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The Sri-Lankan Chinese Rolls

While you’ve probably heard of spring-rolls or egg-rolls, the name “Sri-Lankan Chinese roll” may be new to you. However, it does sound both very fluffy and very delicious. So what exactly is a Sri-Lankan Chinese roll, and what can you do with it? In this article, I’ll tell you all about it!

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What is a Sri-Lankan Chinese Roll?

A Sri-Lankan Chinese roll is a small, flat, round piece of dough. It can be filled with a savory filling. After it has been filled, you can roll it up, bread it and bake it in either oil or in the oven. The Chinese styled roll is widely eaten in Sri-Lanka. It’s uncertain where exactly this roll comes from as some people call it the Chinese roll (without adding Sri-Lanka before it) since it has the same shape as a spring-roll, but they are nothing alike. Others call it the Sri-Lankan roll since this type of roll can mostly be found in and around Sri-Lanka. The dish that could resemble the Chinese styled roll the most are the Indonesian Risoles.

The dough is made using flour, butter, eggs, milk, and water. The filling is entirely up to what you enjoy eating. You can fill it with minced meat, cheese, vegetables, but also with a delicious fried chicken.

If you are more of a sweet-tooth, you can also, of course, fill it with sweeter fillings like mint and chocolate. It’s entirely up to you. As long as the rolls are able to be fried without leaking!

When to eat Sri-Lankan Chinese rolls

Since Sri-Lankan Chinese rolls have so much variation, it’s the perfect food for almost all occasions. For me, it’s the ultimate comfort food providing me with a delicious snack, but whist not feeling like I’m eating too unhealthy. They are actually quite healthy if you use the right filling! It’s wonderful to decide to cook during a rainy day as it keeps me busy and, at the same time, cooking makes me happy. It’s a win-win and whenever I make too much, I love to share it with my family and friends. It brings us all closer together.

Other occasions for eating these Sri-Lankan Chinese rolls are as appetizers, snacks during a movie night or party snacks during a holiday, wedding, birthday or anniversaries!

The process

When I’m making them, I love working in “stages”, it helps me to keep organized and it’s the most time efficient as well. Sometimes I’ll ask a relative to help me with the process if I need them done quickly. However, whenever I feel like clearing my mind I do it by myself. It’s like this kind of meditation, and it really works!

Stage one is where all the rolls are made, I will create the dough that suits the filling best. Make sure that it’s runnier than regular pancake batter, but it still needs to be firm enough to hold the filling. Try it out a few times beforehand to see what consistency works best for you.

Then I’ll move on to stage two, where I add in the filling and roll them into tiny rolls and tuck the outsides tight to make sure no fillings fall out. This requires some practice but act like it’s an envelop you’re trying to fold. Stage three is where the roll will be breaded multiple times to make it nice and crispy. Lastly, they will be going in the frying pan until they’re nice and golden-brown. Now you can either bite into it straight away or wait until they’ve cooled down a little bit.

While these rolls can be bought in most shops, they always taste waaaay better when you make them yourself. I always like to say it’s because of the love you put into it, but it’s probably also since you’re more likely to put fresh ingredients into the filling, rather than some questionable items you don’t know the origins of.

And while they’re the best to make and eat instantly, you can also put them in the freezer (as long as they aren’t fried already). Or, you could make a batch of the roll dough and filling separately and freeze those. Then you can take whichever one you feel like using without spoiling them.

These Sri-Lankan Chinese rolls are best to with a tomato sauce or a spicier chili sauce. Enjoy!


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