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Sri Lankan Fish Roti Recipe

Sri Lankan fish roti is a famous Sri Lankan street eat in the streets of Sri Lanka made with Tin mackerel/canned tuna mixed with Sri Lankan spices and potatoes wrapped in a flaky roti and grilled on a hot plate.

Savoury Roti

Usually, rotis are found in almost every food shop in Sri Lanka. We eat it as a snack, breakfast and even on road trips.

This is so easy to make but many Sri Lankans don’t make this in Sri Lankan households because it’s readily available and it’s quite cheap. But coming to a foreign country and not having this snack readily available has thought me to explore a lot of Sri Lankan snacks that I never cooked from scratch before.

Other varieties of stuffed rotis found in Sri Lanka

Fish roti; made with mackerel
Chicken roti ( As the name suggest made with curried chicken)
Beef roti (made with curried beef)
Vegetable roti (made with curried vegetable mix)
Egg roti; this is usually eaten as a meal accompanied by a curry. Find my egg roti recipe

egg roti 450x600 1
egg roti

What does the Shapes of stuffed roti represent?

We have different religions in sri lanka and these rotis are made with different fillings, so to make it easier for everyone to recognize these street eats, the vegetable roti is made as a triangular shape while all other meats are made as a long square shape.

What is Sri Lankan Short eats?

Fish roti falls into a category called Sri Lankan short eats, Now what is Sri Lankan short eats? as the name suggests it is a snack that you eat any time of the day. We have short eats for breakfast, evening snack.

How to eat fish roti?

You normally eat it hot off the grill, that sensation you get when you eat hot fish rotis that are freshly made with a good cup of ginger tea, that truly compensates the spicy stuffed roti.

We as Sri Lankans don’t eat it with any accompaniment or relish, we just eat it plain. it surely doesn’t need a relish as it is so flavourful.

What if I don’t have Sri Lankan curry powder to make fish roti?

That’s alright you can also use Indian curry powder or any other curry powder, that you find in your local supermarket, as the curry powder is not the most dominant flavour thus it doesn’t have to be Sri Lankan curry powder.

Can fish roti be made in advance?

Yes, you can, make the stuffed roti in advance, and you can also pan fry it in advance as well. But my recommendation is to pan fry it just before serving as the rotis are best enjoyed warm

Can I refrigerate the fish roti?

Yes you can refrigerate both, pan fried and non pan fried rotis

How to reheat fish roti

you can reheat pan fried fish roti in the microwave until warm

How to cook fish roti?

Fish roti is best cooked on a flat all sides need to be cooked.

What type of roti is used for fish roti

Gothamba roti also known as lensu ( handkerchief) because it looks like a handkerchief is used for this recipe. it is very similar to paratha used in other cultures.

Is it necessary to make gothamba from scratch?

honestly, it’s so easy to make gothamba roti, you only need flour, water, salt and oil to submerge the roti in. so when it is so simple to make from scratch I have never opted to buy ready-made roti. And I don’t think any substitution will make it as tasty as making it from scratch

How long to submerge the roti in oil

2-4 hours. the more you rest it in oil, more elastic it gets, so I recommend 4 hours, but saying that I have also done it in 2 hours, and it still tastes good.

Watch video how to make Sri Lankan fish roti

Step by step recipe on how to make Sri Lankan fish roti

Savoury Roti

Sri Lankan Fish Roti Recipe

Flakey roti filled with spicy mackerel and potato filling
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2 people


  • Pots and Pans


Gothamba Roti dough

  • 2 cups  All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cups  Water Tap water
  • Pinch of Salt
  •  Oil  Canola or Vegetable  ( Enough to cover the dough)

Fish filling

  • 95 g Tuna or mackerel
  • 1 Potato Cut in quarters
  • 1 tsp Ginger Chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Red onion Chopped
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds (Optional)
  • 1 tsp Red chilli chopped
  • 5 Curry leaves Chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lime/Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Curry powder ( Sri lankan or indian curry powder)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder


Gothamba roti

  • Combine flour, water, salt in a bowl and mix well
  • Transfer the combined dough into a surface, knead the dough for 5-6 mins, until its smooth & soft ( Add flour to the work surface and on top of the dough, if it is too sticky)
  • Portion the dough into 6 equal portions
  • Using your palm in a circular motion, shape them into smooth balls
  • Add oil to a deep tray and add the prepared dough balls inside the tray with oil (the dough balls need to be submerged in oil) Leave at room temperature for 2 hours.

Fish filling recipe

  • Place the potatoes in a pot of water and boil
  • Once potatoes are boiled, take them out and mash them using a fork and leave aside ( it does not have to be thoroughly mashed)
  • Heat a pan with oil on a medium fire add onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, curry leaves and mustard seeds and cook until soft
  • Add in the potatoes, tuna, curry powder, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cook for 1 minute
  • Take the pan off the fire and add the lemon juice

Assembling the roti:-

  • To make the stuffed roti flatten the dough on a clean surface using your palm and fingertips until you have a thin circular shaped roti
  • Add in 1 tbsp of the fish filling in the middle and fold the sides first then roll it lengthways to get a square-shaped roti
  • Heat pan with 1 tsp of oil on a medium fire
  • Once the pan is heated place the stuffed roti on the pan a few minutes per side until the roti is cooked and turns golden brown and crispy. Make sure all the sides of the roti are cooked
  • Enjoy the rotis warm


Did you make this recipe?

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7 thoughts on “Sri Lankan Fish Roti Recipe”

  1. Buwanajee Coralage

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe akki, will definitely try to make them from scratch as you did explain🙌❤

  2. Hey Rachi,

    What do you mean by oil enough to cover the oil? Do you have an approximate amount?

      1. User Avatar

        Hey, The oil should cover the dough. Place the dough balls in a deep tray and pour oil until the dough is covered. so the dough balls will be submerged in oil. Does that clarify? I can’t give a quantity because each person will use different trays to submerge the dough in oil. But ultimately you don’t use this oil. does that answer your question?

        Hope it helps.

  3. Cab you pls let me know the salt amount? Salt to taste and I don’t have a good relationship!

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