Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sri Lankan Coconut Roti (Flat Bread)

I love these Sri Lankan rotis (flat breads).  I am not a person that works well with dough, but roti is so easy to make that I don't even think twice about it.  The roti can be eaten with curry, sambol, or butter and jam.   My mother came over and we made a big batch with two kinds of roti.  We made a few plain roti (to eat with jam) and a lot roti with onions and chilies (that's my favorite kind). It's lucky we did not take long (less than 30 minutes) to make all these because they were eaten in just about that much time as well.

3cups All Purpose Flour sifted
1 cool cup water (add a little at a time as needed to form a dough)
1 cup freshly grated coconut (or dessicated coconut soaked)  see note**
salt to taste
1 Tbs canola oil

For Chili and Onion version:
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped chilies
Note:  Fresh coconut is the optimal coconut to use for this dish, but you can use unsweetened dessicated coconut if fresh coconut is not available.  To make the dessicated coconut version, soak the coconut in some coconut milk (enough to soften the coconut but not make it soupy) for 20-30 minutes.   This recipe yields about 9-11 rotis depending on size.

Sift the flour and prepare the coconut.   Add salt, coconut and oil to flour mix well.  Then add water a little at a time until it forms a dough, but not a sticky dough.  The dough should be like play-dough consistency.

My mother making it by hand
This is the plain version.  My mother used a piece tin foil lightly greased to flatten the dough ball into a round shape.  Do not over press the dough ball... be gentle so the roti will not be tough.


For the chili  and onion version add the chopped ingredients to the dough and mix before making the dough balls.   

My cheat version using a tortilla press

I cheated and used a tortilla press, since I had one, to make the roti easily. To make it easy to remove from the press I covered both the top and bottom with tin foil and lightly applied a little oil on the foil to make it easy to remove the raw roti. 

To cook the roti, heat a heavy duty skillet or a cast iron skillet. on medium high heat.  Cook on both sides until you get them well browned.

Make as many roti as you can and serve with meat or vegetable curry.  Sri Lankans also eat it with a onion and chili sambol (recipe to come soon).   Enjoy.

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