The traditional way to cook Kottu Roti uses two blunt metal blades.
Kottu Roti is a dish of many uses.
Do you fancy an extravagant breakfast? Is it lunch time and you have people coming over? Do you have cause for celebration but little time to prepare for it?
This Sri Lankan recipe is an all-in-one treat that offers clean flavours and a hearty texture with surprisingly few ingredients.
Better still, it can be prepped and made in less than half an hour.
DESIblitz shows you how to make Kottu Roti, sometimes called Kothu or Koththu Roti too.
Kottu Roti (serves 4, prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes)
- 200g chicken thighs, deboned and diced
- 2 wholemeal rotis or thin plain parathas or tortillas (depending on availability) cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 eggs
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 Green and one red chilli, deseeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic and ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons coarse curry powder
- Cook the chicken in a well oiled pan for 3-4 minutes and leave to one side.
- In a clean, oiled pan, sweat the chopped onion for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spices and ginger/garlic paste and cook for 1 minute, ensuring the onion is well coated.
- Add the eggs and stir continuously.
- Add the carrot, tomato and return the meat to the pan, stir well for a couple of minutes.
- Finally, add the tortilla pieces and stir through.
- Serve immediately.
One of Sri Lanka’s most popular dishes, Kottu Roti is great for any meal, and can be easily modified to taste.
A relatively young dish, the first examples of it were found in the eating houses of Eastern Coast Sri Lanka in the 1970s.
While this variant of the dish is very much a Sri Lankan invention, many have said that it originates from Tamil Nadu.
It was commonly made using shredded paratha, eggs, onions and curry leaves.
The traditional way to cook Kottu Roti uses two blunt metal blades to chop up.
Kottu is the Tamil word for ‘chopped’, which has an element of onomatopoeia about it, when thinking about the sound of the blades.
There is a rhythm to this method of mixing the ingredients that differs from cook to cook, and the familiar percussion of those blades clashing can often be heard streets away.
Its major draw is that it can be made almost entirely out of the basic sundries found in any well stocked kitchen. And many of these ingredients can be stored for long periods.
Kottu Roti can also be made using leftovers from other curry dishes, although many prefer using fresh meat or fish in the dish, comparing it to barbecue.
This is very much a sharing dish, designed for celebration, to be eaten among friends and family.
Traditionally, it is brought out during parties and festivals, as well as the end of fasts.
If you aren’t the sharing type, however, this dish will keep for a few days. Here are some in-no-way authentic modification ideas:
- Double down on your carbs by wrapping the mixture inside another roti, complete with a spicy, sweet sauce, some fresh chopped spring onions and a tablespoon of yogurt. A sort of Kottu Roti Burrito, if you like.
- Mould the mixture into small patties and shallow fry them for a crispy fritter dish.
- Give the dish a sweet and spicy flavour kick by adding cinnamon and nutmeg, which will work really well with the egg.
- To make a vegetarian rendition of this dish, substitute the meat for chopped mushrooms of your choice. A firm, waxy potato would also work well in this instance.
Whatever your hunger needs, Kottu Roti is a quick and easy remedy, offering a big smack of flavour in a relatively humble wrapper.