Roti Jala (Egg-free recipe)

While you’re waiting for my book to reach, here’s a new recipe! Roti jala literally means “net bread” in Malay. It’s a chewy, latticed, rolled pancake paired with curry. It’s a traditional Malay dish that is usually served at events like weddings and festivals. This is usually made with egg to give the soft, tender texture that won’t break when rolled. I first had this in Kuala Lumpur at a vegan festival in 2019, and couldn’t forget it ever since. The nooks and crannies of each pancake mop up curry and gravy superbly well. 

I often get asked, “How do you replace egg in a recipe?”. It highly depends on the role of egg in that recipe. Here, aquafaba, also known as chickpea liquid/water, is a fantastic alternative as it can add some air into the batter while giving moisture for a tender and soft texture. Simply drain out a can of chickpeas to get aquafaba. To make the net structure, any cup with 5 holes can be used. I usually improvise with a squeeze bottle meant for sauces. You can buy a roti jala cup if you like.


Vegan Roti Jala

Makes about 14 rolled crepes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (150 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) water
  • Cooking oil to grease pan, as needed
  1. Sift flour and ground turmeric into a large bowl. Add salt. Stir in aquafaba, coconut milk and water in one direction until a smooth, runny batter forms. Strain batter to remove any lumps.
  2. Using a piece of kitchen towel, brush a little oil onto a non-stick pan over medium heat. You shouldn’t see oil streaks on the pan. Pour a little batter into a cup with 5-7 holes until about half full. Move the cup over the pan in a concentric, circular motion to drizzle batter in a lacy pattern. There should be a steady stream of batter coming out of the cup.
  3. Cook each crepe over low heat for about 30 seconds until the edges are slightly crusted. Turn off the heat and leave the crepe to sit for about 20 seconds. Then check by lifting it carefully with a spatula — it should be lifted in one piece. Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat to cook more crepes till all the batter is used up, brushing the pan with oil before making each crepe. Do not fold cooked crepes while they are still hot.
  4. When crepes are cooled, fold two opposite sides of each crepe in towards the centre and roll up to form a roll. Serve with your favourite curry.
How to fold roti jala.

Notes

  • It takes some patience and practice to get the shape right. Don’t trace a circle twice or the lines will be too thick and the lattice effect will be lost. Keep your hand steady and close to the pan to avoid getting splatters.
  • Timing and heat control is quite important for getting the crepe’s tender texture. If you cook it for even a bit too long, the thinner strands will get too crispy and break easily.
  • If you add too much oil to the pan, the crepes will turn out too crispy and break easily. Wipe off excess oil with a paper towel before adding the batter.
  • Any curry goes well with roti jala. Try the curry from Curry Tempeh Noodles (page 43 of my book) and the Japanese curry (page 50). Or, try with this Chinese-style curry.
Best dipped in curry!

DIY Dairy-free Teh-C/Kopi-C

My friends at Souley Green had relaunched their shop and kindly gave me some items to try. Souley Green is Singapore’s first vegan online mart with quality lifestyle products like groceries, snacks, body care and fashion items from across the world.

souleygreen

They sent me:

  1. BSKT Maca Espresso Chocolate Bar – Dark & rich, loved it. Best eaten at room temperature.
  2.  Acado Avocado Oil – First time trying avocado oil, too strong for my taste.
  3. Nature’s Charm Sweetened Coconut Condensed Milk – Just amazing.
  4. Handmade Heroes’ Beauty Warrior Face Mask – Cooling on skin, perfect for hot days.
  5. MOFO Chilli Level 7 Gun Powder – Incredibly spicy which is perfect! Contains onions.
  6. Mekhala Living’s Roasted Sweet Chilli and Roasted Sesame Garlic Dressing – Easy to use, good as flavour base.
  7. Winter Organics Chamomile Facial Cleanser – Very gentle on skin and did not strip off all natural oils.

mekhalanoodles
Stir-fried noodles and veggies+chickpeas made with Mekhala’s sauces, topped with MOFO Gun powder.

Out of all these, the coconut condensed milk was my favourite. It’s thick, creamy with slight caramel tones. Slightly thicker than full cream condensed milk but not as sweet (which is great). The coconut flavour is not strong and melds well with the main flavour, adding a slight nuttiness. Condensed milk is used in many of our local teas and coffees, after going vegan I simply had them as “O”, meaning plain (dark) version. I will say this is a great dairy alternative to be used in kopi-c, teh-c, bandung and ice kachang.

Ingredients: Coconut milk (Coconut cream, Filtered water), Cane sugar, Calcium carbonate, Salt

coconutcondensedmilk
Viscosity is slightly thicker than condensed milk.


 

DIY Teh-C/Kopi-C

Serves 2 cups

  • 1-2 tbsp tea dust (for more authentic kopitiam taste) or red/black tea leaves, or ground coffee (depending on how strong you like)
  • 4 tbsp Nature’s Charm sweetened coconut condensed milk
  • 3 cups boiling water

Put tea/coffee in a strainer and immerse in the boiling water for 2-3 mins. Remove strainer and stir in coconut condensed milk. Serve hot or over ice, add sugar if preferred.

tehc
Teh-C without the hormones and stomachache-inducing properties!

Note:

  • For iced version, brew the tea/coffee longer and add a bit more condensed milk. As ice melts it will dilute your drink, so start off with a stronger flavour.
  • For bandung, simply mix with roughly 1 tbsp rose syrup or 1/4 tsp rose water + 1 cup water. Use a few drops of beetroot juice for natural red colouring.

 

Sadly it did not fare well as our favourite frothy teh tarik. When I “pulled” the tea, the bubbles did not stay longer than 2 seconds so I could not achieve the frothy top. I’ll figure out another way! But it still conveniently makes a great cup of creamy, sweet caffeine boost. I really wish one day hawker centres and restaurants can offer this as a dairy alternative for us. Though I definitely can’t afford to use this daily, I’m happy to support Souley Green as they are trying hard to bring in good products for us.

morethanveggies15%

My discount code is valid till 9th December 2017. Happy shopping!