Sri Lankan Pol Roti – A Traditional Food Recipe - Global Storybook

Pol Roti – A Traditional Sri Lankan Recipe

Dinesh Madhushan

Dinesh Madhushan

Dinesh Madhushan is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Sri Lanka).
Dinesh Madhushan

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Sri Lanka is a tropical island with plenty of coconut groves, and hence why our people use coconut in many forms in our day to day cooking.  Normally, our dishes are graced with freshly grated coconut, some coconut milk and the coconut oil.  Pol roti is one of those dishes that are made with the grated coconut.

This traditional roti is usually served for breakfast or dinner.  It is also sometimes used for the evening tea time.  This simple dish is very similar to a piece of flat bread.

Sri Lankan women are hard workers, and they are generally very busy with their daily activities.  So they are used to making this delicious roti with just flour and coconut.  A few simple ingredients and only several minutes later – the meal is ready and is served on the table!  So, let’s learn how to make the Pol Roti.


  • 2 cups-plain flour
  • 1 cup-grated fresh coconut       
  • salt to taste                 
  • curry leaves
  • green chili
  • chopped onion

How to Prepare the Sri Lankan Pol Roti:

1. Mix the flour with grated coconut, the curry leaves, onion and the green chili, and some salt, to taste, in a medium-sized bowl.

2. Add water gradually.  While using one hand, thoroughly knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes, using up all the loose flour to form a smooth dough.

3. Now shape the dough into a ball and make 4 small balls from the dough. (This amount is enough for 4 medium-sized roti).

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4. Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

5. Grease each ball with a bit of oil to prevent sticking.

6. Now take one ball and roll it into a circle with a 2-3 inches radius, and put it in the pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you see the brown spots forming on the surface.

Sri Lankan Pol Roti – A Traditional Food Recipe - Global Storybook7.  Turn the roti over using tongs and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.  Now you will smell an incredible scent, that cannot be explained by words.

8. Once well cooked – remove from the pan, and repeat the process with another roti.

Sri Lankan Pol Roti – A Traditional Food Recipe - Global StorybookThat’s it – it is done.  You can now serve the roti with sambol or dhal curry.

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Pol Roti – A Traditional Sri Lankan Recipe - Global Storybook

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