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Chapatis are often 'finished' over a (gas stove) fire in Indian homes too. In the southern state of Karnataka, we make rice flatbread called akki rottis. In some parts of the state, the rottis are first slightly cooked on a tava or griddle and stacked up. They stay pretty fresh for a couple of days. The rottis are finished off directly on the gas stove flames just before serving. And yes, tongs come in handy.


We love Georgetown and for whatever reason I have been unable to find tandoori as good in KL (maybe looking in the wrong places!) so your post is making my mouth water for Indian food!

Must start thinking about our next visit to Penang!

Jason Wong


Good day. I enjoy reading your posts on food in Malaysia. We are ourselves are working with the Ministry of Tourism on the conservation of Penang's delicacies that are deemed heritage to the locals.

Thanks for your take on the Chapati in Penang's Little India.


Thanks for the comment, Veena - very interesting. The akki rotti sounds a bit like a papadum. Does it puff up in a similar manner?

Allen Todd

When you finish the chapati on the open flame it puffs up. Here is a recipe and video from Hetal and Anuja describing making the chapati/roti/phulka: http://showmethecurry.com/breads/phulka-roti.html


in bangkok's pahurat neighborhood i've seen people using the same contraption for chapati, albeit in a looser manner. for illustration see the first couple seconds of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KoclzARd1k

i also had been made to understand that the "finishing" over fire is somewhat standard in chapati production, as Veena suggests.


@Jonathan Try Restoran Kapitan in Georgetown for tandoori.
Dave should take some pictures of the tandoori guy with his arms covered in red sauce there :D


Interesting people call it contraption; it is a common home metal grill for karasumi and ika back in the 1970s and before back home. Fun home activity and snacks especially after the Chinese New Year when they were given as gifts. You don’t mess around with good karasumi, just eat it plain with leek. I know there is now probably a loose use of the term chapatis and rottis but I wonder if in origin, rottis is for Northern India and others South. I just remember my colleague was saying her Pakistan tenant asked to have gas cooker instead of electric because they have to use the flame for roti. Perhaps it’s a Northern Indian regional method originally? And was Roti about rice too that puffed up in it origin?


yes the contraption in question is common in thailand also, most often used for grilling fish, such as seen here

it is called in thai ตะแกรงปิ้งปลา (takraeng ping pla)


(sorry, link: http://www.oknation.net/blog/home/blog_data/270/14270/images/Songkran52B1/18DogFishSTxt.jpg)

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