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Sel Roti (Nepali Sweet Bread)

Sel Roti (Nepali Sweet Bread)

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2 cups uncooked rice
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup and 2 ½ tablespoons ghee (or butter)
½ cup milk
1 small banana, very ripe
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
¼ teaspoon powdered clove
rice flour, as needed to firm up dough
oil for frying

Sel Roti is a Nepalese fried bread unlike any other bread around the world. Nepal’s sacred bread, Sel Roti is a very special food prepared for the deities in rituals, and is an essential part of any Nepali cultural celebration or special ceremony.

The recipe is very simple and easy to make. Some recipes, like ours, call for banana. Others include grated coconut. Perhaps we’ll try that next time. Sel Roti can be eaten alone as a confectionery snack, served with hot tea, or included as a nibble treat alongside other dishes. This bread is gluten-free and you can also make it vegan by subbing coconut oil for the ghee and water (or coconut milk) for the milk. Try it and let us know what you think!

Making sel roti

Rinse the uncooked rice in cold water, repeatedly refilling the water until it’s no longer cloudy. Cover the rice once more in cold water and allow it to soak overnight.

Drain and rinse the rice once more, then transfer it to food processor.

Add the following ingredients:
palm sugar
ghee
banana
cardamom
clove

Process your ingredients while slowly adding the milk. Continue blending until the mixture turns into a smooth, fine paste.

Pour the batter into a bowl. Continue to beat the batter by hand, until it becomes fluffy. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

If the batter is runny, mix in small amounts of rice flour (1 tablespoon at a time) until the batter firms up. If the batter is too thick to pour, mix in a small amount of water.

Heat ½ – 1 inch of oil in a large saucepan or medium skillet. When the oil is hot enough to begin smoking lightly, you can start frying your Sel Rotis. You can pour by hand or use a pastry bag with a wide tip. Slowly pour (or squeeze) the batter into the hot oil, forming the shape of a circle.

Using the handle of a wooden spatula or a chopstick, stretch the batter open while frying to create a wide, thin circle. Fry on one side until golden brown, then turn your circle over and allow it to brown on the other side.

Scoop the fried bread out using a spatula and set it aside to drain on a paper towel lined tray. Repeat this process with the remainder of the Sel Roti batter.

Serve hot.

Note: make this dish vegan by substituting coconut oil for the ghee and water (or coconut milk) for the milk.

Summary
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Recipe Name
Sel Roti (Nepali Sweet Bread)
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