A Reservoir Hills academic who calls himself Durban’s greediest man this week set out to break the record for eating the biggest roti ever made in South Africa.
Mohammed Junaid “MJ” Khan, a self-confessed fast food junkie, turned to iconic Overport takeaway Sunrise Chip and Ranch, which is known for creating the country’s biggest rotis, in his quest to create a doughy delight of epic proportions.
Getting to work in the kitchen with Sunrise owner Akash Birjanund, Khan supervised the rolling of a 1,1 metre-square roti with a 80cm diameter.
The mammoth flat bread was then, in true Sunrise fashion, stuffed with heaps of chips, chicken and viennas and then topped with an astonishing 110 slices of cheese. Once rolled, the giant creation weighed a hefty 5,2kg.
“Our regular rotis are huge, the biggest in South Africa, but Khan’s creation dwarfs anything we’ve previously rolled. We didn’t even have a pan big enough to cook it,” said Birjanund.
“MJ is our biggest fan and most loyal customer and he has a reputation for being a bit of a glutton, so when he said he wanted to build the biggest roti ever, I knew he meant business,” Birjanund added.
He said that the previous record for the biggest roti made at Sunrise was held by a visitor from the UK. It was stuffed with mutton, chicken, viennas and prawns, but weighed at least 800g less than Khan’s creation.
“It’s exciting when people attempt these records. And it’s fitting that MJ broke the record on our 20th anniversary,” Birjanund said.
It took Khan almost three ours to chew his way through the roti, a feat he described as the biggest eating challenge of his life. A regular entrant in pie and hot dog eating contests, Khan is also a former holder of the King of the Plate title.
“It was tough tackling that roti. But I used all my skill to get through it. I’m a true eating machine. You wouldn’t be able to tell that by looking at me. I mean, I’m pretty thin. I guess I just have a gift for it,” Khan said.
He said he was particularly excited about about having a roti named after him at Sunrise in honour of his feat.
“The King Khan”, as it will be known, will soon make an appearance on the menu.
“Shabir Shaik has the Linguine Alla Shaik named after him at Spiga d’Oro, I’ve got the King Khan. It’s really exciting, especially since Sunrise is so iconic,” Khan said.
Sunrise Chip and Ranch was started 20 years ago by Baboo Birjanund. The popularity of the brand has since grown tremendously with the introduction of menu items such as the chip and cheese roti and the best-selling Baboo Special – a roti packed with chips, salads, sauces and bean gravy.