Beef Roti Recipe (Sri Lankan Street Food)

If you’re a fan of bold and aromatic flavors, then you’ll love the Beef Roti recipe, a classic and authentic Sri Lankan street food. This delightful dish combines curried ground beef with peas and potatoes, all wrapped in a delicious roti and cooked to perfection on a griddle or nonstick pan. The result? A golden brown and crispy treat that bursts with the spiciness of the curry and the softness of the roti.

Beef Roti Recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • The Beef Roti recipe is a flavorful and satisfying Sri Lankan street food that combines curried ground beef, peas, and potatoes in a crispy roti wrap.
  • Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its bold and aromatic flavors, drawing inspiration from various Asian cuisines.
  • Roti is a versatile South Asian flatbread that can be enjoyed with sweet or savory fillings.
  • Godhamba Roti is a type of Sri Lankan roti made with flour, water, and salt, resulting in a soft and flaky texture.
  • The spicy beef filling for Roti is made with curried ground beef, onions, garlic, and a blend of flavorful spices.

The Flavors of Sri Lankan Cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine is a tantalizing blend of bold and aromatic flavors that captivate the senses. Rooted in tradition, Sri Lankan dishes are known for their spicy and vibrant taste. This cuisine draws inspiration from various Asian cuisines, including Indian and Thai, while incorporating its own distinct flavors and techniques.

Sri Lankan cuisine: A burst of exotic and enticing flavors.

The secret to the flavorful dishes lies in the skillful use of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients. Traditional dishes often feature a harmonious combination of aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin, which infuse each bite with depth and complexity.

The Sri Lankan palate thrives on spice, and fiery curries made from chili peppers, curry leaves, and spices like turmeric and fenugreek are a staple. The curries are balanced by the subtle sweetness of coconut milk, which adds a creamy richness to the dishes.

A symphony of spices dancing on your taste buds.

“Sri Lankan cuisine is a celebration of flavors. From the fiery heat of chili peppers to the warmth of aromatic spices, each dish tells a story of tradition and culinary mastery.

The cuisine’s emphasis on fresh, local produce shines through in the vibrant and colorful vegetable curries that are often served alongside meat or seafood. These curries are made with an array of seasonal vegetables like eggplant, okra, jackfruit, and pumpkins, creating a diverse and satisfying dining experience.

A Taste of Sri Lanka: Traditional Flavors

Here are some iconic dishes that showcase the rich and diverse flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine:

Dish Description
Hopper A bowl-shaped pancake made from fermented rice flour, coconut milk, and spices. It can be enjoyed plain or with savory or sweet toppings.
Kottu Roti A popular street food made with shredded roti, vegetables, eggs, and a choice of meat or seafood, all stir-fried together with aromatic spices.
Lamprais A flavorful dish consisting of rice, meat (generally chicken, beef, or pork), sambol (a spicy coconut relish), and various accompaniments, all wrapped in a banana leaf and baked.
Pol Sambol A spicy coconut relish made with grated coconut, red onions, chili powder, lime juice, and Maldive fish. It adds a burst of flavor to any dish.

These dishes represent just a fraction of Sri Lanka’s culinary treasures. Each bite offers a glimpse into the country’s rich food culture and the passionate craftsmanship behind its traditional flavors.

The Versatility of Roti

Roti is a type of South Asian flatbread that is enjoyed in many different countries, including Sri Lanka. This versatile bread is a staple in South Asian cuisine and is known for its soft and chewy texture. Made with simple ingredients like wheat or all-purpose flour, water, and a pinch of salt, roti is easy to make and can be customized to suit various tastes and preferences.

Roti can be served with both sweet and savory fillings, making it a versatile choice for street food. Its neutral flavor allows it to complement a wide range of ingredients, from spicy curries to sweet jams. In Sri Lanka, roti is often filled with curried meats, vegetables, or even eggs.

Roti as a Wrap

One of the most popular ways to enjoy roti is as a wrap. The soft and pliable texture of the bread makes it perfect for encasing flavorful fillings. Whether it’s a spicy chicken curry, a fragrant vegetable stir-fry, or a sweet coconut filling, roti can hold it all together.

“The combination of the soft roti and the flavorful filling creates a harmony of textures and tastes that is truly satisfying.” – Chef Ravi

Roti wraps are a common street food in many South Asian countries, including Sri Lanka. They are often prepared in front of customers, with the roti dough rolled out and cooked on a hot griddle right before their eyes. The fillings are then added and the wrap is folded into a convenient handheld package.

Not only are roti wraps convenient to eat on the go, but they also provide a balanced meal with a good mix of carbs, protein, and vegetables. They are a popular choice for lunch or even a light dinner.

Roti with Dips and Sides

In addition to being a wrap, roti can also be served alongside various dips and sides. It can be torn into pieces and used to scoop up flavorful curries or chutneys. Its slightly chewy texture and mild flavor provide the perfect canvas for showcasing the bold flavors of South Asian cuisine.

When served with curries, roti can act as a substitute for rice or naan bread. The bread absorbs the flavors of the curry, creating a delicious combination of tastes and textures.

Image: South Asian flatbread

Roti Variations

While traditional roti is made with wheat or all-purpose flour, there are also variations that use other types of flour, such as chickpea flour or millet flour. These variations can add unique flavors and textures to the bread.

Roti Variation Ingredients Flavor Profile
Chickpea Roti Chickpea flour, water, salt Nutty, slightly earthy
Millet Roti Millet flour, water, salt Light, slightly sweet

These variations can be used in the same way as traditional roti, either as wraps or alongside dips and curries.

Overall, roti is a versatile South Asian flatbread that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether as a wrap or accompanied by flavorful dips and sides, roti is a delicious and satisfying bread that adds a touch of authenticity to any meal.

The Making of Godhamba Roti

Godhamba roti, also known as Sri Lankan roti or roti canai, is a type of roti that is commonly used in Sri Lankan cuisine. The dough for Godhamba roti is made with flour, water, and salt. It is kneaded and allowed to rest overnight, which helps to develop the gluten structure and creates a soft and flaky texture. The roti is then cooked on a griddle or nonstick pan until it turns golden brown and crispy.

Godhamba roti is a popular street food in Sri Lanka, loved for its versatility and delicious taste. It can be enjoyed on its own or served with various fillings and accompaniments. The soft and flaky texture of the roti pairs perfectly with curries, sambols, and chutneys, enhancing the overall dining experience.

To make Godhamba roti, the dough is prepared by combining flour, water, and salt. The ingredients are mixed until a smooth and elastic dough is formed. The dough is then divided into small balls and rolled out into thin circles.

Next, the thin circles of dough are stacked on top of each other, creating a layered effect. The stack of dough is then rolled up tightly into a long log shape. This log shape is flattened and rolled out again into a thin circle.

Once the roti is rolled out, it is cooked on a hot griddle or nonstick pan. The roti is placed on the heated surface and cooked until it starts to bubble and brown. It is then flipped over and cooked on the other side until it is golden brown and crispy.

Tips for Making Perfect Godhamba Roti

  • Allow the dough to rest overnight to achieve a soft and flaky texture.
  • Roll out the roti dough as thin as possible for a crispy finish.
  • Cook the roti on a hot griddle or nonstick pan for even browning.
  • Flip the roti halfway through cooking to ensure it is cooked evenly on both sides.

Godhamba Roti Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add water gradually and mix until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest overnight.
  4. Divide the dough into small balls and roll them out into thin circles.
  5. Stack the circles of dough on top of each other to create layers.
  6. Roll up the stack of dough tightly into a long log shape.
  7. Flatten the log shape and roll it out again into a thin circle.
  8. Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat.
  9. Cook the roti on the heated surface until it starts to bubble and brown.
  10. Flip the roti and cook on the other side until golden brown and crispy.
  11. Remove from the heat and serve hot.

Enjoy the delicious and flaky Godhamba roti with your favorite fillings and accompaniments!

The Filling for Spicy Beef Roti

The filling for spicy beef roti consists of curried ground beef with peas and potatoes. The beef is cooked with onions, garlic, and jalapenos, and seasoned with Sri Lankan curry powder and cayenne pepper for an extra kick of spice. The addition of potatoes and peas provides a delicious and hearty filling that complements the flavors of the beef and spices.

“The combination of curried ground beef, tender peas, and hearty potatoes creates a flavorful and satisfying filling for spicy beef roti. The blend of spices, including Sri Lankan curry powder and spicy cayenne pepper, adds a delightful kick to the dish. When wrapped in a soft and flaky roti, these ingredients come together to create a mouthwatering culinary experience.”

Ingredients Quantity
Ground beef 1 pound
Onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Jalapenos, seeded and minced 2 tablespoons
Sri Lankan curry powder 2 teaspoons
Cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon
Potatoes, diced 1 cup
Peas 1/2 cup

Optional: Feel free to adjust the spice levels according to your taste preferences by increasing or reducing the amount of curry powder and cayenne pepper.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on creating the delicious beef filling for your spicy roti:

  1. In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until they turn soft and translucent.
  3. Next, add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until it is fully browned and no longer pink.
  4. Stir in the minced jalapenos, curry powder, and cayenne pepper, ensuring that the spices are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  5. Add the diced potatoes and peas, and mix well.
  6. Cover the skillet and let the filling simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  7. Once the filling is cooked and the flavors have melded together, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before using it as a filling for your roti.

Enjoy the delicious and spicy beef filling in your homemade roti!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Beef Roti

Making beef roti is a delightful culinary adventure that involves a series of simple yet important steps. From preparing the dough to cooking the filling and assembling the roti, each step contributes to the final mouthwatering result. So, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of crafting this delicious Sri Lankan street food.

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

To begin, prepare the dough for the roti by combining flour, water, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth and elastic dough. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and allow it to rest overnight. This resting period enhances the texture and flavor of the roti.

Step 2: Cook the Curried Beef Filling

While the dough is resting, cook the curried beef filling. Start by sautéing onions, garlic, and spices in a pan until fragrant. Then, add the ground beef and continue cooking until it is browned. Feel free to add other ingredients like peas and potatoes to enhance the flavors and textures of the filling. Once cooked, set the beef filling aside to cool.

Step 3: Roll out the Roti Dough and Add the Filling

After the dough has rested, divide it into small balls. Dust your workspace with some flour and roll out each ball of dough into a thin, circular shape. Place a portion of the prepared curried beef filling onto the center of the rolled-out dough.

Step 4: Fold and Seal the Roti

Next, carefully fold the edges of the dough towards the center, enclosing the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal the roti, ensuring that the filling remains intact. Repeat this process for each portion of the dough and filling.

Step 5: Cook the Roti

Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat. Place the folded and sealed roti onto the hot pan and cook until it turns golden brown and crispy on both sides. This process usually takes a few minutes per side. The result is a roti with a delightfully crisp exterior and a flavorful, tender interior.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Once the beef roti is cooked to perfection, remove it from the griddle or pan. Serve the hot and crispy roti as a main dish or a delightful snack. Pair it with your favorite dipping sauce, such as tangy tomato sauce or a spicy chili sauce, to elevate the flavors even further. Bite into the flaky layers and flavorful filling, savoring the authentic taste of Sri Lankan street food.

Variations and Adaptations for Beef Roti

Beef roti is a versatile dish that can be easily adapted to suit different preferences and dietary restrictions. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian option or want to explore alternative protein sources, there are various variations and adaptations you can try to enhance your beef roti experience.

Vegetarian Beef Roti

If you prefer a vegetarian version of beef roti, you can simply substitute the beef with other protein sources. Experiment with fillings such as chicken, lamb, turkey, or pork to create a vegetarian twist on this classic dish. The combination of flavorful spices and vegetables will still give you a delicious and satisfying meal.

Adding Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes

To make your beef roti even heartier and more filling, you can add potatoes or sweet potatoes to the filling. The starchiness of these ingredients complements the spices and adds a delightful texture to the dish. You can either substitute the meat with potatoes or sweet potatoes or include them alongside the meat for a more substantial meal.

Eggs as a Unique Twist

If you’re looking to add an extra dimension to your beef roti, consider including boiled eggs or cooking an egg inside the roti. This addition adds a unique flavor and richness to the dish, elevating it to a whole new level. The combined flavors of the eggs, spices, and meat create a harmonious blend that will leave your taste buds satisfied.

By exploring these variations and adaptations, you can customize your beef roti to suit your taste and dietary preferences. Whether you’re vegetarian or simply looking to try something different, these modifications will allow you to enjoy the flavorful and delicious experience of beef roti in a way that best suits you.

Serving and Pairing Beef Roti

Beef roti is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways. Whether you’re enjoying it as a main dish or as a snack, there are plenty of serving options to suit your preferences. Traditionally, beef roti is served warm and paired with a flavorful dipping sauce. The classic choices include a tangy tomato sauce or a fiery chili sauce, which add a zesty kick to the already delicious flavors of the dish.

However, if you’re looking to experiment with different flavors, there are several alternative dipping sauces that can elevate your beef roti experience. Consider trying a creamy curry yogurt sauce, which adds a cool and tangy element to the spiciness of the beef filling. Or, if you’re a fan of herbs and spices, a spicy cilantro sauce can provide a fresh and vibrant twist to the dish.

When it comes to pairing beef roti with side dishes, the possibilities are endless. The richness of the beef and the flakiness of the roti can be complemented with a refreshing salad, such as a cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with a tangy dressing. Steamed vegetables, such as broccoli or carrots, can also be served on the side to add a healthy and nutritious component to your meal.

Beef roti can also be enjoyed as part of a larger meal. It can be served alongside other Sri Lankan dishes, such as chicken curry or vegetable curry, for a complete and satisfying feast. The combination of flavors and textures in each dish creates a harmonious blend that will take your taste buds on a culinary journey.


The contrast of the warm, savory beef roti with a tangy tomato sauce is simply irresistible!” – Food Enthusiast Magazine

“I love experimenting with different dipping sauces for my beef roti. A spicy cilantro sauce adds a burst of flavor in every bite!” – Chef Maya

Table 1: Pairing Suggestions for Beef Roti

Side Dishes Dipping Sauces
Refreshing Salad Tomato Sauce
Steamed Vegetables Fiery Chili Sauce
Chicken Curry Curry Yogurt Sauce
Vegetable Curry Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Beef Roti as Game Day Snack

Beef roti is a perfect choice for game day and tailgating. Its portable nature makes it easy to enjoy while watching a game or socializing with friends and family. The combination of flavors and textures in beef roti provides a satisfying and filling snack that is sure to impress.

With its curried ground beef, potatoes, and peas wrapped in a soft and flaky roti, beef roti delivers a delicious punch of taste. The savory and spicy filling pairs perfectly with the buttery and crispy roti shell.

Preparing beef roti ahead of time is a smart move for game day gatherings. They can be easily reheated before serving, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the game and less time in the kitchen.

So, whether you’re cheering for your favorite team or hosting a tailgating party, make sure to add beef roti to your game day menu. It’s a crowd-pleasing snack that will keep everyone satisfied throughout the game.

Beef Roti: A Taste of Sri Lanka’s Food Culture

Sri Lanka’s food culture is a treasure trove of flavors and culinary traditions. One dish that captures the essence of this vibrant culture is beef roti, a mouthwatering delight that is part of a category of snacks known as “short-eats.”

Short-eats are a popular street food in Sri Lanka, offering a quick and delicious way to satisfy hunger on the go. These delectable snacks come in various flavors and fillings, showcasing the diversity and richness of Sri Lankan cuisine. Beef roti stands out as a beloved favorite among locals and visitors alike.

This savory treat features a soft and flaky roti filled with curried ground beef, creating a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. The spices, herbs, and seasonings used in the curried beef filling infuse it with a bold and aromatic taste that reflects the authentic flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine.

Beef roti exemplifies the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Sri Lankan food culture. It is a portable snack that can be enjoyed on the streets, at home, or wherever your culinary adventures take you. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Colombo or indulging in a leisurely picnic at the picturesque beaches, beef roti is the perfect companion.

Key Ingredients Flavors Food Culture
Curried ground beef Spicy, aromatic Sri Lankan short-eats
Soft and flaky roti Savory, buttery Street food tradition
Herbs and spices Rich, complex Culinary creativity

By savoring a beef roti, you not only indulge in a delightful snack but also immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s food culture. Each bite is a celebration of the country’s culinary traditions, reflecting a harmonious blend of indigenous spices, colonial influences, and regional flavors.

So, if you have a craving for a taste of Sri Lanka, look no further than beef roti. Its irresistible flavors and cultural significance will transport you to the vibrant streets and bustling markets of this beautiful island nation.

In Conclusion: Beef Roti, a Flavorful and Delicious Dish

Beef roti is the perfect choice for those craving the bold and aromatic flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine. With its curried beef filling, soft and flaky roti, and a burst of spices, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you enjoy it as a satisfying main dish or a tasty snack, beef roti offers versatility and excitement to any meal.

Indulge in the authentic taste of Sri Lanka by trying your hand at making this traditional street food at home. The combination of tender, well-seasoned beef and the comforting texture of roti creates a truly flavorful experience. With every bite, you’ll be transported to the vibrant streets of Sri Lanka, where the aroma of spices fills the air.

Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or simply craving a delicious treat, beef roti is an excellent choice. Its portable nature makes it ideal for game day or tailgating, allowing you to savor the rich flavors while cheering on your favorite team. Impress your friends and family with this mouthwatering dish that captures the essence of Sri Lankan cuisine.


What is Beef Roti?

Beef Roti is a delicious Sri Lankan street food that consists of curried ground beef with peas and potatoes, wrapped in a roti and cooked until golden brown and crispy.

How can I make Beef Roti?

Making Beef Roti involves preparing the roti dough, cooking the curried beef filling, and then assembling and cooking the roti on a griddle or nonstick pan.

Can I customize the filling of Beef Roti?

Yes, you can customize the filling of Beef Roti by substituting the beef with other proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, or pork. You can also add additional ingredients like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or boiled eggs.

What can I serve with Beef Roti?

Beef Roti can be served with tomato sauce, chili sauce, curry yogurt sauce, or spicy cilantro sauce. It pairs well with a variety of side dishes like salad or steamed vegetables.

Can I make Beef Roti ahead of time?

Yes, Beef Roti can be prepared ahead of time and reheated before serving, making it a convenient option for game day gatherings.

What is the significance of Beef Roti in Sri Lankan food culture?

Beef Roti is a popular “short-eat” snack in Sri Lanka and is enjoyed by both locals and visitors. It showcases the flavors and diversity of Sri Lankan cuisine.

Is there a vegetarian version of Beef Roti?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of Beef Roti by substituting the beef with other protein sources and adding vegetables like potatoes or sweet potatoes.

How to serve Beef Roti as a game day snack?

Beef Roti is a great choice for game day and tailgating. Its portable nature makes it easy to enjoy while watching a game or socializing with friends and family.

What makes Beef Roti a flavorful and delicious dish?

The combination of spices, curried beef filling, and the softness of the roti makes Beef Roti a flavorful and delicious dish that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

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