Roti: Thailand’s Answer to my Sweet Tooth

I have a wicked sweet tooth. My meal isn’t finished until I have something sweet. Typically chocolate. Yet, I am not really picky. Ice cream, cake, cookies, they all work.

Coming to Asia, I knew from prior experience that there weren’t going to be desserts like the ones I am used to. Things that wouldn’t often be thought of as deserts in the USA like beans, rice, and fruit are often the desserts here.

Here is the mango sticky rice that I made at our cooking class.

Here is the mango sticky rice that I made at our cooking class.

While I do appreciate a delicious Mango Sticky Rice from time to time, I have found the Thai answer to my sweet tooth prayers: Roti (also sometimes spelled Rotee.)

Now, I know you might be thinking, “Hey, isn’t Roti a bread typically served with Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine?” And you would be right, sort of. While the wheat-flour dough is pan fried here in Thailand as well, it is the toppings and preparation that set it apart.

The first step in making Roti or Rotee.

The first step in making Roti or Rotee.

We were first introduced to this dessert on a food tour we took in Bangkok. The roti was green because it had pandan leaves in it, which offer a vanilla type flavor to the dough. We were served the egg, banana, and milk roti. But before you make a gross face, let me tell you about this incredible dish.

First, the dough is tossed to make it as thin as possible. Then, it is placed on a hot pan that is slightly concave and has oil in it. An egg is immediately cracked into the dough, and the yolk is broken and spread over the dough. Then a banana is cut into pieces and put on the egg. Once the banana has landed, the sides of the dough are folded to create a square-ish pocket to contain the banana. A dollop of butter is added on top before it is flipped over for the next step, crisping the dough. After a couple minutes the dough is crispy, the banana is warm and mushy and the egg totally cooked. The roti is then taken off the pan and cut into squares. After it is put onto a plate, it is covered in sweetened condensed milk.

Heaven.

You can’t taste the egg and this ingredients combination reminds me of my mom’s French Banana Pancakes. The crispy dough with the caramelized bananas and sweetness from the milk is incredibly delicious.

But egg, banana, and milk isn’t the only flavor combination you can get. There are dozens of combinations that include nutella, chocolate, honey, mango, strawberries, and more. While we have tried a few different combinations, we keep returning to the original. It is just too delicious to pass up.

The final, delicious, product.

The final, delicious, product.

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