One of Sri Lanka’s and its diaspora’s signature meals is the Kothu Roti. If well done, it takes the reveller to a new world with its warm, spicy and carb-filled pleasures.
Kothu roti, also called kottu roti or simply kothu, is a popular street food across Sri Lanka. It has also become popular in countries, particularly in western Europe and Canada, with sizeable Sri Lankan populations.
What is Kothu Roti
The base for the meal/dish is the roti. In Sri Lanka, it is called either godamba roti or veechu roti. This is not cholesterol friendly because generous amounts of oil is used. The dough is tossed and turned to make it very thin – the throwing action is probably what got the roti its Tamil name of veechu roti.
The expanded paper-thin dough then is folded into a smaller, mostly circular roti/flat bread shape and then grilled over a large flat surface.
In some places it is cooked without being folded.
Some say the roti is similar to Malaysian roti kanai though I have never had it.
Once the roti has been made, it is diced into small pieces.
It is then sauteed together with meat, egg/s, onions and green chillies and curry leaves.
A good kothu roti should have chillies and onions not fully cooked and enough gravy to make the dish slightly moist but not soggy.
It is usually eaten as is though in some places a lemon wedge and/or meat curry gravy is given.
Kothu Roti Recipe
- 1 bowl cut roti (here in Canada, we can buy pre-made cut roti)
- ½ an onion, diced
- 2-4 green chillies, sliced (you can add more spicy chillies if you want to
- increase the heat)
- A few curry leaves
- 1 egg beaten
- ¾ bowl of curry (goat, chicken or beef without bones)
- 2 lemon wedges
- A small cup of thick meat curry gravy
How to Make Kothu Roti
- Heat oil in a pan/wok
- When the oil is hot, add the onions and stir.
- A minute later, add the green chillies and then the curry leaves and stir.
- Enjoy the aroma wafting through the air as the curry leaves is fried and mixes with
- the sauteed onions and green chillies.
- Add the egg and stir to get the fried egg into small chunks
- Add the curry and stir
- Add the roti and stir further until it is all mixed.
- Serve with the lemon wedge and gravy, if preferred
Note: some add diced carrots but I don’t add them. I still go by the taste and texture I enjoyed more than 30 years ago in Sri Lanka.
And now there is cheese kothu roti. I just don’t like it. I love cheese but not in my kothu roti.