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Kotthu s piletinom.JPG
Chicken kottu
Alternative namesKothu
Coursemain course
Place of originSri Lanka
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsgodhamba roti
Ingredients generally usedVegetable, Chicken, Cheese, Beef, Fish, Seafood, Mutton and Pork

Kottu (also known as kottu roti or alternatively spelled kothu roti (Tamil: கொத்து ரொட்டி; Sinhala: කොත්තු රොටි) meaning chopped roti)[1][2] is a Sri Lankan dish[3] made from godhamba roti (a type of Sri Lankan roti) and vegetables, egg and/or meat, and spices.[4][5][6] The bread is described as very similar to the type found in the south Indian kothu parotta and Roti canai.[7] A common dinner dish,[8] kottu has become popular in cities with a significant Sri Lankan diaspora population, such as Toronto, London, Sydney, and New York City's Tompkinsville neighbourhood.[9][10][11]

Generally, the consumer chooses what and how much of the amount of ingredients are included if someone else is preparing.[12][13] Kothu is considered the Sri Lankan equivalent of the hamburger, in terms of its popularity.[14][15]


Kothu Roti, also known "Kottu" or "Kotthu", is a popular street dish that is widely consumed throughout Sri Lanka and is very popular in Sri Lankan cuisine. The word "Kothu" means "to chop" in Tamil and the name is derived from how the dish is prepared. Kothu Roti has its origins within the Sri Lankan Tamil community.[16]


Along with chopped flatbread, the other ingredients are egg, meat, and is often served with salna, a spicy sauce/gravy. The ingredients are sautéed on a hot cast-iron griddle while being chopped and mixed by repeated pounding using heavy iron blades/spatula, the sound of which can be heard from a long distance.

Kothu parotta[edit]

Kothu parotta with chicken
Kothu parotta with egg from Salem, Tamil Nadu

Kothu Parotta or Koththu Parotta is a variant that originated in Madurai,[17][18] in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is made using parotta from Bleached flour; locally called Maida. Other variants of kothu parotta are Muttai kothu parotta, chilli parotta.It is also called Veechu parota (in Kerala).

Vegetarian kothu parotta

It is very popular in Tamil Nadu, and is also available in many other parts of India and in Sri Lanka.[19] Like the parottas, it is common in roadside shops called thattu kadai (lit. plate shop). It is available in other south Indian states. Kothu idly is also a similar dish prepared with idly instead of parotta.

It is also a very popular dish the Maldives, where it is available with many varieties of meat; Chicken koththu, Beef koththu, Tuna koththu, Crispy chili koththu, Valhomas (Smoked Tuna) Koththu and Mixed koththu.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Macan-Makar, Marwaan (3 November 2016). "Rise of "Kothu Rotti" From Its Tamil-Muslim Origins in Batticaloa to a Sri Lankan National Food with a "Sound Bite"". Retrieved 24 April 2020. Word spread quickly about this novelty: a street-food dish whose name means “chopped roti” in Tamil.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Ife, Thomas (25 April 2020). "A Popular Sri Lankan Kottu Roti recipe". desiblitz.com. Retrieved 25 April 2020. Kottu is the Tamil word for ‘chopped’, which has an element of onomatopoeia about it, when thinking about the sound of the blades.
  3. ^ Reeves, Peter, ed. (2013). The Encyclopedia of the Sri Lankan Diaspora. Editions Didier Millet. p. 174. ISBN 9789814260831.
  4. ^ Kraig, Bruce; Taylor, Colleen (2013). Street Food around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 328. ISBN 9781598849554.
  5. ^ "Chicken Kottu Roti Recipe". nytimes.com. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Patak's Beef Kottu Rotti Recipw". telegraph.co.uk. 8 February 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Food obsession: kothu roti". the national.ae. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  8. ^ "'High-tech' 'Kottu' on the way". island.lk. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Spice City Toronto: Sri Lanka comes to Queen Street". torontoist.com. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Sigir's Kotju Roti: One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes". villagevoice.com. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  11. ^ Ueda, Reed, ed. (2017). America's Changing Neighborhoods: An Exploration of Diversity through Places. ABC-CLIO. p. 1064. ISBN 9781440828652.
  12. ^ "Sri Lankan Kottu Roti, by way of Staten Island". daily news.lk. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Five Reasons to Visit Colombo". time.com. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  14. ^ "13 foods Sri Lankan visitors must try". cnn.com. 26 October 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  15. ^ Taylor, Genevieve (2017). MasterChef: Street Food of the World. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781472946201.
  16. ^ Lam, Francis (26 November 2014). "Sri Lankan Kottu Roti, by Way of Staten Island". nytimes.com. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Kothu Parotta is The Most Delicious Street Food Item to Try in Tamil Nadu". NDTV Food.
  18. ^ "Watch: Here is how the iconic Madurai Arumugam Mess 'kothu parotta' is made". 5 December 2018 – via www.thehindu.com.
  19. ^ "Indian food gets a twist here". Deccan Herald. 4 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kottu at Wikimedia Commons