kitchen once more. I’m definitely looking forward to more great meals this year, and lots of fun working at it together with Deric.
And of course, I’ll do my best to share our adventures (and mishaps too, which are bound to happen) with all of you darling readers of mine. Hopefully documenting all of this here will help me remember all the valuable lessons I learn along the way. 🙂