Thai Banana Pancakes (Banana Roti) โรตีกล้วยหอม

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Thai roti is one of THE most popular snacks/desserts amongst visitors to Thailand! You can see roti carts at many tourist attractions around the country, and nowadays, vendors offer so many different filling options like bananas, chocolate sauce, nutella, apples, etc. which, by the way, were not available when I was a kid, so roti has come a long way! If you go to non-touristy parts of Thailand you may still see some old-school roti vendors that still don’t offer many fancy fillings.

*Extra Goodies for Patreon Members: In this episode’s “Show After The Show” I share with you how an old-school variation of roti that I used to get all the time as a kid! Click here to find out more about becoming a Patreon member!

Healthier Roti At Home

No one will ever say roti is good for you, but by making it at home, you can make it a little less bad! Street vendor rotis are tasty, but they don’t usually use the best of ingredients. You’ll notice that many vendors use what looks like butter, but it’s really margarine which is full of trans fat and is really bad for your health. They also most likely use the cheapest vegetable oil they can get a hold of, which is also not the best for you. This is not true of some fancier roti places, by the way, but it is true of most street carts. So at home, I can use real butter, and for the cooking I use avocado oil which is a healthy, heat resistant, neutral flavoured cooking oil that I use for most of my cooking nowadays.

Making the Dough in Advance

Admittedly, this isn’t an easy, simple weeknight recipe. The dough itself is pretty straight forward, but the work is in the actual cooking of because you gotta stretch the rough and cook them to order, and you can only make them one at a time unless you’ve got many pans going. Cold roti is not good! So it’s not the most party-friendly food, but there is a way to make it more manageable by making the dough in advance. Once you divide the dough into balls, butter them and and put them in the fridge, covered, and cook it the next day. Bring it out of the fridge 2 hours before cooking to let it come to room temp. I’ve actually done this up to 3 days in advance and it still came out fine, though more than that and the dough started to get weirdly mushy and hard to work with. The dough also developed some dark spots after 2 days, though this didn’t seem to affect the end result.

Reheating Roti

If the roti has been filled and topped with sauce…don’t bother reheating it. It’ll be chewy and not the same. BUT if you really want to do it in advance and reheat when serving, you can make a plain unfilled roti. Don’t put any toppings on it, then when ready to serve you can pop it in a toaster oven for few minutes and it’ll crisp back up, and then you can top it with toppings after. Obviously this isn’t gonna be the same cuz the bananas won’t get cooked…but if you’re not doing a banana filling it may work for you.

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Thai banana pancake or “Thai roti” is a super popular street snack that is absolutely divine! Crispy, slightly chewy, buttery dough is filled with warmed bananas and topped with condensed milk. Nothing can beat it! #roti #thaipancake #thairecipe #thaibananaroti #thaistreetfood

Thai Banana Roti โรตีกล้วยหอม

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Yield: 10-11 pieces

Description

The video is a little long for this, but if you’re gonna make it please make sure to watch the video before making! There are a lot of little techniques involved that are much better communicated via video than text. But I promise the result will be worth it!


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk (or sub 1 Tbsp sugar)
  • 1 egg, large
  • 260 ml water
  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 55 g unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1½ Tbsp unsalted butter (for coating the dough)
  • 1 Tbsp neutral flavoured (for coating the dough)
  • Neutral flavoured oil for cooking
  • Extra unsalted butter for cooking (optional)

Fillings & Toppings (just some ideas, you can put whatever you want in it!)

  • Banana (choose ones with just a tiny hint of green on the skin, but not so green that it tastes bad! Too-ripe bananas will turn mushy quickly when cooked)
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Nutella or chocolate sauce
  • Granulated sugar

Tools:

Flat, thick-bottomed frying pan, 12-inches in diameter (or bigger is better if you have one)


Instructions

To make the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine salt and water and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Add the condensed milk and egg, whisk until combined.

In another bowl add the flour, then and butter and use your fingers to rub the it into the flour until no more big chunks are visible.

Add the flour mixture to the water mixture and knead with your hands quickly just until all the dry flour has been absorbed. It’ll looks like a really shaggy, rough dough. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 – 30 minutes. (This resting step, called autolyse, is optional, but it will allow water to absorb into the flour and will reduce the total kneading time you need over all.)

Once the dough has rested, transfer the dough onto a clean work surface and continue kneading with your hands for about 5 minutes. It will feel too moist at first, but it should feel drier after a few minutes. If after a few minutes of kneading, the dough is still sticking to your hands, add a little bit of extra flour and knead it in. When you’re done kneading, the dough won’t be super smooth, in fact, the dough may seem a little bit rough on the surface, this is okay. As long as the texture and moistness of the dough is even all throughout, about 5 minutes of hand kneading time. The dough should be quite moist and may feel tacky, but it shouldn’t stick to your hands.

Once the dough is kneaded, let it rest for another 10-15 minutes to relax the gluten. This step is also optional, but it will make it easier for you to separate the dough into portions.

While the dough is resting, mix together melted butter and oil for coating the dough.

Stretch the dough into a log, then cut the dough into 80g pieces (you will get about 11 pieces total). Note: 80g dough balls is for roti made in a 12-inch pan.

Form each dough piece into a ball by pinches the edges together towards the center (see video for technique). Doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want it to be round. Do this for all the dough balls.

Once you’ve got your balls formed, brush the butter/oil mixture on the bottom of the container you’re using to store the dough balls. Then Brush each dough ball generously with the butter mixture and place them into the container. Let the dough rest at least 3 hours, or you can also refrigerate the dough at this point and cook it the next day or two. Pull the dough out from fridge at least 2 hours before using so it can come to room temp.

Easy way to shape the roti:

On a clean work surface, press a dough ball into a flat disk. Then grab the edge, one section at a time, and stretch it out as far as it will go without tearing, pressing the edge onto the counter so it doesn’t shrink back. Go around the piece stretching until you have a very thin sheet of dough. Use a knife to trim off the very edge of the dough which tends to be thicker.

To cook the roti:

Heat a 12-inch flat skillet (or bigger) over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom (be on the generous side with oil or you will not get a nice crisp roti). Add a little piece of dough scrap into the pan as a heat tester, and once it’s bubbling in the oil, you’re ready to cook the dough.

Carefully transfer the dough into the pan, trying not to let it fold onto itself during the transfer. Once you’ve placed the dough, quickly use a spatula to straighten out any edges that have folded.

Arrange the banana (or whatever filling you’re using) on the center of the dough in a square, about 12-16 slices, making sure you don’t put too much or you won’t be able to cover it with the dough. Fold the edges of the roti over the banana (don’t wait too long to do this or the dough will be too stiff to fold.

Once the bottom side has browned slightly, flip and brown the other side. Keep flipping it back and forth about every minute or so until both sides are well browned and crispy. Total cooking time should be about 4-5 minutes.

Once done, if you wish, and add a little piece of butter beside the roti, then move the roti to coat it in this melted butter. Let it cook in this butter for about 30 seconds.

Transfer the roti onto a cutting board and cut into 12-16 pieces. Use a bench scraper to place it onto a serving plate, let it cool off a bit before eating cuz that banana is HOT! When ready to eat, drizzle on condensed milk (or chocolate sauce) and sprinkle on some granulated sugar. Enjoy!