Pol (Coconut) Roti

4 May 2009

pol roti (coconut roti)I’ve seen my mother-in-law make coconut roti a few times, but haven’t made it myself and even, somehow, managed to not write her recipe down. Considering how much I love coconut roti, I can’t imagine why I wasn’t thinking!

So when time came for me to make coconut roti, rather than going with my mother-in-law’s recipe, I had to hunt Teh Interwebs to find one. But happily, I did. 🙂

All the coconut roti recipes I found on the Internet had onion and green chillies added, but that is distinctly not my mother-in-law’s, and the added onion and green chillies means that the coconut roti can be eaten only with savories. Without the onion and green chilli, coconut roti can be eaten with either savories or sweets. I took elements of several recipes and came up with my own proportions and gave it a try. Happily, I was close enough that Fahim couldn’t tell the difference. 🙂

Pol Roti (Coconut Roti)


  • 225 grams white flour
  • 180 grams coconut, freshly shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 60 grams/ml cold water
  • coconut oil for frying (if needed)


  1. Mix together the flour, coconut, and salt.
  2. Add water. Depending on how wet or dry your coconut is, you may need to adjust the water. You’re going for a stiff dough that isn’t too tacky.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 equal-sized balls.
  4. Form each ball into a round roti about 6″ in diameter and about 1/4″ thick.
  5. Heat a flat pan such as a griddle.
  6. pol roti (coconut roti)Put the roti in the middle of the pan. When one side is cooked (the upper surface will become slightly darker and less shiny), turn it and cook the other side until there are light brown specs on both sides.
  7. Remove from pan.

I lightly oil my hands and the surface I’m using to form the roti – makes it easier to work with without the roti sticking to either my hands or the work surface. I’ll use a spatula if necessary to remove the raw roti from the work surface. In all honestly, I use a plate. My mother in law uses an aluminum pot’s flat lid. Use whatever works. 🙂

This is unleavened. Don’t expect any puffiness – you won’t see any. 🙂

If your coconut is young and freshly shredded, you may need less water. Frozen shredded coconut may require more water. Rehydrated desiccated coconut may need adjusting either way. You’re aiming for a squishy dough that’s only minimally tacky.

If you’re using a non-stick griddle, you may not need to use any oil. If you’re not, you will to prevent sticking. Use the minimum amount possible.

If you give this a try, please let me know how it turns out for you.

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

I cook Sri Lankan curries, sambols, and mallungs. I bake bread using wild yeast (sourdough that isn't sour). I bake on the stove. I experiment with Indian / Malaysian / Indonesian / Thai / whatever cuisines interest me. And I experiment wildly.

Life is an adventure. Join me! :)

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