The World in Donuts
4. Sel roti
Sel roti is a sweet, fried treat from Nepal that looks remarkably similar to a gigantic onion ring. They’re made from soaked rice, which is ground in a large mortar and pestle, then made into a batter and fried in clarified butter. Sel rotis are a popular holiday treat, and are used as temple offerings for local deities.
Churros are a type of pastry found in countries like Spain, Portugal, and the Philippines. Although their origin in uncertain (some sources say they came to Europe from China via Portuguese sailors), their popularity cannot be denied. These pastries are piped into the characteristic long, ridged shape, then deep fried, rolled in sugar, and served hot.
While many places in North America inject them with filling like dulce de leche or chocolate, the traditional way to eat them is simply to dip them in sauce, or use them to soak up a drink like coffee or champurrado (a Mexican corn-based hot drink).
These pastries are popular all over South Asia, and are most similar to a glazed cake donut. Balushahi are made of maida flour, a wheat flour used for baked goods that originates in India. The maida flour makes them a little bit heavier than the typical North American donut. Balushahi are fried in ghee, a type of clarified butter, then dipped in sugar syrup and garnish with a topping like crushed pistachios or coconut flakes.