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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Make Prata at Casuarina

Singapore has a long list of signature dishes, and the roti prata is one of them. Roti prata, an evolution of a Pakistan pancake, is a popular crispy flat bread amongst locals for breakfast, snack or supper. Pretty much an any-time any-day food!

Its a lightly flavoured dough commonly served plain with curry (i like to eat it with sugar too) but the local menus now feature a variety of eccentric variations such as durian (double whammy for a brave tourist, locals wouldn't eat it as it is a double whammy combi. Too heaty. ), ice-cream, cheese, chocolate and banana. All worth a try if you're adventurous but i'll stick with the safer variations like with egg or onion.

Prata stalls are easy to find but the more famous prata stalls are the ones who take up a few shop lots in a stretch. Usually to serve the night owls with their favourite after-party meal or where we catch up with friends in shorts and tees over a prata and milo peng (ice chocolatey drink) or teh tarik (pulled milk tea).

Between the many prata stalls, some places do it better than the others in texture. I prefer the light and slightly crispy than the soft and chewy ones. One of the better ones is found at Casuarina, off Upper Thomson Road.

Little did i know that, Casuarina offers a Prata Scholar Workshop on their premises at an affordable price of $15!
The prata chef took a break from flipping prata to come teach us. He was runner-up from last year's Singapore Prata Competition. A narrow shave from emerging champion in speed, size and skill.

If the runner-up is cooking at Casuarina, this would mean the prata there must be as big as it can get = value for money!

It may be a little difficult for some to understand the heavily accented Indian, but Mr. Babulal was extremely patient with us. The 2 hour session is conducted on dining premises, thus expect a little shuffling to and fro and some stares from diners. However, the atmosphere was bustling and as authentic as it can get. All staff were extremely tolerant, patient and friendly as we get in their way.
Entering the kitchen to understand what happens after all that flipping and tossing.
The 2 hour session includes learning how to flip and toss the dough, an essential preparation step before it gets pan-fried. As the kitchen is used for serving paying customers, we don't get to fry the prata we just made (i don't think my prata will be any ready for eating anyway!).

However, the good news is with the workshop, you get to gorge on unlimited plain prata with a drink. We even get a prata scholar certificate to boot!
The sight of the prata chef making prata is a sight to behold. With quick finger and hand movements; a toss in the air; and vigorous slaps and smacks just before serving are the steps to making prata. Try it for a unique Singapore experience.

1 comment:

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