Kothu Rotti

Sri Lankan Bubble & Squeak

Some things seem to have fallen out of foodie fashion and rightly so…I’m thinking about meat paste. However, some dishes just seem to have fallen off the radar because they’re deemed to be old fashioned, like Bubble n Squeak a dish popularised during food rationing in World War II. The principle is a great one, use leftover vegetables from a roast meal into a re-incarnated British tortilla, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, peas mashed and then lightly fried into a hash. Thankfully the principle of make do and mend is alive and well and gobbled up daily on the streets of Sri Lanka. Please meet Kothu Rotti, it’s the perfect blend of leftover veg, last night’s curry and unused rotis, chapattis or naans…in other words Sri Lankan Bubble n Squeak. It’s a hunger buster and great for transforming those sorry looking vegetables into something tasty and lively. The name reflects the high pitched tone of street food vendors cutting and chopping the ingredients finely over a hot plate…in Sinhalese it literally means chopped rotis and it’s said that its’ origins are found in Batticaloa, in the east of Sri Lanka.

So, turn your leftovers into something infinitely more exciting and tasty…get chopping and cooking and listen hard for the squeak, it’ll be in Sinhalese!

Sri Lankan Kothu rotti

How To Make Kothu Rotti

Serves 4+

  • 6 chapattis, shredded
  • 500g chicken curry
  • 1 tbs veg oil
  • ½ medium white onion or 1 medium leek finely chopped
  • ½  white cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 stem curry leaves
  • 2 finger green chilies
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • coriander to garnish

Heat the oil in a wok over a medium heat and add mustard seeds, frying until they pop. Fry onions until opaque and add curry leaves followed by the green chillies, cabbage and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, sprinkle in the chaat masala, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Mix thoroughly. Pour in the eggs and stir through until the eggs are cooked through then add the shredded chapatti and ladle in the chicken curry heating all the way through. Squish over the lemon juice and flutter with coriander.

Serve hot with a mint and coriander raitha.

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