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Kothu Double Roti

March 31, 2011

Kothu Parotta in Tamil Nadu, Kothu Roti in Sri Lanka literally translates to “minced” Parotta (a flaky griddle bread) or Roti (griddle flat bread).  Akin to the Pao Bhaji stands in North India, street vendors set up shop with a large cast iron griddle making batches of Kothu Parotta that passers by can’t resist as it smells so divine!!  Traditionally it is made by mixing, mincing and pounding together shredded parotta or roti with onions, tomato, chilli, eggs and a meat curry sauce with a generous serving of oil on a hot cast iron griddle with iron or steel spatulas…the sound is something like hammering nails!!  I’ve tasted Kothu Roti in some restaurants in the US and been disappointed – I expect this spicy, chewy mixture and it usually is mild and doughy. 

I had some stale whole grain bread and wanted to do something different from the usual bread upma (warm South Indian bread salad), savory bread pudding, bread soup or strata.  I decided to use the Kothu Parotta technique with the bread, with a lot of vegetables.  For those of you confused by the title of this post, “double roti” is another word for bread in India.  Jyotsna of the cook’s cottage has an interesting write up about it that you can read here.

What You Need

  1. 6 slices of stale bread
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 1/2 a green bell pepper
  4. 1 cup shredded cabbage
  5. 3 Celery stalks
  6. 1/2 a serrano pepper
  7. 2 heaped tsps of Massaman Curry paste
  8. 1 tomato
  9. 4 eggs
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. A little bit of water
  12. 2-3 Tblsps of oil (more if needed 🙂 )
  13. Cilantro for garnish

How its done

  1. Prep all the ingredients. Once you start, you go at a fast pace on high heat.
  2. Shred the bread into small pieces. Dice the onion, celery, tomato, serrano and bell pepper. Make sure the bread and the veggies are about the same size.
  3. Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt.
  4. Heat a non stick or cast iron skillet or a wok and add the oil. Once the oil heats up, add the onions, celery and serrano pepper and let cook for a couple of minutes till onions become transluscent and slightlybrown.  Add the massaman curry paste and fry for a few minutes.  Add a little bit of water to loosen the paste, if thick.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates and the tomato is cooked down.  Now add the whisked eggs and scramble away.
  6. Once the eggs are nicely scrambled and have little moisture left in them, add the bread and mix and pound till the vegetables eggs and bread are all mixed together and the bread gets a slightly crispy texture.  During this process, you can add a little bit of additional oil. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary (the Massaman curry paste might have salt, so be careful!)
  7. Let sit for 10-15 minutes so the flavors meld.  Garnish with cilantro and serve warm!

The result was a spicy, chewy, crispy mix that is completely satisfying and delicious.

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