Roti prata evolved from the original pancake recipes from Pakistan and India, and is a favourite in Singapore. Roti means “bread”, and prata means “flat”, but it is actually closer to a pancake with a lightly flavoured and subtle sweet dough that makes for a gratifying meal, especially in the mornings.
While commonly served plain with dhal or curry, local menus now feature a variety of eccentric variations such as durian, ice-cream, cheese, chocolate and banana, all worth a try for the adventurous diner. It is also not unusual to see prata - as it’s commonly known to the locals - being eaten with a sprinkle of sugar, as this brings out its natural taste.
The sight of the prata maker making the dish is a sight to behold. Look out for quick finger and hand movements; a toss in the air; and vigorous slaps and smacks just before serving to make it light yet doughy.
And forget about eating this with a fork and spoon; the best way to sample the magic of the prata is by dunking it in the complementary curry (usually mutton or fish-based) with your fingers. Only then will you fully understand the phrase, “Finger licking good!”
Between the many prata stalls, you’ll also find that the texture of the dough differs, ranging from soft and chewy to super crispy, with most being somewhere in the middle. Egg lovers should also try the egg prata, a filling and savoury version that’s hugely popular with the locals.
The roti prata is ubiquitous throughout Singapore, and chances are that you’ll find a prata stall a stone’s throw away from your hotel. Just ask your concierge to point you in the right direction; they’ll only be too glad to help, as Singaporeans pride themselves in knowing the best places in town to get the best local chow.