This is the greatest kothu parotta recipe! It’s a comforting street food dish from South India, similar to kothu roti from Sri Lanka. Long time readers may notice that this recipe used to be called kothu roti, but it has now been updated! You can actually make this dish with roti or parotta, more on that below.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Simple ingredients – everything in this recipe is super simple. Not only is it traditional this way, but it means that you don’t have to scour the supermarket to find obscure ingredients. Plus, kothu parotta traditionally is a street food dish that’s made on food carts in South India, so it traditionally only uses simple ingredients too!
- Quick – as long as you prep the ingredients first – tear the parotta and chop or grate the vegetables, it will come together in well under 30 minutes!
- Easy to make – as the recipe only calls for simple, easy to find ingredients and it’s quick too! If you want a bit more of a challenge, try making your own parotta or roti instead of using shop-bought.
- Mild or spicy to suit your taste – if you’re making the curry sauce, rather than using a leftover sauce, make sure to tailor the spice level to you! It really doesn’t matter what curry powder you use – mild, medium or spicy. We like madras curry powder, but you do you.
- Tried and tested – not only have we tried and tested this recipe a lot, but it is also a mainstay in our weekly repertoire. Plus, as it’s been on our website since 2019, it’s reader approved too. Just look at the reviews below!
🍽 Equipment & Products Needed
We like to keep things nice and simple. If you’re going to use a meat replacement, we recommend ‘No chick’ by the No Meat Company or Shredded Vegan Chicken from Linda McCartney. We also recommend using vegan chicken stock by Massel, we think it’s one of the best stocks out there and goes really well in this recipe.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Parotta – in this kothu parotta, it’s recommended to use, you guessed it, parottas! If you don’t have any, you can actually use roti or chapati and the results will be just as good.
- Curry sauce – make a quick curry sauce using the ingredients list and instructions below or use leftover curry sauce. It’s important that the curry sauce is smooth and relatively thin. The sauce recipe is pretty basic, but when mixed in with the dish it really adds a great depth of flavour.
- Curry powder – we often make kothu parotta using madras curry powder, as we love the madras flavour. However, this isn’t mandatory, you can use whatever curry powder you have! Just check if it’s mild, medium or spicy to make sure that you’re using a spice level that you’re happy with.
- Cabbage – while we say to grate the carrot in this recipe, we don’t recommend grating the cabbage. That’s because it adds a brilliant crunch when it is sliced, rather than grated. When grated, it gets lost in the dish. We recommend using savoy, chinese or white cabbage. If you don’t have cabbage, you can use spring greens or cavolo nero.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
These instructions are designed as an overview to accompany the step-by-step photos. Head to the recipe card below for full ingredients, instructions and notes.
1. First of all, make the curry sauce. Pop a splash of oil in a small saucepan and then add the spices, stir for one minute.
2. Pour in the stock and stir well, bring to a boil and allow to simmer for around 5-8 minutes. It won't thicken, but that's OK because the sauce will be added to the main mix in the pan, and this isn't a saucy dish. Set aside.
3. In a wok, heat the oil or oil spray over a medium-high heat (if you have a non-stick pan you could omit the oil) and add in the onion, then after a few minutes add the garlic. Garlic burns very easily so keep an eye on it!
4. Pop in the vegan 'chicken' (if you're using it) and stir well, otherwise skip to the next step. Top tip: if you have Massel vegan chicken stock, sprinkle a teaspoon or so on the vegan chicken pieces at this step - it adds an amazing flavour!
5. Add in the green pepper and cauliflower. Let it heat for a few minutes.
6. Next, chuck the grated carrot and cabbage into the wok and stir it all really well, and wait for the cabbage to wilt down.
7. Add in the torn parotta and mix.
8. Finally, pour in the sauce. It shouldn't become too saucy as this is a dry dish. Cook for a further 5-8 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. It should still be crunchy. Season with salt and pepper.
👩🍳 Expert tips
- Use parotta, roti or chapati – this is a kothu parotta, so it’s best to use parotta if you have it. However, you will get very similar results by using roti or chapati too. The main difference between these types of bread is the flour used. To make parotta, bleached flour is used (also known as Maida), for roti and chapati, it’s best to use wholemeal flour (also known as atta). Just don’t be tempted to use wraps – this doesn’t work, we’ve tried it. And naan is too thick so we don’t recommend using that either.
- Tailor the spice level – we always recommend making our recipes to suit the spice level that you enjoy. Do this by using either mild, medium or hot curry powder. Our favourite is madras curry powder.
- Rip the parottas with your hands – this is the most fun bit. We encourage you to tear the parottas with your hands! This is an especially fun task if you’re cooking with the kids.
- Make the curry sauce first – to make life easier, make the sauce for the kothu parotta first. That way you don’t have to faff about removing the wok from the heat while you stop to make the curry sauce. It’s even easier if you have leftover curry sauce to use!
Kothu parotta is a South Indian street food dish from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It’s often said to be a version of the Sri Lankan street food dish Kothu Roti, but it’s unclear which one came first. It features parotta (a type of Indian bread), curry sauce (often leftovers), a combination of vegetables and often features meat, but not always.
Basically, just the type of bread that is used. There is also likely to be a difference in flavour of course, depending on what type of curry sauce is used.
We’re not registered dieticians, but this meal seems pretty healthy to us. Everything in moderation is a good philosophy and one that we try to live by. As it contains lots of vibrant vegetables they will deliver different vitamins and minerals. While it does contain oil, this can be omitted to make it an oil-free dish or you can use oil spray, such as Fry Light.
Yes, this dish freezes well. Defrost it either overnight or in the microwave, then reheat until piping hot. You can reheat on a stove top or in the microwave. It may need a few tablespoons of water to help it heat through.
🍛 What to serve with it
If you'd like to try even more vegan Indian recipes, check out our huge list of 60+ Vegan Indian Dishes.
More Indian recipes to try
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Kothu Parotta in 30 Minutes
For the curry sauce:
- 1 tsp oil
- 4 tsp curry powder - we use madras curry powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable stock or vegan chicken stock
For the main dish:
- 1 kg cabbage (white or Chinese) - roughly chopped
- 3 clove garlic - minced
- 1 onion - chopped
- 150 g vegan chicken alternative like Linda McCartney's shredded vegan chicken
- 270 g parotta - roughly 6 parotta, torn by hand
- 250 g carrots – peeled and grated
- 1 green pepper – sliced finely
- 200 g cauliflower
- 1 tsp oil optional
- 1 cup curry sauce - recipe above, or you could use leftovers
- Start with the curry sauce. Optionally, put a splash of oil in a small saucepan and add the spices, then stir for one minute.1 tsp oil, 4 tsp curry powder, ½ tsp cinnamon powder, ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Pour in the stock. Mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for around 5-8 minutes. It won't thicken, but it doesn’t need to as it’s going to be added to the main dish. Set aside.1 cup vegetable stock
- In a wok, heat the oil or oil spray over a medium-high heat pop in the onion. After a few minutes add the garlic.1 kg cabbage
- Now add the vegan 'chicken' in if you're using it and stir well. Otherwise skip to the next step.
- Add in the green pepper and cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes.
- Next, chuck in the sliced cabbage and grated carrot. Stir well, the cabbage will wilt down.
- Stir through the torn parotta.
- Finally, pour in the sauce. Cook for a further 5-8 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. The cauliflower should still be crunchy when done. If you don't like it this way, cook for a few minutes longer.
- Season with salt to taste.
- If you have Massel vegan chicken stock (mentioned earlier in the article), sprinkle a teaspoon or so on the vegan chicken pieces when they’re added to the pan. It adds an amazing flavour!
- While this is a kothu parotta, you can also use chapati or roti if you don’t have parotta.
- Make sure to tailor the spice level to your taste. Use mild, medium or hot curry powder – whichever you prefer.
- This dish freezes well. Just be sure to defrost it and then reheat thoroughly on the hob or in the microwave. It may need 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- If the cauliflower is still to crunchy after cooking for 8 minutes, cook for a few minutes longer.