Food stall: Roti Canai and Dosai

Roti Canai

Khaleel Restaurant is a good place to go to get Roti Canai and Dosai.  What can we say about Roti Canai? You can’t live in Penang and not have tried Roti Canai.  It is a cheap and easy breakfast.  It’s buttery and layered like a croissant, but has a good chew to it as well like a piece of bread.  Here’s a video of it being made at Khaleel.


Dosai is a different kind of pancake.  The dough is made of rice flour.  Beware though, not all dosai are gluten free.  Our friend Julie, who is very sensitive to gluten is able to eat the dosai at the Batu Ferringhi Khaleel Restaurant, but not at other places (like Sri Ananada Bahwan in Tanjung Bungah).  Here’s a video of dosai being made.

Both these breads can be made with fillings: egg, cheese, onion, and any combination of those .  For the sweet-toothed, there is sweetened condensed milk (Roti susu), Milo powder, and kaya, the coconut/pandan spread that is indigenous to Malaysia.  Besides these there is also Roti Tissue (tisu) that is rolled out thin and grilled with honey on it, so that it is crispy and sweet.  Khaleel also is popular for Roti Pisang which has bananas and ice cream.

For some reason Roti and Dosai are not an “all-day” food.  They stop making it at 11am and don’t start again until 6pm.  Early in our time living in Penang, we made the mistake of asking for it at 3pm.  We got a look like we were from another planet, asking for roti when it wasn’t the appointed hour!  We’ve never gotten a clear reason why Roti and Dosai are not available in the mid-day hours, but we’ve rolled with it.