Spicy vegetarian Kothu Roti

One of my favourite Sri Lankan Tamil meal is Kothu Roti. I had it for the first time in Toronto. I fell head over heels in love with this yumminess…what a taste?!!

Kothu Roti originated in Batticaloa in the Eastern parts Sri Lanka during the early 70s by the local Tamil people. Etymologically the name is from the Tamil language meaning“chopped roti”. (Chopped wheat roti mixed with curry sauce) The basic rotti is made of Gothamba flour. The name itself is Tamil Gothamba (A form of Kathamba-meaning a flour made out of a variety of grains-referring to the white flour, and roti (Chapathi). Slowly it has spread to other parts of the country as the strife within the country continued and has now caught up and has become extremely popular. It can also be found in many Sri Lankan restaurants in other countries, where there is a large Sri Lankan population.

Kothu is now a food that has successfully transcended social boundaries in Sri Lanka. Kothu, which used to be a cheap, takeaway meal for the lower classes has now become almost a staple diet for the upper classes as well, specially among the young and outgoing. It is now a common practice for nightclub and party goers in Sri Lanka to end their nights with a kothu as a midnight snack.As restaurateurs explore with ideas, a variety of kothu variations have become available. The main ones are where the roti is substituted for pittu or string hoppers, hence the pittu kothu and string hopper kothu.

servings 2-3 people

Ingredients :

1 cup bread crumb
3-4 medium sized rotis ,roughly torn into small pcs or cut into thin strips
1.5 cups chopped mix veggies
Can add soya if you like
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1-2 chopped green chillies (if you are a spicy lover add more I say!)
2-3 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 tsp red chilli pwd (adjust according to taste)
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1-2 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp sambhar pwd ( adjust acc to your taste )
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
chopped corriander leaves to garnish

Method :

  • Heat oil
  • Splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  • Add broken curry leaves
  • Saute onions
  • Add green chilies and the rest of the veggies and paneer and fry till veggies are tender
  • Can add the pieces of soya if desired
  • Add chilli ,turmeric and sambhar powder and mix well
  • Don’t forget the salt
  • Add the tits bits of rotis and bread crumb and mix well
  • Sprinkle some drops of water, cover and cook for few mins on a low flame so that the rotis are well flavoured
  • Drizzle some lemon juice and garnish with corriander leaves
  • For extra spiced flavour I added cloves, elachi powder and mint leaves
  • Serve with plain yogurt or raitha (Curd with onions, carrot and mintleaves)

Enjoy a plate of kothu roti!



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