Monday, 6 September 2010

Roti

Eating out here is great - cheap and easy - and there are some fantastic little restaurants nearby.  One of our favourites is this unassuming looking little place:


We must have been here about once a week since we arrived in Brunei!  Called the 'House of Curry' it serves Indian dishes, but also Thai and Malay food, but the main reason we eat here are the Roti.

I had never heard of Roti before, but it is very popular in Brunei.  It's described here as a Malaysian dish, but the Roti served in House of Curry comes with a bowl of curry (chicken, beef or dhal) - I suspect it's a bit of a cultural fusion.

The Roti itself is basically a kind of fried dough.  You can rip it apart with your fingers and dip it into the curry, or you could be more couth and use the cutlery provided!  Here's Rob on our first visit, demonstrating the hands-on method of eating:


Roti can be eaten simply with the bowl of curry, or with 'condiments'.  We decided to go for this on our second visit (guessing that the condiments in question might be something Indian, perhaps mango chutney or raita?)  Imagine our amusement when the condiments were served:  pickled vegetables, corned beef and sardines!


 The Roti menu is extensive and we are working our way through the various options.


Rob usually goes for the Roti Telur Bawang - Roti with a layer of egg and fried onions in the middle which is delicious.

I usually go for the Roti Kosong which is just plain, but have also sampled a couple of the more unusual variations...


Here I am at lunchtime today sampling the Roti Pisang - which had a layer of mashed banana in the middle!  It might sound revolting, but was actually lovely alongside the chicken curry.

The most bizarre of all has been the Roti Tissue.  I had been keen to try it ever since seeing it ordered at another table - this Roti is much thinner and presented in an impressive conical shape:


What I didn't realise is that this Roti holds its shape because it is covered in caramelised SUGAR!  I snapped off a piece and dipped it into the curry... and had quite a shock when I discovered this, er, unusual combination!  Again, this was a lot nicer than it sounds and I ended up enjoying it - although it really didn't feel very healthy.

The curry that Roti is served with is possibly not what many people would recognise as a particular curry - no choice of korma, madras, vindaloo, etc, here.  I imagine it's made from one of the generic 'curry powders' that are on sale here.  This one perhaps - bought entirely for the fact that I adore its label!


Generic or not, it does have a lovely flavour.

So there you go, another insight into our new culinary life in Brunei!

4 comments:

snowy said...

The Roti sound intriguing - love the conical one. Guess curry and the sugared roti is sweet and sour!
Awaiting the next instalment! x

nic @ nipitinthebud said...

we opt for roti at the takeaway sometimes in favour of the doughier naan breads. Only plain ones - nothing as exotic as your filled samplings.
Interesting choice of sauces and pickles. sardines though? no thanks!

inkdip said...

Roti is Hindi for chapatti ...so it's interesting to see these many variations! some of those in the picture look more like Dosas than Chapattis, but potentially parathas too. Dosas are sort of like a pancake, parathas are chapattis but with a layer of ghee or oil, and spread with a little ghee/oil to finish off cooking. Or stuffed parathas where you get the fillings, and cooked in the same manner. I've had Iranian savoury food with sugar too! it is a little strange =)

MrsW said...

Have now ploughed (?) through most of your posts from Brunei - it's so fascinating reading someone elses stories about life here! It's certainly my Brunei and yours, sometimes exactly the same (I love this curry house too!), sometimes so different I can hardly believe we're in the same place.

I love your story telling and your writing. Very nice.