coconut rotis

Sri Lankan Pol Roti – Irresistible Coconut discs

coconut rotis

I am not wasting many words to describe how much the native Sri Lankans love these creamy discs. Tourists from various countries tour around the island never forget to taste these and cherish them.

The most popular is the plain creamy version made by mixing flour and scraped coconut together with salt and a dash of chilli powder. But my favourite is the more flavourful version made by tossing onions, curry leaves, grated carrots and chopped green chillies into the dough and bake on the traditional cast iron pan.

Image result for frozen coconut vaani
Fresh frozen grated coconut is available in Asian supermarkets

Ingredients needed:

Plain creamy version
Fresh coconut1 cup
Plain flour2 cups
Onion1 chopped into very small pieces
Chilli powder1 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Butter1 tbsp
Lukewarm water to knead the dough1 cup
Flavourful version
Green chili1 chopped
Curry leavesA handful cut into thin pieces
Salt1tsp or to taste
Red chili powder1/4 tsp
Butter / coconut oil1 tbsp
Lukewarm water to knead the dough1 cup or a little more

Let’s make:

The creamy, plain version

  • Mix flour, salt, coconut, chilli powder and butter together and knead by adding lukewarm water little by little. Make a soft dough ball, cover and keep aside for 20-30 mins
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The flavourful version

  • Mix chopped onion, green chilli, red chilli powder, curry leaves, grated carrots, salt and butter with scraped coconut using your fingers and then mix with flour. Add lukewarm water little by little and make a softball. Cover and keep aside for 20-30 mins for all the flavours to combine nicely
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  • From the dough, make equal size balls and place them on a foil sheet
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  • On another foil sheet flatten one ball and cut into a disc shape using a round lid or a cookie cutter
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  • Heat up a flat cast iron pan or a roti tawa and brush a little oil
  • ┬áPlace a dough ball on the hot pan taking care not to damage the shape. ┬áThe easiest way is to bring the foil itself near and slowly lower it onto the pan
  • After a minute, flip over and keep flipping over and until the disc is baked properly on both sides. If you pan has space you can place two or three discs at the same time. Press gently and if a whoosh sound emits then it has to bake further a few mins as the water has not evaporated fully.
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  • Once out of the pan, let them release steam by placing on a wire rack.
  • Serve hot with a spicy chicken or mutton curry or just a blob of butter along with lunu miris make it simply irresistible.
  • Lunu Miris/Chilli chutney – pound together chilli powder/chilli flakes with salt, some scraped Maldive fish and finally mixing a dash of lemon juice to balance the taste.

Do not forget to sip a plain tea made with sugar and crushed ginger to finish off to give the fullest satisfaction of this meal.

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