Have you ever been to Sri Lanka? Yes? I know one thing that makes you wanna go back there! Sri Lankan kottu roti!
Haven’t been to Sri Lanka? I can show you something delicious that will bring a smell of Sri Lanka right into your kitchen – Sri Lankan kottu roti!
What is ‘kottu’?
Kottu, also known as koththu rotti or kothu roti, is a famous dish from Sri Lanka, where people traditionally make it as street food. It’s so popular in Sri Lanka that is considered their equivalent for a hamburger!
Some of the crucial ingredients for kottu include: Sri Lankan flaky flatbread (roti), aromatic spices, delicious meat and fresh vegetables. It is made by stir-frying the roti flatbread with spices and eggs and finally adding chicken curry sauce.
The classic version is with chicken meat (Chicken Kottu or Chicken Kottu Roti), but there are other versions where chicken is substituted with other types of meat or veggies. Except the Chicken Kottu, the popular ones are also vegetable kottu, egg kottu and beef kottu.
How is kottu roti traditionally made
Traditionally, kottu is made as street food, but can easily be made at home, too.
It is usually made on a flat or slightly curved gridle. But no worries if you don’t have one at home!
You may use a wok instead or any other large dish or saucepan suitable for frying. Make sure the dish is about 5cm deep and about 30cm wide so that there is enough space for all the ingredients and for you to be able to mix and combine without spilling over.
Trust me, you don’t want to lose any of your kottu. 🙂
If you are not in Sri Lanka, you may encounter difficulties in finding the roti bread in stores. I suggest looking for paratha instead in any Asian store. Or why not try to make your own roti or paratha? You can also refrigerate or even freeze it for later use. Another trick that works if you cannot get any roti or paratha – get some flour tortillas! When shredded, they will be a decent substitute.
The heavenly smell of Sri Lankan Kottu Roti
This dish has a very intense smell, which comes from different spices used in its making. There can be slight variations, but mostly used spices include curry powder, cardamom, ground red pepper, black pepper and cinnamon. If this amount of spices is too much for you, you may skip some of them, but I just love the combination and would not give up any of these smells!
Sri Lankan Kottu Roti with Chicken Curry - Recipe
Ingredients for the Kottu Roti
- 1 pound Sri Lankan roti flatbread (can be substituted with paratha flatbread or shredded tortillas)
- 0.5kg (1 pound) chicken breast or chicken thighs
- 1 medium onion
- about 1 cup shredded carrot (1 large carrot)
- ¼ of a cabbage
- 3 spring onions or ¼ of a leek
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 small chili pepper or 1 tsp ground chili pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ cup vegetable oil
Spices for the chicken curry:
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 small onion
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes or tomato puree
- a pinch of salt
Instruction for the Chicken Curry:
- Thinly slice or chop the chicken and mix it with half of the curry spices: 1 tsp curry powder, ½ tsp red chili powder, 1 green cardamom pod, 1 tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp cinnamon. Leave to marinate overnight or at least 1 hour before cooking.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a medium-heated gridle or saucepan and add the rest of the curry spices – 1 tsp curry powder, ½ tsp red chili powder, 1 green cardamom pod, 1 tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine and fry about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to get the aroma. Be careful not to burn the spices, as they burn easily. Add more oil if needed.
- Add 1 chopped onion and saute until translucent. Then add tomatoes, mix well and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Then add ½ cup coconut milk.
- Now add the marinated chicken together with the marinade and add some hot water (about ½ cup) to cover the chicken and make a thick curry sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat, to fully cook the chicken. Then set aside for kottu roti. You can prepare the chicken curry in advance and freeze it until you decide to make the Chicken Kottu Roti.
Instruction for the Chicken Kottu Roti:
- preparing the Chicken Kottu Roti by heating 3 tablespoons oil on a gridle or pan. Add ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp black pepper and 1 piece or 1 tsp chili pepper. Mix well and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Finely chop 1 medium onion and add it to the pan/gridle. Saute until the onion starts getting translucent, then add shredded carrots, mix and saute for another 3 minutes.
- Chop the cabbage and spring onions and add them to the pan. Mix to combine and saute for 3-5 minutes. Then add the chicken curry and mix well.
- Whisk the 2 eggs in a bowl. Then make an empty circle in the Start middle of the pan with the chicken and veggies and pour the eggs into it, mixing continuously until the egg starts cooking. Then slowly mix the vegetables and chicken with the eggs.
- Finally, add the shredded roti, paratha or tortillas and mix well to combine the flatbread with the spices and sauce. Add salt if desired and cook for another 5 minutes.