Sri Lankan Coconut Roti

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
coconut roti

There's a new favorite curry accompaniment on the menu. I adore savory Indian breads and crêpes, and while most of the preparations are straightforward, many of the options are somewhat time consuming because of the frying time involved. This recipe comes together in hardly anytime at all and if you shape them into small units, a few will fit on the pan at the same time with only a few minutes required per side to cook the dough and brown them up.

Soft and bready, with coconut adding some richness and natural sweetness, the chilies add a bit of heat to complete the experience. Not only do they go well with legume mains and curried vegetable sides, they also make a fine breakfast alongside some chutney. Do consider doubling the batch — any leftover rotis will keep well for at least another day and can easily be reheated in a 180° oven wrapped in foil.

Sri Lankan Coconut RotiSri Lankan Coconut Roti
Recipe by
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Published on August 14, 2014

Simple, soft and bready Sri Lankan flatbreads with a wonderful coconut and chili flavor — perfect for serving with curries or as a snack or breakfast with chutney

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes

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  • 2 cups unbleached spelt or all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh grated coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 2 to 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup warm water. or as needed
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, chilies, oil and salt. Using your hands, work the oil into the mixture until well distributed. Gradually add water to the bowl until you have a soft dough that is not too sticky but moist enough to shape into a ball.

  • Knead the dough in the bowl for about 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 1 hour or longer.

  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into balls. Using the palms of your hands, press each ball into a small round that is roughly 1/4-inch thick. Keep the uncooked dough covered with the towel while you cook up batches of the roti so the dough doesn't dry out.

  • Brush a cast-iron skillet or heavy non-stick skillet with a scant bit of oil and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the rotis in batches until browned on both sides — about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Take care not to overcook otherwise the roti will be too hard and won't have a nice bready consistency. Keep warm in foil while you cook the remaining rotis.

Makes 8 rotis

coconut roti

Other savory flatbreads you may enjoy:
Besan Roti
Chickpea Flour (Besan) Crêpes with Spinach
Indian Lentil and Rice Pancakes
Savory Rice and Urad Dal Pancakes (Dosas)


sillygirl said...

I am crazy about breads from other cuisines - so much fun to make and eat different tastes. Almost every area of the world has some kind of bread that reflects its tastes.

Lisa @FacelessFood said...

Wow, they look amazing!

Joanne said...

I've actually never made roti before, but I've eaten quite a few of the ones that my coworkers bring in. Can't wait to try these!

Anonymous said...

These are definitely a must try; they look and sound delicious!

Rosh said...

Very intrigued Lisa! Never heard of these before :) Both my hubby and son are very fond of coconut so I will try this sometime. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

they are delicious made them this morning.

Anonymous said...

Can you use desicated coconut without soaking?

Lisa Turner said...

Yes, you can. No need to soak as it is blended into the dough that sits for a while before cooking.