Coconut Roti and Sambal- a traditional treat for coconut lovers


I feel bad for not posting regularly even though I want to,circumstances simply doesn't allow me to.So pardon my intermittent absences from blogging.The winter has finally dawned on Dubai.You wake to chilly mornings that makes you curl up on the bed some more wanting to forget about the all the chores ahead.And specially on the weekends I just love to whip up something quick and hearty preferably traditional as the rest of the day we'll be spending out enjoying the gorgeous weather.

So on one of these mornings it would be either porridge or this delicious roti made with flour and coconut.Only a couple of ingredients and a few minutes, breakfast will be on the table.This is a traditional Srilankan roti that is served for breakfast or dinner.A tropical island with plenty of coconut groves,we the islanders use coconut in many forms in our day to day cooking.Our dishes are graced with fresh grated coconut,fresh coconut milk and coconut oil.

Another greatly anticipated event that coincides with this coconut post is my granny's arrival here.I'm so excited I can't wait to see her.Granny who inherited coconut estates from her family in the southern part of the country,told us how they used to gather and clean the coconuts,use loads of fresh grated coconut and milk in their cooking, instilled on us the love for the fruit by making the most delicious rotis and curries.

The roti has a soft texture with the crunch of fresh coconut in every bite.My hubby likes it a bit crispier,that means cooking on the skillet a bit longer until the edges are sort of charred.It tastes best warm right out from the pan,dunked in a fish curry or the Coconut Sambal(a.k.a Coconut Salsa).Or smothered in butter and a generous dusting of sugar or jaggery for a sweet tooth like me.

The dough is really simple and as you can see below I flatten the dough with my fingertips without the need of rolling pins or boards.

The most widely used and a great condiment for this roti is Coconut Sambal.Our take on the Western Salsa,or the South-East Asian Sambal with the addition of coconuts.It's a tangy mix bursting with the sweetness of the fresh coconut with a bit of heat,surely will delight your tastebuds.Great as a side with rice and curry,on a toast or with steamed rice noodles(Idiyappam).It can be made in different ways,mixed together,roasted or grounded in mortar and pestle.

Coconut Roti and Sambal


Makes 4 medium sized rotis
2 cups all purpose flour(wholewheat atta flour can be used too)
1 1/2 cups fresh grated coconut
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

1 cup fresh grated coconut
few shallots roughly chopped
1 green chili finely chopped
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/4 of a lime juiced


In a bowl add the coconut,salt,1/4 cup of water and mix slightly squeezing the coconut with your fingertips.Mix in the flour and butter.Add water little by little and form a dough.Divide the dough into equal sized balls.Sprinkle some flour on a round plate.Take a dough ball and flatten it on your palms,then place it on the plate.Flatten the dough with your fingertips starting from the middle and towards the edges of the plate.Heat a skillet and place the flattened dough and cook on both sides on medium heat.You can increase the heat and char the edges for crispy rotis.

For the sambal,mix all the ingredients.Adjust salt and lime according to your taste.And the chilies according to your heat tolerance.

If you are a big coconut fan,you should try making this simple yet delicious and verastile roti and the sweet and tangy sambal.You'll surely love it.


  1. Such a timely post for me, I just ate Sri Lankan Gothamba roti and sambol yesterday at a restaurant in Qusais. Their sambal looked exactly like what you have in the picture, though the roti was very different....I'll share my review soon and get your thoughts!

  2. Woohoo...lovely dish Farwin..the coconut roti has caught my eye..looks so lovely and is full of flavours. The weather is really beautiful and this dish is perfect to chilly days.

    Btw the rustic wooden background looks really lovely..from where u got it?

  3. WOW Farwin this looks absolutely delicious!
    And I can't comment enough about your photography!
    Where did you get fresh coconuts here?

  4. As my daughters say when they are hungry- my tummy is rummmmmbling Farwin! I just love coconuts and wish i knew more ways to use them. They are so healthy as well....I am making this this week and posting a pic up for you to see my efforts..thanks for sharing!

  5. iliveinafryingpan-Arva,normally the Gothambu(means 'wheat') roti is simply a roti made with flour,water and bit of oil without coconut.Same as paratha.Can't wait to see your review so I can give my two cents.

    Raji- thanks,sweet.I got the wood from Ace hardware,roughed up with some sandpaper and painted it.

    Arwa-thanks so much,dearie.I get from the grocery shops close to my house.They've coconuts and grate them if you ask them to.I have bought from Lulu too.All of them have a separate facility to grate coconuts near the vegetable section.Do ask them.

    Shumaila-Sorry to make you hungry dear but this is exactly my purpose *evil laugh* :)please do post the pic.Can't wait to hear your review.

  6. Your simply awesome Farwin, we say Gothambu in malayalam too.. i HAVE SEEN THE PICS THRICE ALREADY!!!! Your awesome them all on foodgawker and tastespotting please!!!!

  7. Beautiful pictures Farwin, I especially loved the one of the coconut and the sambal served in the shell. We make something similar, but with rice flour, called Kaipathiri.. it's hand pressed and cooked in the tawa just like this :)

  8. Tempting and delicious looking combo...with beautiful clicks..just awesome

  9. Looks delicious and tempting..

  10. Farwin, if every post you do is going to be as good as this one, please always take your time ;)

    Seriously this looks amazing and the photos are so beautiful

  11. What gorgeous photographs! I'm curious to know what drink you've photographed along with the food... :)

  12. ME!-thanks love,will be uploading a pic to those sites soon and bracing for rejection.

    Maayeka,Tina,Marta thank you all for the lovely comments.

    Devina- thanks dear.Oh,it's water in a clay cup.

  13. Coconut is one of nature's best treats, how delightful this fruit tastes! I love all things coconut. This sounds like music to my ears, and you have taken such good pictures, I just want to tear a big piece and dig in!!
    Great post Farwin thanks for sharing!
    PS your pictures are gorgeous :)

  14. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at

  15. Hopping here from tastespotting. I really mesmerised by your picture first! Today only I know that we can prepare sambal without dry prawn powder. Thanks!

  16. Torviewtoronto,Dima,Plateful Thanks for your loveliness.

    Uma,yes you can make without prawn powder.Sometimes we use dried fish flakes too.Depends on how you want it.

  17. first time here....awesome blog...following u

  18. First time here and loving the space & the clicks!! Great to see some Sri Lankan recipes, since I'm sure I would be new to most of it.


  19. your photos are starting to make me cry. gorgeous...

  20. HI farwin, I am shabs who blogs at Just stumbled up on ur blog via muslim bloggers page. You have an awesome blog and I love your fotography!They are awesome. Love this dish too. I am very happy to follow you!

  21. came in thru fb...n wow...coconut rotis n sambal are made just perfect.....i hav never made cocnut rotis be4...would love to giv it a try...glad to follow ur space here....:-)

  22. Thanks sojo,Anamika,Jay,Shabs and Sonali.

    Vanessa,such a pleasant surprise to see your here.

    Aww,Sarah.Thanks a lot.

  23. Beautiful pics dear....never made this...but will make it ASAP.

  24. PS : In my native place, coconut roti is made with roasted rice flour, will blog about it someday.

  25. Hi Farwin, just stumbled onto your page via and I love it here. you have an awesome blog and beautiful photographs! Following you now and will visit you regularly, Happy New Year!! And yes, I will definitely try this recipe :)

  26. hi Farwin,

    came here from seasonwithspice, and have been repeatedly visiting and following your blog.

    Wonderful photos that are make me drool at yummy sl food, I'm a sri lankan too, check out my blog.

    may i know how did u master photography? i see a big difference in your latest pics compared to previous ones

  27. Nisa,Fathima,Ambika Thank you.

    Ambika,happy new year to you and your family!

    Ami,Thank you and good to know a fellow Srilankan blogger.I've barely scratched the world of photography.I'm my own critique and do a lot of reading on food photography online and of course practicing after I bought my DSLR.Flickr could also help for inspirations.

  28. farwin, you clever in presentment. simple, but beautiful fixed. i love it

    Toko bunga jakarta


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