A Surprise Package from Malaysia: What is it?!

summary: surprise package from Malaysia; making chocolate(!) crepes based on a recipe in FlatBreads and Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

A group of us are baking our way through the wonderful cookbook/travelogue “Flatbreads and Flavors” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Last month, we made Malaysian Roti Jala. We had the most fun. (read about that more here)

mailorder Yesterday afternoon, the doorbell rang. It was a rather goofy, very friendly fellow from Canada Post asking me to sign for a smallish quite dented cardboard box. The box was covered in colourful exotic stamps. The mailman seemed almost as thrilled about delivering a package from Malaysia as I was to receive it. I signed…

T called from his office asking who it was.

me: Canada Post. I had to sign for a package for you. From Malaysia!

he: [sounding pained] I didn’t hear the doorbell! You weren’t supposed to know about that! [sighing] But I guess you know what it is….

me: [densely] You bought another abacus? (I didn’t know they used abacusses in Malaysia.) The box is pretty mashed. Is it breakable?

he: An abacus?? No! [looking at the mashed box in dismay] And it’s kind of breakable. It was supposed to be a surprise for later …you’d better open it now.

me: From Malaysia! What would you order from Malaysia?![excitedly] What is it? [carefully opening the package]

I was thrilled! Whoohoooooooo!!!

Do you know what it is?

If you’ve been here before, of course you do! …yes!! We have our own REAL roti jala mould! Naturally, we had to try it out.

I know. Pancake Tuesday is long past. We’re in the middle of Lent. But we just had to make sure the mould worked. But we didn’t have any coconut milk.

Ha! You think that would be enough to stop us? T decided to make chocolate crepes with regular milk. And following internet instructions, he pushed the thin already seemingly smooth smooth batter through a sieve. And we were amazed at how many solids were left in the sieve!

mailorder T made the first roti jala. And it looked pretty brilliant. So did the next one.

I asked if I could try making one. Sure. Why not?

I decreed that the pan was way too hot and that there was too much butter on the pan. T agreed about the heat but nixed me on the butter. “Chocolate and butter just go together.” I bowed to the master.

And I tried making my first roti jala with a real roti jala mould. Whoohooo!!! I made one. Then I made another. And another. I felt like an expert (except for the disgraceful mess I managed to splatter all over the stove).

We were so thrilled with ourselves that we made yet another video:


We ordered a roti jala mould from Malaysia. It arrived via Canada Post 3 weeks later. We were so excited that we decided to use the mould to make some very non-traditional roti jala. We used cow’s milk instead of coconut milk and served them with ice cream instead of coconut chicken curry. Please do not send the Roti Jala police after us.

chocolate roti jala Once again, what fun we had. Just as with the squeeze bottle, we discovered that making small loops works better than trying to make large loops. And once again, too much butter turns out to be a bad thing, making the batter spatter on the pan. (It tastes good though!)

Recipe?? You want a recipe?? T just kind of winged it by whisking an egg with some milk, flour, sugar and cocoa until it was thin and smooth and ran in nice steady streams through the holes of the roti jala mould.


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2 responses to “A Surprise Package from Malaysia: What is it?!

  1. Baking Soda

    WOW! Now we all want one don’t we? It works great and looks so easy now. I love it! And you both for ordering one and showing us!
    Craving pancakes now… it’s 11 pm…

  2. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Insane, am I insanely beside myself. That is so beyond anything I can think of.
    Where did you find a place to order it from?
    So neat!

    T said he purchased it via EBay. The lady doesn’t have anymore but if you google [ebay roti jala] other vendors should show up. All the plastic ones are roughly the same price, when the shipping is included. -ejm (I cannot get over how inexpensive it is to ship a small package from Malaysia! It was 2.55RM, which works out to be just under a dollar!)


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