Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Around the World with Pancakes: Thai Roti with Banana

We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food

These pancakes are some of the most renown street food in Thailand: Roti filled with banana and egg, drizzled with sweetened condensed milk or chocolate (or both). 

Thai Roti Vendor
Photo Credit: Rob Taylor
Balls of dough are slapped into incredibly thin rounds then thrown on a hot griddle. Sliced banana, often mixed with a beaten egg, goes in the center and the corners of the roti are folded over into a square. You can watch a vendor "slapping" the dough into shape in a video by Import Food here.

Another Thai Roti Vendor, flattening the roti dough, with a stack of cooked roti in the corner
Photo Credit: Euke 1974
After watching the video, we tried slapping our dough as well - and to no one's surprise, it didn't work. Elle and I did have a fun time trying though, and in fact it was the sounds of our uproarious laughter that drew Pea in to join us in making them. Of other note, the recipe recommends twisting the dough into a ball before flattening it - we tried that at first, but ended up with the same results as simply rolling the dough, so we decided to skip that step for the rest. Our roti are not nearly as thin as the real ones, but they were tasty. Pea decided it was one of her favorite pancakes - not the least because it was covered in sweetened condensed milk. 

Thai Banana Roti

Recipe adapted from Import Food

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk, plus more for drizzling over
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp melted butter 
  • butter (for cooking)
  • vegetable oil (for coating)
  • Bananas for filling (about 1/2 banana per pancake)
  • Eggs for filing (1 egg per pancake)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the water, egg, 1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk, sugar and salt. Sift flour over the egg mixture and mix well. Add the melted butter, and knead the dough for a few minutes until it comes together nicely. Coat with vegetable and let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Knead the dough a few more times, then break off piece of dough that are approximately 1/3 cup. Roll these pieces in balls, and coat with oil.

3. Prepare the filling - slice the bananas and beat the eggs. We put approximately 1/2 banana per pancake mixed together with one egg.

4. Now it's time to flatten the roti. After our attempt at slapping them around, we decided to first stretch the dough out, and then roll it out. We used a rolling pin and a stone pestle - the stone pestle added that extra heft to thin out the dough :) 

5. Heat your pan or griddle on high heat and add some butter. Rub a bit of vegetable oil on your roti and place on hot pan. Cook for a minute, then add the egg/banana mixture. Let cook for another minute or two, until the bottom is crisp.

6. Fold sides of roti over the center. We folded ours into square packets by folding the two ends at this point, but it was rather difficult since our dough is not as thin as it should be. I would recommend folding these in two. Once folded, flip over and cook for another minute to ensure the filling is cooked.

7. Serve hot with sweetened condensed milk, and maybe even a sprinkling of sugar.

If you really feel decadent, add some chocolate syrup on top.

If you'd like to explore Thailand with children's books, Mama Lady Books has a great list here.

Find more multicultural recipes with Around the World in 12 Dishes, a group of bloggers that explore a set of countries, one per month, through food and activities. 
Find their roundup of Thai dishes and activities here

Find more pancake recipes on our page:


  1. Wow, this looks yummy! I love your idea of traveling around the world with pancakes!

    1. "Pancakes" are a pretty delicious way to travel :)

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! I'll have to give it a try. I'm bookmarking this! Thanks for sharing your recipe and method. :-)

    1. You'll have to let me know what you think! I never would have thought of mixing banana and egg, but it was a great filling.

  3. Oh, they look so good!! If you do decide to hop on a plane to come and see our presentation, you couldn't bring some of those pancakes (chocolate please!) with you, could you??!

  4. Yum! Are you going to try paratha in your pancake series?

    1. That's a good idea Shecki- I'll have to check those out.

  5. Oh, my! These sound divine. I am sure we would all love them. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. The fact that we're encouraged to drizzle sweetened condensed milk was a big seller for me (I could eat that stuff with a spoon)

  6. I'm thinking we did a Thai recipe once and it did not go over at all, this would have been much more popular to my mind.

    1. It's pretty hard to go wrong with pancakes! Especially when covered in sugary toppings :)


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