Street Food for Dinner?

Who said cheap takeaway fare cannot make posh eats? 

Kottu Roti which translates to "chopped roti", is popular Sri Lankan street food. It is made by combining shredded whole wheat rotis or tortillas, proteins, vegetables and seasonings. These are traditionally cooked in a large iron skillet, the chopping and cutting done directly on the skillet using two blunt knives much like Teppanyaki.

There is no set recipe. There are no exact measures. A little bit of this and a little of that yield terrific results. It is commonly served with coconut stew or lentils (recipe below) but in my mind, it is just as good alone or with a side of chutney, salsa or yogurt. It makes a simple and highly satisfying breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

KOTTU ROTI (Serves  4)

4  wholegrain rotis/tortillas, lightly toasted and shredded (I use Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas)

1 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup green bell pepper strips

1 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup grated carrots

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Salt to taste

1 chili pepper finely chopped (deseeded if you can't tolerate the heat)

1-2 cloves chopped garlic (optional)

A knob of ginger finely minced

1/2 tsp turmeric  

A few curry leaves (source from your local Indian store) 

Cilantro for garnish

1-2 Tbs coconut oil

Heat coconut oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard seeds and cover with a lid. The mustard seeds will start to pop as the cumin browns. Once the popping slows down, throw in the onions, bell peppers, ginger, garlic (if using) and curry leaves. Saut√© on medium high heat until the edges begin to turn golden. Add the cabbage, carrots, turmeric and salt and continue to stir-fry for a couple more minutes. Incorporate the shredded rotis/tortillas and unify. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. 


1 cup pink lentils, washed and drained

1/2 onion chopped

1 tomato chopped

1 garlic clove finely chopped (optional) 

A small knob of ginger minced

A few curry leaves

1 chili pepper slit in half  

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida (optional. Can be sourced from your local Indian store) 

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 lemon juiced

Salt to taste

1 tsp coconut oil

Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan and pop the mustard seeds, throwing in cumin at the same time to darken as with step one of roti. 

Fry the onions, ginger and garlic (if using)  until softened. Add the lentils, tomatoes, slit chili pepper, turmeric, salt and asofoetida with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until lentils are really soft. Whisk until creamy, adding water to thin as desired. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with the curry leaves.