This stall has moved.
Eating Roti Prata with the family on a lazy morning is one of those things that make me happy. It’s cheap, it’s tasty and it makes me feel very Singaporean. It’s not something the Health Promotion Board would advocate, which is just as well since I only get to do this on the occasional public holiday.
I had blogged about Riyadh Muslim Food years ago, but had recently heard that they have changed hands. So I paid them a visit to see what the new owners are doing.
Nowadays a lot of prata places hire workers from Chennai to run the stall. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ramath is still very much a family run stall. The husband and wife team, Allaudin and Nisa, used run a little grocery store together before buying over the Muslim food stall from their uncle. They now run the place with help from some of their other relatives.
According to Nisa, they have tried to keep to Riyadh’s original recipe as much as possible. However, the prata dough is no longer made on the premises, but has been outsourced to a local dough maker.
For a long time I have been quite prejudiced by prata dough that has been procured from a factory. However, with the manpower crunch, it seems inevitable that more and more prata sellers would need to use ready made dough as they won’t have enough manpower to make their own. After talking to Nisa, I have come to realize that not all prata dough makers are the same. Thus, one of the requisite skills of the prata aficionado is to be able to recognize the better brands!
Nisa tells me that they finally settled on the Al Ansar after trying out the various brands in the market. The dough made by Al Ansar is specially formulated to produce the crispy style of prata which is very popular in Singapore. But procuring a good dough is only the start. What is equally important is how the prata is flipped, the kind of oil used and how it is fried.
Now, you don’t need me to tell you that it would take one heck of a politician to be able to justify prata as health food. That shatteringly crisp exterior is achieved by frying the dough in a pool of oil which is best kept out of your line of sight when you order. Having said that, prata is no worse than doughnuts, which are also fried in oil and croissants which has layers of butter between sheets of dough. So it make no sense to demonize prata while happily extolling the virtues of doughnuts!
The thing that gives prata that edge in flavour is ghee. Ghee is expensive which is why a lot of stalls just use vegetable oil. Rahmath uses a mixture of ghee and vegetable oil to fry the prata which give it a nice aroma. The outside is super crisp while it is still doughy on the inside which gives it a satisfying chew. The kid in me still enjoys prata that is first dipped into curry and then sugar. Shiokelicious! 4.5/5
The mutton curry ($3.50) is very nice and I would recommend this over the normal curry that they serve. My only wish is that they would one day make my favourite dhal chat together with some sweet sambal!
Glad to see a Singaporean family run prata shop making prata with passion! The other thing that is really good is that they are situated in an industrial estate and the carpark is right next to the Eating House, so you can just drive up, park your car, open the car door and literally just sit down! There are also ample tables so there is no problem finding a seat!