Coconut roti

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

A breakfast staple in Sri Lanka, this textural and tasty roti is great with a spicy sambal, or even a ripe banana. Make sure you don’t remove the seeds from the chillies — you want them to add the zing.

This roti is quite dry. If you like it a bit softer, add more water, but be careful because if the dough is too wet, the ingredients will become loose, and you’ll have difficulty flipping the roti.

Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking 2–4 minutes per batch


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) atta flour (high-protein durum wheat flour)
  • 50 g ( oz) ghee
  • 3 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh curry leaf sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 80 g ( oz/1 cup) freshly grated coconut, or 200 g (7 oz) frozen grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) warm water
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) rice bran oil or ghee


Place the flour, ghee, chilli, onion, curry leaves, coconut and salt in a large bowl.

Gradually add the water, a little at a time, using your hands to mix it in and bring everything together into a smooth dough.

Divide the dough into eight balls, place in an oiled bowl and lightly oil the dough to stop it drying out. Set aside until ready to cook; the dough can sit for an hour or two.

Take a ball of dough and, using your fingers, spread it out to form a thin disc, about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick and 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter.

Heat a small amount of the rice bran oil or ghee on a flat round grill (such as a tawa) or in a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add a few roti and cook until they are loose enough to come off the pan, then flip them over and cook the other side until lightly crisped. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Serve hot, or at room temperature. The roti are best eaten as soon as possible.