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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 dough and cook them to order because cold roti is not good! So it's not the most party-friendly food, but there is a way to make it more manageable: make 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.
If you're looking for a treat that can be prepped in advance, try this Thai-style fried ice cream that is super easy, and can be prepped and ready to go in the freezer for months!
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.
Watch The Full Video Tutorial!
All my recipes come with step-by-step video tutorials with extra tips not mentioned in the blog post, so make sure you watch the video below to ensure success - and if you enjoy the show, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thank you!Print
Thai Banana Roti โรตีกล้วยหอม
- Yield: 10-11 pieces
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!
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk (or sub 1 tablespoon 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 oil (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
Flat, thick-bottomed frying pan, 12-inches in diameter (or bigger is better if you have one)
To make the dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine salt and water and whisk until salt is dissolved. Add condensed milk and egg, whisk until combined.
- In another bowl, add flour and butter, and use your fingers to rub butter it into flour until no more big chunks are visible.
- Add flour-butter mixture to 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 bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let 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 dough has rested, transfer 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. The dough should be quite moist and may feel tacky, but it shouldn't stick to your hands.
- Once the dough is kneaded, let 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 dough is resting, mix together melted butter and oil for coating dough balls.
- Stretch dough into a log, then cut 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 pinching the edges together towards the centre (see video for technique). Doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want it to be round.
- Brush the butter/oil mixture on the bottom of the container you’re using to store dough balls. Then brush each dough ball generously with butter mixture and place into container.
- Let dough rest at least 3 hours, or you can refrigerate the dough and cook it the next day. If dough is refrigerated, remove from fridge at least 2 hours before using so it can come to room temp.
Easy way to shape the roti:
- On a clean, lightly oiled work surface, press a dough ball into a flat disk.
- Grab the edge, one section at a time, and stretch it out as far as it will go without tearing. Press 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 stretched 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 banana (or whatever filling you're using) in the centre of the dough in a square, about 12-16 slices. Make sure you don’t put too much or you won’t be able to cover it with the dough. Quickly fold the edges of the roti over the banana; don't wait to long before folding or the dough will become stiff and hard 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.
- 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 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 condensed milk (or chocolate sauce) and sprinkle on some granulated sugar. Enjoy!
Fresh sweet mango is an awesome filling
Is it possible to make eggless?
You are wonderful with your explanation and presentation. I really enjoy watching you teach which I have pick up quick a bit. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
One question regarding the dough. Can I freeze the rest of the dough if I do not use it?
It’s my pleasure to know you. Keep up the good work. Take care n stay safe.
Thank you! The dough will last in the fridge for a few days, and while I have not tried freezing it myself, they do sell frozen roti on the market so I don't see why not. It's definitely worth a try! The ones you can buy come already rolled out in sheets, but I think you can just freeze the dough balls as well.
I'm in the process of making the dough right now .. I'm super excited. Your video is boss
Yummy! Yes, it took some time, but you explained it well... and it was the perfect addition to my Thai meal.. we had it with ice cream which was yummy!
I used some of the leftover dough for breakfast the next morning.. filled with egg and avocado- delicious!
So so good and didn't find it complicated at all to make. The hardest part was being patient for the dough to rest. I had to add quite a bit of flour so my dough wasn't too sticky but I think it's because the egg I used was quite large. Thank you for this recipe! Makes me think of our amazing trip to Thailand a couple years ago.
Hi P Pai,
My son loves roti. Every time we go to Thailand, he would have roti everyday. Seems like our annual trip to Thailand will be postponed for a long time. What brand of AP flour did you use for this recipe as I learned that not all AP are the same? Did you use American AP or Asian AP? Thank you for your response. I really want to make this roti for my boy.
Lots of work but still very good
This is a must-have every time I visit Thailand, so I was so delighted when I found I could make it at home. Not really easy, I sometimes get the dough a little bit off, but I've been making it from time to time. You can add whatever fillings you like, not just banana. As a matter of fact, my favourite is peanut butter and condensed milk!
Not easy to make but for me the best Thai dessert.
The effort is worth it.