Satisfy your chapati cravings at Roti Chai

I love cooking. But there is one thing I can’t seem to master is the art of making chapatis.

I’ve tried but instead of being round, the chapatis often end up like the map of several countries.

I love Indian food and it’s never easy to find a place which hits the tummy and pocket right.

So where do I get my chapati fix in KL? Three places actually – both my homes (thanks to my mum and mother-in-law) and a hidden gem in Wangsa Maju – Roti Chai.

Obviously, you can’t beat home-cooked food but I’ve singled out Roti Chai because it’s almost perfect in every sense.

The eatery that dishes out Punjabi and northern Indian dishes is in Desa Setapak – the same Desa Setapak where college and university students hang out at the many restaurants and cafes.

Parking can sometimes be a challenge as you could end up driving in circles just to find a spot. But once that is sorted out, everything else falls into place.

The restaurant is homely and gives a nostalgic feel with posters of old Hindi movies hung on the walls.

People of all walks go there – from first-timers who struggle to eat chapatis with forks and spoons to old-timers who know exactly what they want and finish their meals in a jiffy.

So what’s nice to eat there? Everything, to be honest.

The chapatis are fluffy. My personal favourite is their chicken tikka and Afghani chicken. I’m not a big fan of mutton but my other half loves the mutton keema.

His other favourite is saag (mashed spinach). He’s simple that way – a chapati (or two) and saag will make him smile the whole day.

Roti Chai offers close to 30 types of bread, including aloo paratha, muli paratha, tandoori roti, kashmiri naan and keema mutton naan.

Other dishes include hariyali chicken tikaa, mallai chicken tikka, aloo mattar paneer, paneer butter masala and mutton rogan josh.

They also have Indian sweets and the must-try Punjabi chai (tea).

Samosa served with chutney and Punjabi chai – a perfect combination.

Now here comes the best part – the price.

Many of my friends, especially those who already enjoy Punjabi cuisine at home, avoid Northern Indian restaurants because they are often ridiculously expensive. But not Roti Chai.

For just RM1.70, you’d be able to enjoy a chapati with dhal just to satisfy your cravings.

If you seek a fuller meal, there are all-day set tandoor meals ranging from RM7 to RM15.90. They include a chicken tikka roll accompanied by lemon cordial (priced at RM7) and aloo pronta that comes with raita, chai and an Indian sweet (either barfi, gulab jamun, coconut candy or ladoo) for RM12.

The chicken tikka masala is perfect for two.

The restaurant has been around since 2018 and was founded by Narinder Kaur and her brother-in-law Jasvinder Singh.

Narinder, who left her job as a finance executive in a foreign bank, said the idea to start Roti Chai came unexpected.

“I quit my job in late 2017 as I wanted to take a brief hiatus. I told myself I would look for another job the following year.

“But then my brother-in-law who was working in the oil and gas industry got retrenched and we thought why not start our own business,” she said.

In the early days, they only had 10 items on the menu.

Roti Chai is also receptive to ideas and suggestions from customers. They have since introduced vegetarian dishes like tikka and poori following requests which trickled in during the Movement Control Order which began on March 18.

“We are also doing catering and can accommodate up to 100 people. Our food can also be delivered to homes,” Narinder added.

Head to Roti Chai to satisfy your Punjabi food cravings.

Roti Chai Restaurant

Address: 22, Jalan 1/27B, Desa Setapak, Wangsa Maju.

Hours: 11am to 10pm (Closed on Tuesdays).

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