Roti with potato curry

Mela Bosenaqali the housekeeper that comes to sort us out twice a week, showed me how to make roti with potato curry, which is a very common snack here in Fiji. Don't go asking me for precise measurements. Roti with potato curry is not that sort of cooking. You should start the potato curry before you start the roti.


Salt, vegetable oil and normal flour is all you need for the roti. You wouldn't want to use abnormal flour.

Put flour in a heat proof bowl and add salt. People like their food quite salty here, and I do think that you should be generous when it comes to salting flour-based food. Yes, that is toilet cleaner in the background. I hadn't finished putting the shopping away before we started cooking.

Add boiling water gradually from the kettle to the flour, stirring all the time. The water must be boiling or you will end up with hard roti. Add enough water to make a dough that starts to hold together. Like so:

You then have to wait a few minutes for it to cool down before kneading it into a rough ball that looks like this:

 Add enough oil to make a smooth dough - we used about a 1/3 of what was in the bowl.

The dough should be pliable and quite easy to handle.

The finished dough is very much like a yeast dough in texture.

 Break off a bit of the dough and roll into a log on a floured surface.

Then break slightly larger than golf ball sized bits of dough off the log and roll into a slightly flattened ball.

 A growing bowl of slightly flattened balls of dough.

 Roll out on a floured surface into a thin round, being careful not to let it stick.

 Brush any excess flour off of the roti.

Mela points to the first roti I rolled out.

Rather than a tawa, we used a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Put a raw roti into the hot pan and let it cook for around 5 seconds. Turn over and dab lightly with oil, then turn over again, this time dabbing the other side in oil. Cook both oiled sides until spotted with brown.

A delicious pile of cooked roti.

Potato Curry

Fry sliced onions over medium-high heat in quite a lot of oil. When I make it myself, I'll try just a tablespoon and add some stock later.

A selection of my spices - we used mustard seed, cumin seed, curry powder and a small amount of chili powder.

Add spices and fry for a few minutes until fragrant and the onions start to brown.

Add cubed, rinsed potatoes. We just used standard boiling potatoes. Again, add quite a bit of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft. If you don't start with a lot of oil, you may have to add some water or stock.

The finished product. I had mine with a shop-bought tamarind chutney.


  1. This is fantastic, thank you Mary and Mela! We'll definitely be trying this, most probably tomorrow.
    I think you should have your camera with you in the kitchen more often! x

  2. I discovered this post a while ago - I was searching for a roti recipe! I lived in Hawaii for a few years and my Fijian friends would make curry and roti for me all the time, and I foolishly forgot to learn the process from them. So thank you for documenting this! It was a little bite of heaven to have roti with my curry again!

  3. Roti and potato curry and tamarind chutney were three of my favorite things in Fiji. Also lovo chicken and palusami. Thanks for sharing helpful photos too.

  4. Roti and potato curry and tamarind chutney were three of my favorite things in Fiji. Also lovo chicken and palusami. Thanks for sharing helpful photos too.

  5. Thanks for documenting this, Mary.
    My son spent some time living in Fiji and says Potato Curry and Roti are staples he missed.
    I’ll be using these recipes to cook for him tonight!

  6. I lived in Lami in Fiji when I was little and so loved to eat rotis. I never thought I'd be able to make them back in the UK! thank you.