What’s In A Name

Country of OriginIndia
State – 
Tamil Nadu

The Kothu Parotta is a dish that originated from the streets of Virudhunagar – a town in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

This South Indian delicacy was made for and by roadside food stalls. The ingredients are simply thrown into a piping hot oiled griddle, repeatedly pounded with the help of a heavy iron spatula, and hurriedly plonked on to the plate of an eager customer. It’s as easy as 1…2…3 (simple as do re mi)!

Our Connection

කොහෙද (Where)Carnival By Tresind – Dubai, UAE
කවදා ද (When)
August, 2017

A restaurant with a seasonal menu? Well, this was about to go only one of two ways – either the chefs at the back were about to deliver something spectacularly sumptuous or we were in for something incredibly expensive and pretentious!

The fact that I am writing about this now, well you can take a hint can’t you? (It’s the former for those still wondering). The theme on the day of our visit was “Bring Back Childhood”. From the cutlery to the dishes on the menu, everything screamed nostalgia! Which, surprisingly, given the recent craze of fondly remembering the past was ahead of its time.

One item on that seasonal menu was the Kothu Parotta (or the Kothu roti). Now, I don’t know about you, but I can say with absolute certainty that the dish was never a part of my childhood.

Did it matter? No! We went ahead and ordered the Kothu Parotta, a decision we will never regret. Easily the best dish on our plates and in our mouths on the day, the Kothu Parotta stood out for being aesthetically ambiguous yet scintillatingly delicious. The excitement of seeing the dish being made and served table-side was a mere bonus!

The Kothu Parotta was burnt into my memory. So much so that on a cold winter’s evening in England, it was all I could think about making to comfort and warm my belly.


Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 30 mins Rest Time 60 mins Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 3
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


"Roll out the dough, chop the vegetables, crack the eggs, pan-fry the chicken, and once you're done with all that, pile them all together and smash it all up over a hot flame - the Kothu Parotta manual!"



  1. Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl. Season them with a generous amount of salt and black pepper powder. Pour half of the prescribed ginger-garlic paste and Madras spice paste1 over the chicken. Ensure that the breasts are fully coated in the marination

  2. Leave the chicken to marinate for an 1 hour2. While the chicken marinates, it's time to make the parathas. If using frozen Malabar parathas3,4, remove the package from the freezer and tear it open. Place a frozen paratha in a large sauté pan and bring it over a medium-high heat

  3. Ensure that both sides are completely thawed through and turn a nice, crisp golden brown colour. Transfer from the pan onto a plate and repeat the same process for the rest of the parathas

  4. Once the parathas are ready, shred them into small-medium size pieces. Leave them on the plate while you prepare the rest of the dish

  5. Roughly dice the red onion, red bell pepper, and tomato (discard the pulp). Roughly chop the green chillies and the curry leaves

  6. Once the chicken is done marinating, pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a sauté pan and bring it over a high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the marinated chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, each side, on high heat, or until the chicken is cooked through5 

  7. Once cooked, transfer the breasts on to a plate to rest. While the chicken rests, pour a  tablespoon of oil in the same sauté pan and bring it over a medium heat 

  8. Add the mustard seeds and chopped curry leaves to the pan and wait for them to crackle and splutter. Once they do, add the ginger-garlic paste, and the chopped green chillies and onions. Sauté until the onions turn translucent  

  9. Season the mixture with turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, pepper, and salt. Sauté until the spices blend in with the mixture and the raw smell dissipates

  10. Add the chopped bell peppers and tomatoes. Continue to sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until the bell peppers soften. While they cook, slice the chicken breasts into small chunks

  11. Crack the egg into the pan, and stir until it cooks (or scrambles) and blends into the mixture 

  12. Add the chopped chunks of chicken into the pan and continue to sauté on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the torn pieces of Malabar paratha into the pan and fold until all of the mixture combines

  13. Pour the rest of the Madras spice paste into the pan and stir until it blends in with the rest of the ingredients

  14. Using the back of a spatula, apply downward pressure onto the mixture - pushing it to the bottom of the pan - to ensure that the parathas become crispy. Leave on the heat for roughly 2-3 minutes before taking it off the stove

  15. To Serve (per serving): Place two heaped tablespoons of Kothu Parotta on a plate, garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and serve with a side of plain full-fat yogurt or mint yogurt6


1. It is imperative that the chicken be marinated with the Madras spice paste.

2. Ideally, you want the chicken to marinate in the seasoning overnight. However, for a quick solution, marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour to allow the meat to absorb the flavours.

3. I used frozen Malabar parathas as they not only replicate the texture required but are also a real time-saver. As a substitute, you can order/buy fresh parathas or make a few from scratch. Although, making fresh Malabar parathas is a very tough task and takes a lot of time.

4. Instead of the Parotta, you can use the South Indian variant - Idiyappam - or the Sri Lankan equivalent - String Hoppers - which are steamed rice flour noodles. 

5. To check if the chicken is cooked, use a tong or fork to pierce through the meatiest part of the chicken. The insides should be a glistening white without any hint of pink (raw chicken)

6. You can serve the dish with salna - a traditional South Indian spicy gravy. 

7. For a vegetarian version, simply leave out the chicken (and possibly the egg)! 

8. The prices of the ingredients (table below) are only rough estimates and are subject to change!

9. As certain ingredients are common household items - salt, pepper, oil - you may not be required to purchase them, and so the cost of preparing this dish is lower.

Keywords: Chicken, Eggs, Lunch & Dinner, Main Course, Non-Vegetarian

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