Breakfast in Mae Sot

Making roti at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot Mae Sot, a bustling city near the Burmese border in Tak province is mostly populated by Burmese refugees. Many of those who live in town are Muslim, and have had a huge influence on the city's food scene. In particular, along the street that runs south of the city's main mosque, you'll find several Burmese/Muslim-owned teashops:

At a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

They were heaps of fun, and served dishes you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Thailand.

Although roti, crispy fried pancakes, are available just about everywhere these days, it's still hard to find a good one. The guy pictured at the top of this post did a good job. His roti began their lives as small balls of greasy dough:

Roti dough at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

Stretched, smacked, pulled, smacked and slapped until the form thin disks, they're then fried in plenty of oil, shredded, and topped with sweetened condensed milk and sugar:

Sweet roti and tea at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

Sweet tea, also shown above, is available at every one of these places, although some customers choose to circumvent the restaurant altogether and order through the window:

Waiting for tea to go at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

Another fun dish is the tandoor-baked flatbreads known here as nanbya. Much like the roti, the dough is  portioned ahead of time. The balls of dough are then flattened onto a cloth-covered dome and slapped onto the side of the oven:

Baking bread in a tandoor oven at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

A couple minutes later they emerge as steaming hot flatbreads. The bread at the shop above was incredibly popular, and there was a line of people both inside and outside:

Baking bread in a tandoor oven at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

At most places this sort of bread was served with a dhal, a mild, watery lentil curry:

Tandoor-baked bread and dahl at a Muslim restaurant in Mae Sot

I wish we had something like this in Bangkok, although this blog's occasional investigative reporter Nong A tells me she recently came across something similar to nanbya at a place on Th Ramkhamhaeng. Details to follow soon...

The restaurants are open early, from 6-9am, and are found within about 500m south of the city's mosque, which I've labeled on the map below.

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