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Tucking into a plate of roti canai (Roti prata as it is called in Singapore) with teh tarik on the side has been a staple for Singaporeans and Malaysians since it was first introduced to this nation decades ago from South India.

As a matter of fact, Malaysians love it so much that it was crowned the nation’s “new king” on GrabFood and FoodPanda list during the movement control order (MCO) period1, dethroning everyone’s favourite Nasi Lemak.

While it’s always nice to have a crispy and fluffy piece of flatbread, it can also be relatively dense in the number of calories.

Let’s take a look at the number of calories in Roti Canai and its variations.

How Many Calories are There in Roti Canai (Prata), Chapati, Murtabak, Naan, and Tosai?

Roti Canai Calories

Value Per Serving

Value per 100g

Frozen Roti Canai197 - 1 Slice (58g)340
Gravy, Curry Chicken with Potato, Skin Removed303 - 1 Bowl-rice (11and 1/2 cm) (220g)138
Gravy, Fish Curry, without Coconut Milk (Kari Ikan Tanpa Santan)103 - 1 portion (70.88g)145
Plain Roti Canai (Roti Prata)301 (1 keping - 95g)317
Roti Canai Bawang304 - 1 Piece (127g)239
Roti Canai Planta793 - 1 Piece (351g)226
Roti Telur Mamak356 (1 keping - 135g)264
Sambal, Kuah Kari (Curry Gravy)177.35 - 1 Bowl-soup (16 and 1/2 cm) (285.4g)62.142
Yellow Dhal Gravy (Kuah Kacang Dal Kuning)58 (1/2 cawan - 80g)73

Chapati Calories

Value Per Serving

Value per 100g

Kuah Kacang Hijau76 (1/2 cup - 80g)95
Plain Chapati300 (1 Keping - 100g)300

Murtabak Calories

Value Per Serving

Value per 100g

Chicken Murtabak (Murtabak Ayam)765 (1 piece - 500g)153
Plain Murtabak (Murtabak Kosong)231 (1 piece - 146.2g)158
Vegetable Murtabak (Murtabak Sayur)621 (1 piece - 332g)187

Naan Calories

Value Per Serving

Value per 100g

Plain Naan345 (1 portion - 113g)305

Tosai Calories

Value Per Serving

Value per 100g

Paper Tosai153 - 1 portion (50g)305
Plain Tosai147 (1 keping - 80g)184
Rava Tosai205 (1 keping -85g)241
Tosai Masala362 - 1 Piece (225g)161
Tosai Telur445 ( 1 round piece - 195g)228

Is Roti Canai Fattening?

Roti canai is not exactly friendly to your waistline.

It’s made from flour and a lot of ghee, as it’s necessary to create layers of flaky and moist dough. When the amount of oil being used is too little, the dough will turn out to be hard and dry.

Not only is roti high in carbohydrates and fat, but it has also been linked to adverse health issues such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease2.

With that being said, there’s no need to eliminate it from your meal plan to lose weight – you will still be able to achieve your goal provided that you’re in a calorie deficit at the end of the day.

Just make sure that you’re consuming it in moderation, and do not completely flood it with curry or dhal every time you’re having it!

If you’re looking for a healthier (and lower calorie) alternative, here are 2 options for you to choose from:-
a. Plain tosai is made of nutritious ingredients such as rice, split black lentils and fenugreek seeds, and it contains half of the calories in roti canai and chapati.

b. Idli, a soft & fluffy steamed cake that’s made of fermented black lentils and rice, is another popular breakfast option at just 79kcal per piece.

Balance is Key

As a foodie myself, the thought of giving up on my favourite foods has never crossed my mind.

Clean eating take a conscious act of will, aka will power. Every day you have to deny yourself something – some taboo food that’s NOT on your list of acceptable foods, that you carry with you 24/7, and that makes you think twice if the chef has used it in the meal they served to you.

Instead of labeling foods as “bad” or “off-limits”, I implemented weight-loss strategies such as intermittent fasting into my daily routine (which works like a charm), and I also consume fewer calories throughout the week so that I can fit in a few pieces of crispy roti canai with some piping hot curry and dhal into my flexible meal plan while still maintaining a calorie deficit.

Trying to be “perfect” with your diet is unsustainable for most people. So, the next time when you’re thinking of going cold turkey with your diet, remember to make room for your favourite treats, and both your palate and mental health will thank you for that decision.

Source:

1. EDDIE CHUA (2020), Roti canai is top MCO food. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/22/roti-canai-is-top-mco-food

2. FATIMAH ZAINAL (2019), Companies come up with healthier roti canai. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/01/17/companies-come-up-with-healthier-roti-canai/