Sri Lankan vegetable roti

Roti recipeHaving just returned from our back-packing travels with the kids, I promised you in our last post that I’d work on a Sri Lankan recipe… Well, after a successful attempt at a dish, I’m back to share the recipe with you! These are absolutely my most favourite street-food snack from our travels. Comforting, warm, stodgy, and yet packed with veg and flavour!


I’ve adapted the traditional fillings slightly, adding some chickpeas for protein and taken out the spicy kick so that they’re perfect mini-meals for little hands to grab.
In light of our previous blog post “Eating in a tuk-tuk“, these were actually the only type of food that we successfully managed to eat whilst whizzing round the streets in a tuk-tuk. But it just goes to show how good these are for packing up for a picnic or for on-the-go sustenance!
There are a few stages to these but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of those great recipes that you can just do in stages over the course of a day as-and-when your little one(s) allow you to have a free hand! And the process is SO worth it!


For the roti
300g Plain/all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (reduce/omit for very young children)
140mls water
4 tbsps oil (I use cold-pressed rapeseed)

For the filling
3 small-medium white potatoes
2 carrots
1 large handful frozen peas
4 spring onions (aka scallions/salad onions)
1 tsp caraway seeds
1.5 tsps cumin powder
1.5 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped


Prepare the roti dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, water, and 2 tbsps of the oil and stir with a fork to mix.
  2. Using your hand, start to roll the dough around in the bowl to bring all the mixture together. Add a little more water if too dry or more flour if too sticky.
  3. Once combined into a ball, remove the dough and place on a floured surface. Kneed the dough well for 3-5 minutes until smooth and stretchy.
  4. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and place each section back into the mixing bowl
  5. Cover the dough sections with the remaining 2 tbsps oil, making sure each piece is well coated.
  6. Cover the bowl with a clean dry cloth and put in a warm place for at least 1 hour

Prepare the filling


  1. Peel potatoes and carrots and chop into small cubes
  2. Place in a saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for ~7 minutes until veg is becoming soft
  3. Add the frozen peas to the saucepan and continue to simmer for a further 3-4 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop the spring onions and add to a frying pan with a few tablespoons of oil.
  5. Add the caraway seeds to the frying pan with the onions and fry gently until onions are starting to soften.
  6. When the veg in the saucepan is soft, drain the water and add the veg to the frying pan with the onions
  7. Add the cumin, turmeric, garam masala and chickpeas. Stir thoroughly
  8. Add chopped coriander and stir over heat for a further 2-3 minutes
  9. Remove from heat and roughly mash with a potato masher to crush the veg together

Build and fry the rotis

  1. IMG_0901Remove a dough portion from the bowl and roll out on a floured surface into a square (approx. 7×7 inches)
  2. Place a couple of spoonfuls of veg mix into the centre of the dough
  3. IMG_0902Fold each of the four corners over the mixture (opposite sides first) into a little package
  4. To secure the final fold, use a small amount of water on fingers to dampen the underside of the dough and stick down
  5. IMG_0903Repeat for the other 5 pieces. Once all six rotis are filled, wipe clean the frying pan and return to the hob (no need to add more oil as these can be dry-fried)
  6. On a medium heat, fry each roti for a few minutes each side, turning regularly so as not to burn
  7. Remove from the heat and enjoy!
  8. These keep nicely in the fridge for a couple of days in a sealed container


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