Singaporeans love Roti Prata, seriously (or just prata for short). We can start our day with prata for breakfast, have a quick prata snack in the afternoon, and end it with prata too for supper. Prata originated from Southern India made with the simplest ingredients, mainly flour, water, salt, sugar and ghee/oil. Think of it as the Indian version of a pancake, except crispy (and oily). In Malaysia, it is known as Roti Canai.
Making prata is an art in itself, from getting the right proportions, to the kneading, tossing and the flipping. While standing in line to order your prata, you will see clumps of dough the size of a small fist already portioned out lying on the prata ‘workstation’. Next to it is a large flat stove. The prata man takes each piece of dough and presses it till palm size, and then flips it multiple times in the air so it stretches to a size 4 times that of my face. The prata man then folds the thin sheet of dough from the edges so it becomes a square. The dough is then thrown onto the stove to cook for about 2-3 minutes, flipped every 30 seconds or so. The prata man drizzles oil over the stove very often. That’s why prata tastes so great! Lol~ You will find it a joy to watch the process while queuing!
Just like how it works for pizza, there are a number of flavours for prata too, except that the ingredients are mostly tucked inside rather than on top of the dough. After the plain prata (you can order a plain prata by telling the prata man “kosong”, which means “zero” in Malay), the next most popular is egg prata, where an egg is cracked in the middle of the stretched sheet of dough before it is folded and set on the stove. There is another egg version known as “plaster”, where the egg is cooked outside the prata and the yolk is still runny (we love our eggs like this don’t we?) For the savoury pratas, you can choose fillings like cheese, mushroom and onion. The meat version of prata is Murtabak, which is normally about 4 times the size of a regular prata. You can choose mutton, chicken, or beef. Pratas are served with curry gravy as a dip. Most prata stalls also sell rice dishes with an array of curries so if you prefer a particular type of curry to dip your prata in, you can request for it. Some people prefer sugar to go with their prata.
And then there are the sweet versions of prata, like chocolate or banana prata and an interesting one – tissue prata. It is tissue thin (thus its name) and more crispy, cooked with a little sugar on the surface, and served shaped like a large party cone hat.
You can find a prata stall in almost every coffeeshop served at the Indian Muslim stalls. One of the best parts about prata is the price. You can get a “kosong” for as little as 70 cents. At some places though like prata stalls at food courts, a plain prata costs about $1.20, and an egg prata $1.80. Murtabaks are much larger with meat filling so they are priced at about $6 apiece.
Here are some of the more well-known prata places you can try:
136 Casuarina Road
187 Macpherson Road (beside UOB Bank)
Opening hours: 7am-12 midnight
2. Sin Ming Roti Prata
Blk 24 Sin Ming Road #01-51
Opening hours: 6am-7pm
1 Thong Soon Avenue, Singapore 787431
Blk 340, #01-1679
Ang Mo Kio Avenue-1
2-4 Cheong Chin Nam Road
8 Boon Lay Way
#01-27 Trade Hub 21
484 Changi Road
5 Chu Lin Road
Bamboo Grove Park
30 Woodlands Avenue 1
#01-10 The Woodgrove
If you are in a mall, you might find a prata stall too. There are a number of Food Republic food courts (Vivocity Harbourfront, Serangoon Nex, Wisma Atria Orchard, Ion Orchard) that have What You Do Prata stalls (yes, that’s the name of the prata stall :D). Prata Wala is also has stalls in several malls like Jurong Point and Tampines Mall.
You can also get frozen prata from the supermarkets. It takes just about 5 minutes to pan fry on a non-stick pan, without oil! 😀
Other local foods to check out on our blog:
- Indian food
- Dim sum in Singapore (Red Star)
- Yong tau foo (beancurd stuff with fish)
- Fried carrot cake Singapore