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How to make Sri Lankan paratha (godamba)roti.

How to make Sri Lankan paratha(godamba roti).

This roti recipe is going to be your guide on how to make paratha step-by-step.

This flaky stovetop roti is also known as godamba roti.

Once you’ve learned to make it at home, you’ll never go back to buying them.

These roti/Parathas(godamba roti), are one of the easiest dinner favorites among us Sri Lankans.

They are soft, foldable rotis available at most roadside restaurants that sell hoppers, string hoppers and other Sri Lankan dinner favorites.

Roadside restaurants delicious food but…..

Roadside restaurants for some reason serve the most delicious food, they tend to make the best rotis, hoppers and kottu.

The parathas are premade in large quantities to serve customers in various ways from preparing kottu to curried vegetables and meat buns to turning them into parathas.

Although I’ve found buying them from these restaurants easy and the best way to sort out dinner quickly(left-over meat and these rotis),I have always had reservations about buying them.

I find the person who’s handling the parathas to be quite, umm… how do I write it without sounding offensive, unhygienic.

Yet, once or twice a month, I make my way to these roadside shops to indulge my craving for these soft parathas(godamba roti).

How to make Sri Lankan paratha(godamba roti). A versatile, all-time favorite roti paratha. Once you've learned to make it at home, you'll never go back to buying them. These roti/Parathas known as "godamba roti", are one of the easiest dinner favorites among us Sri Lankans.

Making your own “godamba rotis”.

After a few trials and errors, I now make my own godamba rotis at home.

 They turn out better and better every time I make them and yours will too, I promise.

I don’t toss or flip them as the roti maker does, I don’t use any special kitchen equipment to make them.

In fact, would you be surprised if I wrote, that I cooked these paratha rotis on my favorite IKEA wok?

Just like I made the egg paratha rotis.

Yes, you read that right, by keeping the parathas slightly smaller in size, I make about 20-25 of these.

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How to make Sri Lankan paratha(godamba roti). A versatile, all-time favorite roti paratha. Once you've learned to make it at home, you'll never go back to buying them. These roti/Parathas known as "godamba roti", are one of the easiest dinner favorites among us Sri Lankans.

Homemade rotis are the best

As I’ve mentioned earlier,

If you’ve never made these Sri Lankan parathas and always buy them on the way home after work then it’s high time you tried making them.

With a little prep work and planning, the parathas(godamba roti) can be ready by dinner time.

And the best part is once you’ve made these rotis a few times, you can make the popular “kottu roti”any time you want at home.

It’s more hygienic and fresh than what you buy from restaurants.

Dinner ideas with”godamba rotis”(parathas/rotis).

If you want to try these parathas with a vegetarian menu, a Sri Lankan dhal curry and a soya meat curry would be an ideal choice.

How to make Sri Lankan paratha(godamba roti). A versatile, all-time favorite roti paratha. Once you've learned to make it at home, you'll never go back to buying them. These roti/Parathas known as "godamba roti", are one of the easiest dinner favorites among us Sri Lankans.

Beginners tips on making Sri Lankan parathas.

  •  While combining the flour to make the dough, make sure to pour the water gradually so that the dough doesn’t end up being too wet.
  • The most important step in the making of these parathas is, submerging the dough balls in oil for a long period. I have kept the balls of dough in oil for 3 hours to 6 hours. while both resting times work, I prefer to rest the dough for 6-7 hours or overnight. 
  • The parathas turn out to be more pliant and soft just like the ones you buy. 
  • Do not refrigerate the oil-submerged paratha balls, cover with a dish towel and store them inside your microwave or oven.
  • Once the dough balls have rested, they become easy to flatten into the thinnest parathas.
  •  That should be your goal, don’t worry about any holes appearing, there would definitely be one or two at the end but these too can be avoided as you get better at making them. 
  • rather than using your fingertips to make the parathas, use the flat palm of your hand.
  • Use smoothing out movements to gradually flatten out the godamba rotis.
  • you can shape them any way you want as long as they are thin. 
  • Don’t use any extra oil but a non-stick pan to cook the parathas. 
  • Maintain low to medium heat, cooking time on each side would be a minute(I hesitate to give the exact times as your cooking time will vary depending on how much heat you are using but as a reference point, for me, it was 20-30 seconds on each side.
  • It’s important you don’t expose the parathas to too much heat as this will result in dry parathas instead of soft ones. 
  • this dough recipe is basic enough you can increase the amount of flour and other ingredients as long as it’s not too wet or dry.         
If I want to make these flat parathas roti for dinner, what time should I start making them?

Say you want to serve dinner at 7.30 pm.

You’ll want six hours(minimum) resting time for the dough balls in oil, I would suggest making the dough at 12.00-1.00 pm. 

As mentioned earlier if you make the godamba roti balls in the morning the soaking time will increase.

Making parathas for a family of six.

If you are a family of six, depending on how many adults and kids, you will need to adjust the quantity of flour used.

As a reference point, I used 5 cups of flour to make just over 20 parathas. this may vary for you, depending on the size you make them

Utensils and appliances needed to make the parathas.

  • You will need two separate bowls to mix and submerge them in oil. 
  • a flat surface(I’m using a baking tray as seen on the image). 
  • a non-stick wok to make the roti(preferably not a skillet or frying pan). If you do have a large enough flat surface griddle pan, then use it instead of the wok.

More flatbread/ paratha recipes!

Sri Lankan egg paratha roti.

Sri Lankan coconut roti(pol roti).

Stove-top Naan bread.

Soft rotis/tortillas.

How to make Sri Lankan parathas.

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients

Makes 8-10 medium-sized rotis.

3 cups of flour

Salt to season

3 tablespoons of oil

1 cup water(you might need a little more)

Oil enough to cover the dough balls completely

Method

How to make the roti paratha dough.

Add flour, salt, oil into a large bowl, gradually pour the water and combine ingredients to make a soft dough that is not too wet or dry. 5 minutes.

Once you’ve made godamba roti dough, continue kneading for another 12 minutes.

Divide the dough into equal-size balls and set aside.

These balls should be slightly bigger than golf balls.

How to soak the paratha doughs in oil.

Pour in 2 cups of oil into a separate flat-surfaced bowl and place the dough balls into them.

The idea is to completely submerge the dough balls in oil for several hours. turn them into disks, this way you can avoid adding more oil to the pan.

Cover and rest the balls of dough for 7-8 hours. you can also rest the dough balls overnight. 

How to make the roti paratha.

Once the dough has been resting for a few hours, place wok over low heat for a few minutes.

While the wok is heating over low heat, prepare a surface close to the stove to make the parathas so it’s easy to transfer them to the wok.

As mentioned earlier on the instructions above, on a flat surface(I’m using a sheet pan), flatten the dough first using your fingertips and then with the flat palm of your hand.

Smooth, stretch and flatten to shape them into parathas, these don’t need to be perfect, they can even have tiny holes. Use a smoothing out movement to stretch the dough.

Once you have flattened the parathas, gently lift it using both hands(similar to hanging garments on a clothesline)and place it on the heated wok.

Let the paratha cook for a few seconds(10-12), once the roti cooks and you can move them over the non-stick surface, using a wooden spatula start folding the roti while it cooks.

Continue to fold and unfold while it cooks for a few more seconds(try to keep the cooking under 60 seconds so the roti doesn’t turn out too dry).

Continue making parathas until all the balls of dough are done.

Transfer any leftover oil to a container for later use.

Serve with any meat curries or try out the dinner ideas mentioned above.

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How to make Sri Lankan paratha(godamba roti)-a versatile, all-time favorite roti. once you've learned to make it at home, you'll never go back to buying them.

How to make Sri Lankan paratha (godamba)roti.

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes

These roti/Parathas known as "godamba roti", are one of the easiest dinner favorites among us Sri Lankans.

They are soft, foldable rotis available at most roadside restaurants that sell hoppers, string hoppers and other Sri Lankan dinner favorites.

Ingredients

  • Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • 3 cups of flour
  • Salt to season
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup water(you might need a little more)
  • Oil enough to cover the dough balls completely

Instructions

    How to make the roti/paratha dough.

    Add flour, salt, oil into a large bowl, gradually pour the water and combine ingredients to make a soft dough that is not too wet or dry. 5 minutes.

    Once you've made godamba roti dough, continue kneading for another 12 minutes.

     

    Divide the dough into equal-size balls and set aside. these balls should be slightly bigger than golf balls.

     

    How to soak the paratha doughs in oil.

    Pour in 2 cups of oil into a separate flat-surfaced bowl and place the dough balls into them.

    The idea is to completely submerge the dough balls in oil for several hours. turn them into disks, this way you can avoid adding more oil to the pan.

    Cover and rest the balls of dough for 7-8 hours. you can also rest the dough balls overnight. 

     

    How to make the godamba roti/paratha.

    Once the dough has been resting for a few hours, place wok over low heat for a few minutes.

    While the wok is heating over low heat, prepare a surface close to the stove to make the parathas so it's easy to transfer them to the wok.

    As mentioned earlier on the instructions above, on a flat surface(I'm using a sheet pan), flatten the dough first using your fingertips and then with the flat palm of your hand.

    Smooth, stretch and flatten to shape them into parathas, these don't need to be perfect, they can even have tiny holes. Use a smoothing out movement to stretch the dough.

    Once you have the flattened the parathas, gently lift it using both hands(similar to hanging garments on a clothesline)and place it on the heated wok.

    Let the paratha cook for a few seconds(10-12), once the roti cooks and you can move them over the non-stick surface, using a wooden spatula start folding the roti while it cooks, continue to fold and unfold while it cook for a few more seconds(try to keep the cooking under 60 seconds so the roti doesn't turn out too dry).

    Continue making parathas until all the balls of dough are done. transfer any leftover oil to a container for later use.

    Serve with any meat curries or try out the dinner ideas mentioned above.

     

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    Geoffrey Jayasekera

    Tuesday 13th of July 2021

    Hi Jehan (got that right I hope!)

    Haven't had godamba roti's for years and years and had the intense urge to have some - so, I hit on your site and found the directions precise and exact followed it to the letter - ended up with lovely lace like rotis, and even made some parcels filled with a mince curry (like a kheema).

    Thanks for your great work Jehan, really appreciate it.

    Warmest regard

    Geoffrey

    jehan

    Tuesday 13th of July 2021

    Hi Geoffrey, First, thank you for the lovely message. Glad the recipe worked out for you and it does help when you write back with the results. If you are interested, there are a couple of keema recipes on the blog as well. Could you please, rate the recipe on the recipe card, it helps with other readers finding the recipe on google easily. And you are most welcome. Stay safe and regards, J

    Renuka

    Sunday 16th of May 2021

    Your recipes sound great - have copied the naan and the easy chillie paste - and will give feedback after making. I expect them to be good and appreciate the detailed instructions. Shows your attention and care - well done! Now, in exchange, for a few tips about Godas which I have been making at my home in Germany for 15 years or so. 6-7 hours resting and submerged in oil are spot on. But I won’t flatten onto discs - might stick to one another ... Now, the cooking temperature, (for you only, mind, not your readers till they get more experienced) .. I have the heat high and stack the rotis on top of each other and keep flipping on the pan itself a few times. High heat gives a DELICIOUS burnt spot or two, but to stop the drying I stack the fresh one on top of the cooked side after flipping and then flip again after second side is done. And add the next roti on the freshly done side and flip later again. So I have up to 6-7 rotis all together in a stack on my pan at any given time. They don't stick as made with ample oil smeared on the pan. The stacking keeps them soft but flipping makes them also crispy - a very difficult combo to achieve otherwise. And this also gives hot, well cooked and deliciously complex rotis. The street side rotis also have ripped areas as well as differences in thicknesses - which usually taste great as the alternating crsipy and charred and soft areas give a huge variety of crunch, taste and chewing experiences as well. So don’t flatten them all to the same thickness - and as you said also, go for the thinnest possible, but if the roti rips - let it be. Folding the edges over also gives differences in thickness. But these areas need more time to cook than the tissue thin areas - which is why stacking helps. All are tips I learnt by paying a street goda vendor in Kandy 500 rupees extra 16 years ago while eating on holiday and lamenting it the last chance for another year!! On the off chance asked if he would teach for a fee and he agreed :) To my eye and my taste your rotis look great parathas, but are a bit too uniform and just a bit too thick for godas ... sorry, that’s just MY taste. A goda from a lemon sized dough ball would be stretched to 15”x15” and with folded over edges end up around 12”x12” - and have ripped areas, black charred spots, browned spots and soft thick areas. A very different animal to a uniform paratha (which too I love, having learnt from my Punjabi best friend here) - though they do share the basic dough and the rich oily taste. BTW I also copied your poori recipe - have been making them more than 25 years YET got a great semolina tip from you! Have tried a bit of semolina in my crispy dosas to success for a while and planning same on hoppers but the tip on pooris is from you. Thanks !

    jehan

    Wednesday 19th of May 2021

    Hi Renuka, Thank you so much for your detailed method on how to make godamba roti, I bet that rs 500 was the best investment you made if you've learned from a daily godamba roti maker. please let me know how the naan roti and chilli paste came out. always looking out for constructive criticism which will help other readers to make the recipe without any confusion or problem. I try to write a detailed recipe as much as I can because I've learned by error that the small details in cooking make a big difference in the outcome. Thank you for the detailed way of how you make the godamba roti will definitely try out your method. The uniformity of the godambas is not something that happens all the time, only I have to make the pics for the recipes pretty and mouthwatering at a glance, the thickness and uniformity help to get great pics of them. And you are most welcome on the semolina tip. Love your tips and love your comment as it is truly helpful and gives me perspective from someone who really took the time to read and give me feedback on it. I hope you can write back and keep me on my toes to do a better job in delivering fail-proof recipes. the recipes here are used by beginners, intermediate and even very advanced cooks so I really do need to pay attention to details. please do excuse if you do come across any mistakes as this is a one lady operation so errors are bound to happen sometimes. Stay safe and blessed and hope to hear from you soon. regards J

    Shirley Canagasabey

    Friday 19th of February 2021

    I tried the gothamba rotti today * it turned out great for a first attempt. I rested it only for 5 hrs. Thank you very much

    jehan

    Friday 19th of February 2021

    Hi Shirley, You are most welcome, glad the roti came out well for you. please do rate the recipe if it was helpful. Thank you, regards J

    Pearl Pinnaduwa

    Monday 27th of April 2020

    I found this recipe after searching for a long time as I didn't realize that they are called parathas. Thank you for letting me copy this in paper. I hope that they will turn up like yours, at least a little. Once again thank you.

    jehan

    Tuesday 28th of April 2020

    Hello Pearl, The original name would be godamba roti but most like to call it paratha as well. There is a recipe card at the bottom of the recipe post with a small icon for printing. you can easily print the recipe or get someone to print for you. I'm sure you'll get the roti right, just make sure to read the recipe post as I have gone to a lot of details that will help you get it right the first time. Regards J

    Vindi

    Friday 27th of December 2019

    Excellent write-up. I'm making this tonight

    jehan

    Saturday 28th of December 2019

    Thank you.

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