New Recipes

Koththu Roti

Koththu roti
Koththu roti pictures (1 of 5)

Not too long ago, Farwin, a food blogger and writer/photographer behind the blog, Love and other Spices got in touch with me wishing to introduce Sri Lankan cuisine to Rasa Malaysia readers. I was thrilled as I have never been to Srilanka and would love to learn more about the food and its culture. Farwin is a Sri Lankan currently residing in UAE with her family and Love and other Spices is about the traditional food she grew up eating. For this guest post, Love and other Spices¬†shares her Koththu Roti recipe with us. Please welcome Farwin and let’s celebrate the inclusion of Sri Lankan food on Rasa Malaysia!¬†

When I recently stumbled upon Bee’s site, being a Sri Lankan I was so delighted to find many names I was familiar with like Sambal and Roti. Did you know that “Rasa” means taste in the Sri Lankan local Sinhalese language? Thanks to Bee for letting me share in her space, to introduce Sri Lankan food to her readers. Sri Lankan food is a mix of many Asian cuisines, influenced by the migrant South Indians and Malay workers and also from the colonial influences by the English, Dutch and the Portuguese.

The first dish that sprang to my mind is Koththu roti, a popular street food which can be found in every nook and corner in Sri Lanka. Koththu literally means “chop.” It’s a mix of shredded roti, meat, curry and vegetables. Koththu is blended together on a flat iron skillet using two metal blades with wooden handles. The clashing of the metal blades with the iron skillet creates a distinctive musical sound and the aroma of freshly cooked Koththu is enough to draw a passerby to stop and indulge in this flavorful dish.

Koththu Roti

The roti used in this dish is same as the famous Malaysian “Roti Canai” and the South Indian “Parotta.” The traditional way of cooking this is very cumbersome and requires the dough to be dunked in oil. But I’m giving an easy recipe with less oil for you to try. You can also buy the premade Roti Canai or Parotta in Asian stores if it’s accessible, or even use flour tortillas and skip the part of making the roti.

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17 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Angela Tellone Hatch via Facebook

    I assume that capsicum has meaning for you but not here in the US. It must mean peppers. I would think it’s hot peppers. Is that right? Or is it sweet peppers?

  2. Simon

    Sri lankan cuisine is absolutely delicious. Even if it has a lot in common with the cuisine around Tamilnadu, it’s still fair to say they have their own cuisine. I used to eat this treat a lot in Sydney, as we had this little south indian “roti boy” as we called him prepare it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Finally I got this recipe.

  3. Rashid Omer

    It is like “KATA KUT”, a very popular street food in Pakistan. “Kata Kut” is a slang Urdu word that means “chop”. Usually chicken meat, liver and heart or Lamb’s kidney, heart, brain, liver are choped along with tomatoes, green chillies and other spices, the same way as in “Koththu Roti”, you have indicated.The musical sound and the exotic smell goes far and wide. What a similarity!

  4. I spent many years post-Tsunami in Sri Lanka oversee several international children and women development projects in Galle, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Those amazing hole in the wall tea houses along Galle Road open 24/7, vendors selling hoppers, koththu Roti, not to mention those spicy maldives dry fish and coconut sambal! The Koththu roti technique so similar to Teppanyaki. The part I enjoy the most is watching the hawkers ‘musical performance’ of chopping roti on big cast iron hot plate! All those fond memories! :-) I look forward for more of Sri Lankan cooking on your amazing blog!

  5. Ahmed

    Great to see this web site! Been a sri lankan, i always eat Kotthu roti, but if you taste the cheese Kottu, will never eat western foods like Pizzas! Cheese Kotthu is great and i have the recope too!

    • csphilip

      That sounds delicious! Are you going to share? I have never heard of this dish but it sounds wonderful! I have never had food from Sri Lankan food but I love Indian, Ahmed!

    • Dennis

      Hi Ahmed, The only reason I came on this site was to find a recipe for cheese Koththu Roti. As you have the recipe, please please share. Thank you in anticipation.


  6. Shorna

    Hi, I too am a Sri Lankan living in New Zealand and was thrilled to see your recipe. What a gem.

    look forward to seeing more recipes from you.

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