Sel roti: Cook Nepal’s iconic dish a yummy way

nepali food sel roti
Sel roti. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As Nepal is diverse culturally, foods in this country have different tastes and flavours. Yet, there are some food items that are common to all and hence unify the country. Of them, sel roti (or, simply, sel) is one.

Shape-wise, sel roti is a Nepali doughnut. It is a traditional Nepali ring-shaped sweet bread that is deep-fried in oil or ghee and made with granulated rice or rice flour.

This authentic Nepali sweet is loved by most Nepalis and is considered mandatory during Hindu festivals and ceremonies like Dashain, Tihar, Teej, weddings, bratabandhas, and others. Not only in Nepal, but sel roti is also made and enjoyed by many Nepali-speaking communities in Sikkim, Darjeeling, and of late, wherever Nepalis are there.

Additionally, this delicacy is also available in many local restaurants in Nepal. And, sel roti is also sent as a gift (koseli) or as a prasad to family members and friends living away from home during any puja or ceremony or festival. 

Instead of buying sel roti or waiting for some friend or some family member to send you some sel roti, learn to make this iconic Nepali delicacy on your own. If you are worried about how you are going to make it, here we come with a simple and easy recipe to follow.

Photo: Flickr


Let’s start with listing the ingredients for making sel roti. Please keep in mind that, sel roti is generally made in a large quantity, but you can fix the amount of each ingredient as per your need.

  1. Rice: 2 kg 
  2. Ghee: 250 gram (Optional)
  3. Water
  4. Sugar as per taste
  5. Oil or ghee (to fry)
  6. Milk: One cup
  7. Cardamom powder: Two tablespoons
  8. Grated coconut: Two cups
  9. Almond and cashew nut powder: ½ cup


  • First of all, to make sel roti, you need to make a batter. For that, you need to rinse the uncooked rice a couple of times and soak it overnight or at least for about eight hours. Once the rice gets soaked, drain the water and grind the soaked rice along with sugar and ghee. You can grind it using an electronic mixer or traditional silauto and lohoro. 
  • If you are grinding the rice in silauto, you can add sugar and ghee afterward. Even if you are grinding the rice in a mixer, you can leave the ghee and sugar and add it later on. Now, take a big bowl and pour the granulated rice, ghee, sugar, grated desiccated coconut, cardamom powder, almonds, and cashew nuts powder and mix them very well.
Making sel roti batter. Photo: Flickr
  • You can also add some milk and/water to adjust the consistency of the batter. It should neither be too watery nor too thick. It should be somewhere between thick and watery. Once you are done with the consistency, leave for another two-three hours to rest.
  • Now, prepare a funnel so that you can pour the batter in it and drop it into the oil or ghee easily. As an alternate, you can cut the bottom part of a water bottle to use as a funnel. You can also use a coconut shell with a medium hole in the bottom. Else, you can also use a jug to pour the batter and give sel roti the round shape. (An expert sel roti maker can pour the batter with his/her hands themselves.) 
Pouring sel roti batter in hot oil or ghee. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
  • Now, take a deep frying pan and add oil or ghee into it. Heat up the oil. And, after the oil is hot enough, pour the batter into the bottle and drop the batter into the oil making a round shape. Before pouring the batter, you need to re-check the consistency of the batter and adjust accordingly. 

Frying sel roti. Photo: Flickr
  • After that, fry the sel roti from both sides until it turns golden brown. Once it is deep-fried, take it out of the oil and keep it aside. Use a paper towel to soak the excess oil or ghee. Use the same process until the batter is finished. 
  • Enjoy sel roti with your family and friends as a snack or breakfast! You can store it up to 15-20 days. 

Originally published on November 14, 2020.

React to this post


New Old Popular