Roti Jala translates to net/lace bread and is a popular Malaysian snack served in the evenings with a side of curry. Although the traditional recipe calls for eggs in the batter, eggs do not make that much of a difference to the end product. Roti Jala visually quite striking; the beautiful golden color from turmeric. As it comes out of the stove, it’s quite crisp, but over time, gets soft, almost like a piece of rolled silk. Serve these hot with curry for dipping.

Roti Jala: Malaysian Lace Pancakes [Vegan]



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup, plus 2 1/4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons oil, plus a little more for cooking the pancakes


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and turmeric. Stir to distribute the ingredients evenly.
  2. Add the liquids: water, coconut milk, and oil and using a whisk, combine until there are no lumps.
  3. Strain the batter through a sieve to ensure that there are no lumps or undissolved salt.
  4. Transfer the smooth batter to a roti jala mould or make your own mould; take a small plastic bottle and put three holes in the bottle cap with a sharp toothpick.
  5. Heat a medium saucepan or tawa on low-medium heat. Wipe down with a tissue moistened with a little oil.
  6. Using the roti jala mould or make-shift bottle dispenser, drizzle strands of batter onto the pan in interlocking circles.
  7. Let it cook for a minute, and when the batter is cooked and sturdy enough to lift, fold over the left and right sides of the roti, then roll.
  8. Remember to wipe down any roti bits in the pan before doing the next batch. Repeat until all the rotis are rolled and done. Serve hot with a side of curry.


Makes about 18-20 jala.