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 Post subject: Kottu
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:49 pm 
Is Kottu a truly Sri Lankan food?

@ WS / 22APR2006
By Suranga Gamage


On many a day Imtiaz Ghouse practices his cacophonic profession at an eating house (call it a hotel) in Slave Island making Kottu rotty.

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But on some days he is much in demand sought out by star class hotels when they want to add some local flavour to their menus, as their regular chefs are aliens to the unchartered food, making of which is as noisy as a locomotive.

“Kottu is not necessarily a nocturnal meal,” Ghouse said. “What happened is that it takes the whole day for the preparations, making the dough, frying every rotty, cut them into pieces and preparing vegetables and condiments.

Is Kottu a truly Sri Lankan food?

Obviously not, the kottu is hailing from Trichi in Tamil Nadu, where it was known as “Kottu Paratha” made out using shredded paratha, eggs, onions, curry leaves etc.

But that is history; now it is known worldwide as Sri Lankan Kottu.

The Sri Lankan kottu is only a couple of decades old as it first appeared in the eating houses in Eastern Coastal towns in the late ‘70s, where Godamba Rotty had been cut into pieces and served mixed with curries.

However, as the dish has now spread throughout the country, its shape, ingredients preparation method has dramatically changed in evolving the Lankan kottu.

It is not known who had discovered the noisy kottu making technique first, but kottu is now available in string Hoppers and noodle bases as well.

In the eating house, Imtiaz makes kottu in traditional way, using chicken, beef and fish in curry form but when he is called by star hotels; Imtiaz gets an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients, developing new recipes promising to elevate kottu one day to a global delicacy like Mexican taco.

“I’ve already started using fresh meet and fish instead of curries and there is a big demand for the mixed seafood kottu developed by me” said Imtiaz, “I’m experimenting with barbecue sauce as a replacement for gravy.”

Imtiaz said that kottu is a kind of a barbecue. “The Mongolian Barbecue is a kind of a kottu and we call it “Bath Kottu” he added.


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