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Nutritious Roti: A Women of Tea Sri Lanka Recipe

Learn how to prepare a delicious and healthful roti flatbread using one of the recipes from the Women of Tea community kitchens.

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February 26, 2021

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  • 500g Wheat flour or rice flour (around 4 cups)
  • 150g Grated carrot (around 2-3 carrots)
  • 150g Leeks or scallion (spring onion), cut into small strips
  • 50g Curry leaves
  • 100g Fresh leafy vegetables of choice (around 1 cup)
  • 100g Grated coconut (or 200ml natural coconut water)
  • 20g Grated ginger
  • 1 Large onion, diced
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Water 
  • Coconut oil, butter or ghee

Step 1:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add salt to taste, and mix gradually with water until the mixture forms into a sticky dough.

Step 2:

Portion out into 10-15 parts. Roll each portion in your hands to form dough balls.

Step 3:

Flatten the balls to the size of a saucer / small plate (or to preference), and coat very lightly with coconut oil to prevent sticking.

Step 4:

Place the flattened dough in a pan and cook on low heat, flipping as needed to ensure both sides are cooked evenly.

Step 5:

Serve warm with your favorite Asian curry, or enjoy alone.

In 2018, The Republic of Tea partnered with the Ethical Tea Partnership and the PALM Foundation to launch the Women of Tea: Sri Lanka program. One of the objectives of the Women of Tea program is to help Sri Lankan tea workers and their families enjoy more nutritious diets.

As of July 2020 this program has helped to establish 1,200 organic home gardens and 6 community kitchens, as well as hosted more than 420 cooking demonstrations. These meal preparation classes teach women how to prepare healthful, affordable and delicious meals that incorporate a balance of vegetables, fruits, eggs and vitamin-rich ingredients. 

Learn how to prepare a delicious and healthful roti flatbread using one of the recipes from the Women of Tea community kitchens.

Nutritious Roti

Roti is a type of round flatbread that is native to the Indian subcontinent and is eaten in many countries worldwide. To prepare roti, wheat flour is mixed with salt and water to create a sticky dough. Grated coconut is often added to the dough in Sri Lanka. 

The prepared dough is then portioned out, flattened to the width of a small plate and cooked on a hot pan. Roti typically has a limited nutritional value, but is cheap, tasty and easy to prepare. For female tea workers in Sri Lanka, it is the most popular staple after rice.

The Women of Tea program initiated a process of improving the traditional roti recipe to create a more nutritious and balanced variation, without significantly increasing the cost, taste or functionality. 

This roti is served at all community kitchens in the program, and the women have been taught how to prepare this recipe at home through cooking demonstrations. Compared to traditional roti, this healthful recipe is richer in nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, protein and carbohydrates.

Roti is often enjoyed alongside curries and other flavorful dishes