Food & Entertainment: Roti

Saturday, 8 December 2007, 5:01 | Category : entertainment, food
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In Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand one should be able to find variations of the fried roti. When asking a Malaysian, they would most likely think you are asking about bread, as the word itself just means bread in the Malaysian language. However in Thailand it is commonly known as roti. For further details on the roti please visit this vast fountain of information known as wikipedia here.

If you haven’t tried one and don’t care about the fat factor I highly suggest the experience. Crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. The only remotely close equivalent would be crepes or pancakes. Here in Thailand they come in several forms, rolled up plain or with condensed milk and sugar or with a whole egg fried with the dough. In addition to those there is the option of having bananas folded into them or the mataba which is a roti with a curry and chicken type filling. The latter however are harder to find due to the time it takes to cook them. The roti guy near my house used to sell mataba but gave up due to the queues of buyers he would get during lunch and dinner. It took at least 5 minutes for the mataba to properly cook, the other variations take a lot less time, so it was probably more productive to just remove it from his menu.

A brief story of this roti hawker. Born on the Thai-Burmese border, has no birth certificate due to this, speaks Thai fluently, has been living with his Thai wife for over 5 years, sells roti from 3pm to midnight and pays taxes to the IRS. Now what intrigues me is, last year he was forced to pay a certain tax collector 100,000 baht and did this money even end up with the IRS? Surely he could not have made that much in roti sales to require 100,000 in income tax or fines. Furthermore, why is this very hard working person not offered any legal support for a birth certificate or citizenship when he pays money to some bureau! Amazing what one can find out from my busy-body housekeeper. Nevertheless, try a roti when you have the chance!

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