Thai Street Food: Roti (โรตี)
Posted by Nitar Lohaphaisan on 07th March 2014
At all hours of the day, Thailand streets are filled with Thai food vendors cooking up some of the best dishes the country has to offer. As the Los Angeles weather gets warmer, we’re reminiscing the days of stepping out into the heat and onto the sidewalk for a plate of Som Tum and a bag of soda. To finish off our meal, we always looked forward to dessert. Other than the popular fried bananas and mango sticky rice, there was one dessert that was always in season — sweet roti.
Roti is a crepe-like bread that is flaky and can be found in most cuisines with an East Indian influence. Similar to the tortilla, roti is round and can vary in size. In Thailand, roti is made into a dessert dressed with condensed milk and sprinkled with sugar. Some recipes even call for bananas and cinnamon sugar. (Photo courtesy of Food 24.)
Another version we often find in Thailand is Roti Sai Mai (โรตีสายไหม). Originating from Ayutthaya, it’s a very popular dessert amongst Thais. The most noticeable difference between the two is the roti itself. Instead of the thick flaky crepe, the roti is paper-thin. The roti is also accompanied with stiff strands of colorful sugar similar to that of cotton candy. When purchasing, the roti and the sugar is bagged separately for the consumer to assemble. Our favorite part is hands-on! Grab a little bit of the sugar strands, place it in the middle of the roti, and roll the roti over until it looks like a burrito. (Photo courtesy of Ramny.net.)
The next time you find yourself in Thailand, try them both and let us know which one you prefer!