Kottu is a fast food specialty in Sri Lanka. This Kottu presentation is similar to Nasi goreng, but the main ingredient is not rice, but instead of bread godamba (typical Sri lankan bread).
The Kottu seller will usually cut the godamba into small bread, then fry it with other ingredients, such as vegetables, egg and meat. The flavor of the Kottu tends to be savory and slightly salty. Usually Kottu is served together with chicken curry or egg and can also be spicy lamb chops. But you can also order Kottu with cheese or chocolate flavor.
FOR THE CURRY SAUCE:
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
- 3 ½ teaspoons Sri Lankan chile powder (or other medium-hot chile powder)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced pandan leaves (or to taste)
- 4 curry leaves (or to taste)
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1 2-inch stick cinnamon
- 1 small hot green chile, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 5 ounces diced tomato
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Salt, to taste
FOR THE KOTTU ROTI:
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped pandan leaves
- 10 curry leaves
- 5 scallions, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup julienne carrots (about 1/4 pound)
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Salt, to taste
- 1 pound Sri Lankan roti, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or other flaky flatbread, like Indian paratha)
- 2 chicken thighs, curry, chopped
- ¾ cup sauce from chicken curry
FOR THE CURRY:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder. Marinate 30 minutes to overnight.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, and sizzle about 20 seconds. Add garlic, pandan leaves, curry leaves, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until the ginger and garlic are golden brown. Add chile, onion and a generous pinch of salt. Stir until the onion is softened and translucent, 3 minutes. Add remaining curry and chile powders, and cook, until darkened and aromatic. Stir in tomato.
- Add chicken, coconut milk and enough water to cover, about 1 cup. Bring to a boil, and add the vinegar and salt to taste (you may not need it). Simmer, partly covered, for 35 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through.
- Reserve for kottu roti. Leftover curry may be frozen.
FOR THE KOTTU ROTI:
Heat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron pan or wok over high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil just starts to smoke, add the eggs, and scramble them until cooked dry. Transfer to a bowl, and wipe the pan clean. (Alternatively, you can scramble them in a nonstick pan.)
Return the pan to medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and ginger. When it is aromatic, add pandan and curry leaves, and cook, stirring, until the ginger is light golden, 20 seconds. Add scallions and carrots. Stir for 1 minute, then add onion. Cook, stirring, until onion has only a little snap, about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and salt to taste, and remove to a bowl. Wipe the pan out.
Return pan to medium heat, and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. (If the flatbread you are using is very oily, use less oil in the pan.) When it’s shimmering hot, add roti, and stir until it feels dry and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, cooked vegetables and eggs. Add the curry sauce, and continue to stir until hot all the way through. Taste, add more salt or soy sauce if necessary and serve
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