Delicious Sri Lankan Street Food: Discover the Flavors of Kottu Roti, Sri Lanka’s Favorite Dish

When talking about Sri Lankan cuisine, one cannot miss out on the delightful street food options available throughout the country. From rich curries to mouthwatering snacks, Sri Lankan street food offers a burst of flavors and aromas that are sure to satisfy any food lover’s cravings. Among the popular street food dishes in Sri Lanka is Kottu Roti, a dish that has become a beloved favorite among locals and tourists alike.

A famous Sri Lankan dish, Kottu

The origins of Kottu Roti


Kottu Roti originated in the bustling streets of Sri Lanka and has become an integral part of the country’s culinary heritage. The dish is made by stir-frying shredded flatbread, known as roti, along with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and spices. It is a unique combination of flavors and textures that is a true representation of Sri Lankan street food.


How is Kottu Roti made?


To prepare Kottu Roti, the roti is first chopped into small pieces and then stir-fried on a griddle or heated iron. It is then combined with a mixture of vegetables, meat, and spices like curry powder and cumin. The result is a flavorful fusion of ingredients that create a delicious and satisfying meal.


The unique flavors of Kottu Roti


What makes Kottu Roti so special is the combination of flavors that come together in every bite. The rich and aromatic curry powder adds a depth of flavor to the dish, while the mix of vegetables and meat provide a satisfying texture. The scramble of roti with the other ingredients creates a unique dish that is both comforting and savory.


Where can you find the best Kottu Roti in Sri Lanka?


Kottu Roti in Negombo


If you find yourself in Negombo, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding the best Kottu Roti. The streets of Negombo are filled with numerous food stalls and restaurants that serve this popular Sri Lankan dish. Some well-known places to try Kottu Roti in Negombo include Kanchana Food Center, Katana. Stay at Ceylon Lodge and try the best kottu at the Kanchana Food Center.


Exploring street food stalls in Sri Lanka


One of the best ways to experience authentic Sri Lankan street food is by exploring the various food stalls scattered across the country. From bustling markets to quiet street corners, street vendors serve up delicious Kottu Roti that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to try different stalls and discover hidden gems that offer the most flavorful Kottu Roti.


Authentic Sri Lankan restaurants serving the famous dish


If you prefer a sit-down dining experience, there are plenty of authentic Sri Lankan restaurants that specialize in serving Kottu Roti. These restaurants often take the dish to a whole new level by offering unique variations and combinations. Some popular Sri Lankan restaurants to check out include Ministry of Crab, Upali’s by Nawaloka, and The Mango Tree.


How to make Sri Lankan Chicken Kottu Roti at home


Gathering the ingredients


To make Sri Lankan Chicken Kottu Roti at home, you will need a few key ingredients. These include roti or paratha roti, cooked and shredded chicken (leftover chicken curry works great), a mix of vegetables like onions, carrots, and capsicum, curry powder, cumin, and other spices to taste.


Preparing the chicken and vegetables


Start by heating oil in a pan and sautéing the onions until they turn translucent. Then add the shredded chicken and chopped vegetables to the pan. Cook everything until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.


The secret to a delicious Kottu Roti curry sauce


A key component of Sri Lankan Chicken Kottu Roti is the rich curry sauce that ties the dish together. To make the sauce, heat oil in a separate pan and add curry powder, cumin, and other spices of your choice. Stir the spices in the oil until fragrant and then pour the sauce over the cooked chicken and vegetables.


Other variations to try


Vegetable Kottu Roti


For those who prefer a vegetarian option, Vegetable Kottu Roti is a great choice. Instead of meat, this version is filled with an assortment of colorful vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and beans. The same cooking process is followed, resulting in a delicious and healthy alternative.


Seafood Kottu Roti


If you’re a seafood lover, then Seafood Kottu Roti is a must-try. This variation includes a mix of seafood such as prawns, fish, and squid. The combination of seafood with the spices and flavors of Kottu Roti creates a delectable dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


Beef Kottu Roti


For those who enjoy the rich flavor of beef, Beef Kottu Roti is the perfect choice. The beef is cooked and seasoned with spices before being added to the roti and vegetable mixture. The result is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for meat lovers.


Cheese Kottu Roti


Cheese kottu enriched in a rich flavor of milk, cheese, chicken, and vegetables including finely grinded ginger and garlic adding more flavor to the dish. This dish is not spicy. Vegies and the eggs are scrambled in oil. Meanwhile, the spices are added. Finally, add in the roti, milk, finely grated cheese and roast chicken. This results in a heavenly taste dish!


Why is this dish a beloved Sri Lankan street food?


The cultural significance


Kottu Roti holds a special place in Sri Lankan culture as it represents the country’s vibrant street food scene. It is a dish that brings people together, whether it’s locals enjoying a quick meal or tourists trying out the flavors of Sri Lanka for the first time. Its popularity and cultural significance make it a beloved dish throughout the country.


The experience of eating Kottu on the streets of Sri Lanka


Part of the charm of Kottu Roti lies in the experience of eating it on the streets of Sri Lanka. The sound of the metal spatulas hitting the griddle as the roti is chopped and mixed with the other ingredients creates a unique sensory experience. The bustling atmosphere of street food stalls and the aroma of spices fill the air, adding to the overall experience of enjoying this delightful dish.


Why tourists love trying 


For tourists, trying Kottu Roti is a must-do when visiting Sri Lanka. It allows them to immerse themselves in the country’s culture and taste the authentic flavors that make Sri Lankan cuisine so special. The combination of flavors, textures, and the unique cooking process of Kottu Roti create a memorable experience that tourists often rave about long after their trip.


Q: What is Kottu Roti?

A: Kottu Roti is a popular Sri Lankan street food dish. It is made by stir-frying chopped roti with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and spices.


Q: What makes the dish so special in Sri Lanka?

A: Kottu Roti is considered a Sri Lankan icon and is loved by locals and tourists alike. It is often enjoyed as a late-night snack and is known for its delicious flavors and unique preparation method.


Q: How is it prepared?

A: Kottu Roti is prepared by chopping the roti into small pieces and stir-frying it with a combination of vegetables, meat, spices, and sometimes eggs. The dish is cooked on a hot griddle called a “kottu stand” while the ingredients are continuously tossed and chopped using metal blades.


A: Some popular variations of Kottu Roti include chicken Kottu Roti, mutton Kottu Roti, and vegetable Kottu Roti. Each variation offers a different taste and can be customized according to individual preferences.


Q: What is the main ingredient?

A: The main ingredient in Kottu Roti is chopped roti, a type of flatbread. The roti is stir-fried along with other ingredients to create a flavorful and satisfying dish.


Q: How spicy is Kottu Roti?

A: The level of spiciness in Kottu Roti can vary depending on personal preference. Some recipes may include a generous amount of chili peppers, while others may be milder in heat. It is always best to ask the seller or specify your desired spice level when ordering.


Q: Can I make Kottu Roti at home?

A: Yes, you can make Kottu Roti at home. There are many recipes available online that provide step-by-step instructions on how to prepare this delicious Sri Lankan street food. Popular ingredients include roti, vegetables, meat, spices, and eggs.


Q: Is Kottu Roti a traditional Sri Lankan dish?

A: Yes, Kottu Roti is considered a traditional Sri Lankan dish. It has been enjoyed by locals for many years and has now gained international recognition as a must-try street food when visiting Sri Lanka.


Q: Where can I find Kottu Roti in Sri Lanka?

A: Kottu Roti can be found in many restaurants, street food stalls, and food markets across Sri Lanka. It is especially popular in cities like Colombo, Negombo, and Kandy.


Q: What are some other names for Kottu Roti?

A: Kottu Roti is also known as “kothu roti,” “roti canai,” or “chopped roti” in different regions. However, the preparation method and flavors may vary slightly in each variation.