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This Thai roti recipe is for a popular Thai street food also called Thai banana pancake. A crispy pancake served with condensed milk and banana, the sweet and salty flavors will get you hooked immediately. Simple to make with just a few ingredients, discover one of Thailand’s most popular treats.
What is Thai Roti or Thai Banana Pancake
Thai banana roti or โรตีกล้วยหอม is a tasty pan fried snack or dessert found all over Thailand.
Loved and popular among locals and visitors to Thailand, they are irresistibly addicting.
The roti is cooked on a griddle and then layered with sliced banana pieces. It is topped with a good drizzle of sweetened condensed milk with a light sprinkling of sugar.
Typically, Thai roti is then cut up into bite-sized pieces and served with a wooden stick for eating and sharing. The roti can also be rolled up into a piece of white paper making it easier to eat on the go.
History of Roti
The history of roti is complicated and goes back thousands of years. This quintessential flat bread is said to have originated from Indus Valley civilization.
Other theories say it originated in East Africa and was brought over to India.
The term roti is a general term for Indian flatbread and there are many different types of rotis. Roti bread is generally made with whole wheat flour and cooked on a flat skillet.
This Indian flatbread is popular worldwide from Europe, North America, and Asia. Roti recipes vary as well as the roti filling or stuffing used.
Thai Roti in Thailand
In Thailand, the roti is said to have been introduced by Indian immigrants years ago.
Thai roti is also similar to Malaysia’s roti canai, which are famous at Mamak or Muslim-Indian vendors.
In Thailand, the roti is said to have originated in the southern part of the country which has a high population of Muslims.
The Muslim community adapted the Malaysian roti to Thai tastes and preferences.
Most roti vendors in Thailand are of Muslim or Indian origin having had the techniques passed down over the generations.
Roti vendors are usually found on busy streets alongside other Thai street food vendors. For locals, Thai roti is a common breakfast or snack eaten during the day.
While visitors to Thailand often consider it a special treat eaten for dessert after dinner.
In Thailand it is not surprising to see long lines of people waiting to place their orders. The most popular is the Thai banana roti also called Roti Gluay.
The roti is fried dough cooked in a large pancake griddle with lots of butter or margarine. Depending on your order, different sweet stuffings are added.
The most common are banana and sugar topped with sweetened coconut condensed milk.
Discovering Banana Thai Roti or Roti Gluay in Thailand
Watch on Youtube for the full-screen video
The first time we visited Thailand on our quest to explore the local food specialties, we were immediately captivated by this dessert.
On most evenings on busy Bangkok streets we would watch in amazement as Thai roti vendors stretched out the dough. The skillful hands and quickness involved in flipping the roti was hypnotizing.
Intrigued and looking for a sweet treat to finish off a spicy meal, we enjoyed several Thai banana roti from different vendors.
The most popular and our favorite is the traditional filling roti gluay, made with banana and sweetened condensed milk.
Today, you’ll find Thai roti vendors with creative fillings that may include chocolate, nutella, and more.
This Thai roti recipe is for the traditional version made with bananas and sweetened condensed milk.
Thai Roti Recipe – How To Make Thai Banana Pancakes At Home
Making Thai roti at home is quite simple and does not require many ingredients. What is necessary are periods of wait time.
The wait or rest time allows the dough to settle and also makes it easier to stretch out during the cooking process.
For the Dough
- All-purpose flour
- ½ cup of water
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Unsalted butter
For the Coating
- Vegetable oil like Sunflower oil or Avocado oil
For the Thai Roti Filling
- 1 ripe banana
- Sweetened condensed milk
Tools or Kitchen Equipment
- Flat frying pan, 12-inches in diameter or larger
Thai Roti Recipe Tips
How Ripe Should The Banana Be?
The banana that you use for this Thai roti recipe should not be too ripe, otherwise, it will get mushy after cooking.
Choose a banana that has a little hint of green on the skin. That’s the sign for a perfectly ripe banana.
Can I Freeze The Thai Roti Dough?
You can freeze the Thai roti dough for up to 2 months. The best way to do this is when the dough is raw or not cooked.
After the dough balls have rested, flatten the dough with a rolling pin until about 2mm thick.
Place each flattened roti between plastic wrap or saran wrap and transfer them into a zip lock bag.
Well sealed, the Thai roti can stay frozen or upto two months.
When you are ready to defrost them, remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge to use the next day.
After the dough balls have defrosted follow the stretching technique described in the instructions below.
Thai Roti Recipe – Step by Step Instructions
Make The Dough
Prepare the dough by mixing all the ingredients together. Once the flour has been kneaded and mixed in well, let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes, covered.
After 15 minutes, roll the dough in your hands to form an oval shape and place on a clean lightly floured counter.
Divide The Dough
Using a knife, divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Each piece should be the size of a tennis ball or slightly larger than a golf ball. Using your hands, form a ball with each piece and brush with cooking oil.
Place all the balls back in a bowl with cooking oil, and let the dough rest for about two hours.
Shape The Roti
Once the dough has rested, flatten each ball on a flat surface. To shape the roti, stretch out each edge as far as it will go, without breaking the dough.
Gently lift the stretched roti and place it on a pan over medium heat. Straighten out any edges that have folded and then arrange the banana in the middle of the roti.
Cook The Roti
Cook the roti on both sides until crispy and golden brown. When ready, remove from the pan and cut up the Thai roti on a cutting board.
Drizzle condensed milk, a sprinkle of granulated sugar, and enjoy while hot.
Banana Thai Roti Recipe
For the dough
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ tbsp sweetened condensed milk optional
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
For the coating
- 1 tbsp Avocado oil sunflower oil, canola oil, or any other vegetable oil
For the filling
- 1 banana ripe, sliced
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Combine the flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to rub the butter into the flour
- Add the condensed milk (optional) and egg to the water and mix well
- Add the flour-butter mixture to the water mixture and knead well, just until all the dry flour has been absorbed.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Now, transfer the dough to a work surface and knead with your hands for about 5 minutes. Add a bit of flour if the dough seems too sticky. The dough should feel moist but it shouldn’t stick to your hands.
- Roll the dough in your hands to form an oval shape and cut into 5 equal sized balls. The balls will be about the size of a tennis ball (2.5 inches or 6 cm in diameter). Place the balls back into the bowl, then brush each ball with the cooking oil.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for at least 2 hours. You can also leave the dough refrigerated overnight, but make sure to remove them from the fridge at least 3 hours before using.
- To shape the roti, flatten each ball on a flat surface and thin it out by stretching out each edge as far as it will go, without breaking the dough. Press the edge onto the surface to help keep it in place. Repeat this process until you get a very thin sheet of dough.
- Heat a 12 inch flat pan over medium heat and add some cooking oil. Lift the stretched roti from the surface and place it into the hot pan.
- Arrange the sliced banana in the middle of the roti. Quickly fold the edges of the roti over the banana to form a square, turn over the roti and cook until golden brown and crispy from both sides. Cooking time should be about 4-5 minutes
- Remove from the pan and transfer to a cutting board to bite sized squares. Drizzle with some condensed milk.
- Enjoy while warm
- Making the dough, adding condensed milk is optional. You can keep the dough unsweetened and try savory fillings as well.
- The resting step is an important step that you should consider. During this period the water absorbs into the flour, a technique known as “autolyse.” This process makes it easier to shape and knead the dough afterwards.
- When frying roti, the more oil you add to the pan, the crispier the roti becomes.
- When serving the Thai roti, you can sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top or drizzle with chocolate sauce for an even sweeter finish.
More Local Food Experiences and Recipes
Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest