Vegetable Kottu (Flat bread pieces mixed with spicy sauce & vegetables)
Kottu Roti is a popular comfort cum street food in Sri Lanka. When you are strolling around in Sri Lankan streets, you cannot miss the sight, sounds and aroma of kottu. Kottu literally means “chop”. It’s made with flat bread called “Gothamba roti” mixed with meat, spicy gravy, and vegetables. Kottu is blended together in a heated iron sheet using blunt metal blades. Clashing of metal creates a distinctive sound. This sound and aroma of kottu will invite any passerby to stop and indulge in this mouthwatering meal.
I first learnt to make this at home from my Aunt, who prepares roti and everything at home from scratch. I’m not a good roti maker. I’ve never been successful in my previous attempts and also I’m not a big fan of wheat flour. That’s why you find most of my recipes “Gluten-free”. As a Sri Lankan Tamil from North, I’m used to preparing meals with red rice flour and millet flour instead of wheat flour. These are low glycemic as well.
So for this meal I bought ‘Roti Canai’ (Malaysian name for pararatha’s), shredded them into thin strips, mixed it with spicy sauce made with onion, garlic, soy sauce and curry powder and added vegetables. When you are not making paratha’s at home which is a time consuming job, you can assemble this meal in 10-15 minutes.
You can ask for flaky parathas (flat bread) from Indian / Sri Lankan / Pakistani restaurants or “Roti Canai” from Malaysian Restaurants.
3 Paratha’s shredded into thin strips
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp dark soy sauce
Salt to taste
1 carrot julienned i.e. cut into thin long strips
Handful of scallions cut into inch long pieces
Coarsely grind below ingredients using food processor or chopper
2 medium size onions
4 garlic cloves
2-3 green chilies
1 large tomato
Few curry leaves
Either make or buy flat breads i.e. parathas, cut them into quarter size pieces, add them into a food processor and process for 2 seconds. Time will vary depending on power and size of processor. All we need is thinly shredded parathas. Alternatively you can cut them into thin strips. In this recipe I have cut into thin strips using knife and a chopping board.
Heat oil in a large pan, add coarsely ground mixture and stir fry till they are aromatic and golden brown. Add curry powder, chili powder, tomato puree and soy sauce, mix well to create a thick sauce. Add salt to taste.
Add shredded parathas, mix well till they are coated with spices. Lower the heat and add carrot. Cook stirring for 1 or 2 minutes. Turn off heat add scallions and mix well.
Longer you keep this meal better it tastes, as the spices blends well and paratha absorbs their flavors. But you can also serve immediately.
You can serve this meal on its own or with a curry. I served it to my guests with Veg Chicken Curry.
Note: You may add stir fried potatoes, tofu or soya meat, mock meat, mushrooms, cabbage etc., it will create more volume. Choice depends on your personal taste preference. I wanted to keep it simple and light that’s why I only added carrot and scallions.