kottu roti

Kottu Roti – All times favourite street food in Sri Lanka

kottu roti
kottu roti

You must not miss witnessing the roadside spectacle of making Kottu in Sri Lanka! The typical metal clashing and banging to the rhythm of deafening fast beat music, making kottu is an interesting roadside scene at night in many towns in Sri Lanka!

When the last of daylight dims down, bright white lights dazzle from the food stalls, while a circle of onlookers watching in amusement how their portions of Kottu are made in minutes, followed by a little jig, cling clang of metals, many ingredients being dropped and then disappeared in shreds! 

Finally, a heap of steaming kottu on a plate is offered and while you are digging a fork between a combination of soft flakes of roti, glistering pieces of meat and shreds of veggies,  involuntarily, your legs will dance to the irresistible music aired to the wee hours of the night.

We can produce something similar at home even though we don’t have the metal plates or the need for a jig.  The packeted frozen Kottu Porottas, available in the freezer section of  Asian food stalls, are the best and easiest choice.  If you are unable to get that and you have time and patience, these rotis could be made at home and cut them into small squares to make this dish.  Interestingly, these rotis are called Handkerchief rotis, considering their thin and flat appearance.  However, they are locally known as Godamba roti.

Recipes given below are;

  • Kottu roti
  • Handerchief roti
  • Chicken curry

Let’s make kottu

Prepare the frozen porotta 

  • Heat up a non-stick pan
  • Place a  frozen parotta and heat up both sides
  • Cut into small pieces
  • Make 3 cups for this recipe

Let’s get ready with these ingredients to make the Kottu dish;

Kottu Porotta3 cups
Soy sauce 3 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Ground black pepper 1 tsp
Garlic chopped 
Green chili slit 1
Onion chopped1
Large onion cubed for tossing on at the end
Carrots – cut or shred into thin strips(Do not grate) 1/2 cup
Spring onions chopped or leek cut thinly1/4 cup
White Cabbage – shreded thinly 1 cup
Eggs 2 large

How to make:

Step by step recipe guidance

Stir fry

  • In a large wok, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat up
  • Add garlic and saute’ the chopped onion
  • Add shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, slit green chilli and start stir fry until slightly wilted
  • Add salt and ground black pepper

Add eggs

  • Now push the veggies to a side of the wok and break all 2 eggs into the pan.
  • Immediately scramble the eggs

Mix all togther

  • Now mix veggies and eggs together and give a good stir frying under high flame
  • Toss a bit more black pepper powder and add soy sauce.  Mix rapidly
  • Add the cut pieces of Kottu Porotta and give a good toss and a shake to mix everything together
  • Add some of the pieces of meat leaving the gravy and mix well
  • Throw the cubed onion on top.  Onions should be crunchy to bite.  So do not cover the lid or overcook at this point
  • Your basic Kottu dish is done!

Time to gobble it down

  • Now drench kottu in chicken gravy and tuck in (Mix gravy only when you are ready to eat it or else your kottu will be too soggy )
  • Delicious!

Handkerchief roti / Godamba roti

Flat rotis used for making Kottu

You will need :

 All purpose flour 3 cups
 Salt 1 tsp
 Olive oil (Any cooking oil would do) 1 tbsp
 Sugar 1 tsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp

Knead dough:

  • Rub flour, sugar, salt and oil together
  • Add water little by little knead for about 5 – 8 mins until the dough doesn’t stick on to your fingers
  • Divide into equal sized balls giving an extra kneed to each ball
  • Rub oil on each ball generously.  Place on a tray a little apart from each other
  • Cover with a wet tea towel or a cling film and let them rest at least 3 hours
Groti

Make rotis on the thawa :

  • Heat up a wide flat pan and spray oil all over
  • Grease the worktop as well as your fingers with little oil
  • Place a dough ball on top and press it down from the middle and slowly spread it out from sides to look like a flat handkerchief or a bed sheet
  • Lift up slowly and place on the heated pan
  • Immediately after a few seconds, flip on to the other side
  • Bake both sides quickly, being careful not to make them crispy
  • Cover with a lid or a tea towel until all the rotis are made
  • Cut into bite-size pieces and keep aside

Chicken curry that goes with Kottu 

Marinate

Marinate 300g of chicken legs or thighs cut into medium size pieces with the following and keep aside for 1hr in the fridge:

  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder 1/4 tsp
  • Roasted curry powder  1/4 tsp (Could use garam masala in place of this)
  • Black pepper powder 1/8 tsp
  • Turmeric 1/8 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic grated or paste
  • Olive oil 1 tsp
  • Vinegar

Stir fry

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan
  • Add 3 cloves, an inch long cinnamon stick, a few crushed cardamoms.  fry a minute
  • Brown a thinly sliced onion
  • Add 1 tbsp of ginger and garlic paste or both ground together as a pulp and a few crushed curry leaves
  • Add a slit green chilli
  • Drop the marinated chicken into the pan and fry for about 5 minutes under medium flame
  • Now close the lid, lower the flame to the minimum and  let the chicken cook in its own juices for 10 mins
  • Open the lid, mix all the juices and the chicken together and fry for another 2 mins

Cook it

  • Add water a little above the chicken pieces, cover the lid and cook for 15 mins
  • Give a good stir and add more water as you need a lot of gravy for Kottu
  • Cover and cook further a few mins
  • Finally, add a tablespoon of Maggi coconut milk powder to enhance the flavours
  • Drop a few crushed curry leaves on top, cover and let it rest
  • Your juicy chicken curry is now ready!