|Place of origin||Malaysia|
|Region or state||South East Asia|
Roti Jala (also known as Roti Kirai or Roti Renjis, or "lace pancake" in English), literally meaning "Net Bread", is a popular Malay tea time snack served with curry dishes which can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The roti jala is a pretty dish that looks like a lace doily due to the way it is made. This is a very traditional Malay dish that is usually homemade and served at events such as weddings and festivals. It is usually eaten in sets of three to four pieces with curries, especially chicken curry, as a substitute to rice.
The Malays, being originally fishermen and living by the sea, find inspiration for the snack from the nets they used for fishing, thus the name. It is also called Roti Renjis, which means "Rinsed Bread", because of the original way it was made, which was by hand, in which the ingredient would be 'rinsed' onto the pan to be cooked. Roti Kirai is another name in which 'kirai' refers to the circular motion of the hand when pouring the ingredient from a condensed milk can with tiny holes poked through it.
The ingredients consist mainly of flour, eggs, milk (dairy or coconut), and a pinch of turmeric. They are combined with water to form a runny batter, then drizzled onto a hot pan in a circular motion. A specialized utensil is often used, resembling a cup with multiple outlets beneath, which aids the creation of the "net-like" effect.
Comparison with string hoppers
While both foods consist of string-like batter, roti jala is made with wheat flour while string hoppers are made with rice flour. Roti jala is made flat in a single layer (then folded or rolled up after cooking, as desired), while string hoppers are made into a small pile. Roti jala is essentially pan-fried, while string hoppers are steamed.