Rotis drizzled with sweetened condensed milk were a staple of my childhood. Sometimes Mom served them with eggs for breakfast. She could make them from scratch but usually, to save time, she used the pre-made frozen variety that she found at the Asian market. I could eat an entire package of these in one sitting, if no one stops me. When I found out that DP had been eating these and green onion pancakes long before we met, I knew he was stuck with me. That’s my idea of romance.
In Chiang Mai, the roti stands were dominated by Thai Muslims who were exceptionally skilled at working the unleavened bread on a hot griddle while you waited. Condensed milk is a must, and for a few extra baht, you could add a beaten egg, sliced bananas, or chocolate sprinkles. It was the perfect ending to a stroll through the night bazaar or Saturday market on Wualai Road. Like jok stands and the khaling man, roti vendors should exist on every corner.
When I started thinking about what I should bring to the next Fiesta Friday, I made up my mind to do something I’ve been meaning to do since 2006: learn to make all of my favorite Southeast Asian street foods.
That’s right – I’ve called myself out. Everyone at Fiesta Friday #10 will be my witness.
I will learn to make one street food dish
each week as often as I can, until I finish the list. I got a little cocky there, but let’s be real: I only managed to pull out something outrageous last week because of a rare stroke of genius. Since rotis are basically just fried dough with some form of oil, they’re not nearly as healthy of an offering as last week.
After a little bit of research, I discovered that there really isn’t a whole lot to roti dough, which makes me suspicious because they are so chewy and crispy, a mix between crepes and puff pastry. Surely it cannot be easy. I used this recipe from Importfood.com. That entire website is an awesome resource for authentic Thai food, with some helpful videos straight from the streets of Thailand.
Alas, I forgot we were out of butter. I substituted with vegetable oil, which I saw used in other recipes around the Web. I left the condensed milk out of the dough because there is plenty in the finished product. I’ll be honest with you – as far as folding the dough as described on the website, I have no idea what they are talking about. I just winged it.
I will have to practice a lot more before I can whip the dough around like the man in the suggested video. He is like the Sbarro pizza guy at the mall when I was kid. My dough kept tearing. Seriously, watch the video; you will be mesmerized.
This one goes down in the books as: Tasty But Needs More Practice. I recommend adding Nutella, any type of berries, or even peanut butter. I am a simple gal and just take mine with milk and bananas.