Roti: Cambodia Street Food Originated from India

Still in Sihanoukville, a harbour city southern part of Cambodia…

We walked around at night to blend with locals. After a while, we found mobile stalls on the street selling snacks. The ingredients are halal too. So, we tried it!

The snack is called Roti, which means Pancake, and originated from India. Well, a bit surprising for us because the word Roti itself is a word in Indonesia vocabulary and we always think it’s native Indonesian word. Turns out the name is originated from India.

I’ve been doing little research on google about this matters out of curiousity.

Roti in India are like these; more like Flatbread.


Roti in Indonesia are like these. After getting the word from Indian, Indonesian people generalized the word of Roti into anything made with flour, a.k.a all kind of Bread. So, nowadays we Indonesian use Roti word for translation of the word Bread, of any kind.

Back to Sihanoukville, this Roti stall that we found, selling cheap delicious snack with a lot of variations to choose. The price of 1 portion of Roti only 1$ or below, depends on variation you choose.

It’s not my picture. Source is here.
A lot of video on Youtube available if you’re interested on the cooking process.

Basically, it is a thin layer (pancake) made from flour, wrapped over the egg, then cooked on a hot plate with butter/margarine. The snacks spread with condensed milk, cut into some little pieces, then stacked, and is served to you with little stick to pick the slices. The flour and egg batter can be varied by adding slices of bananas, corn, etc inside the layer when cooked. The topping can be varied using condensed milk, nutella, chocolate sauce, vanilla sauce, strawberry sauce, honey, sugar, etc.

Roti as Cambodian street food. We ordered it with additional banana slices inside, topped with condensed milk and chocolate sauce. Isn’t it inviting? 🙂 (Price ~ 0.5$)

Similarity with Thai Street Food

This Roti snack actually available in Thailand too as street food. Some variations are the same, some are different. In Thailand the price of 1 portion is around 20-50 Baht (~ 0.6 – 1.5 $). Banana Roti is kind of iconic on southern part of Thailand. If you buy this street food in Bangkok, most often it is sold by southern Thai Muslims who have moved there. By the way, the man who sell Roti to us in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, also comes from Thailand; we had a small talk while he’s cooking. Roti stall is popular in the evening hours and will often pop up at street corners unannounced.

So… next time you’re in Cambodia or Thailand, don’t forget to try it!

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