Surinamese roti

4 servings; 15 min preparation; 45 min cooking.

Roti (or also known as chapati) has its origins in India. It is basically a flat bread or unsweetened pancake that accompanies curry dishes. The main difference with the famous naan-bread is that roti does not contain any yeast. The Hindustani migrant workers  brought it to the Caribbean and Surinam, where roti refers not only to the bread, but a whole dish.

This roti dish is very common in the Netherlands, coming from its former colony Surinam. It’s a very special mix of Asian and Surinamese flavours that brings the warmth of homemade food. I can tell you, the curry and cumin powder smell fantastic. And at the same time, the dish is light. In comparison with other curries, it does not contain any cream or coconut milk, so no extra calories for you.

I will not forget to mention the healthy benefits of consuming curry powder. First of them is that it stimulates the digestive system and works against inflammation. Furthermore, it helps in preventing cancer. Last but not least, some recent studies show that the low percentage of Alzheimer’s disease in India is due to the intake of curry powder. If this information did not convince you to try this dish, I bet the taste and smell of it will.


  • 400 g chicken thighs with or without bone
  • 450 g potatoes, chopped
  • 250 g green beans
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 l water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 tbsp mild olive oil
  • salt and pepper

for the roti pancake

  • 300 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup mild olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • salt and pepper
  • extra flour  to roll the dough


Start with making the dough for the pancakes, because it will need some time to rise. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl and add slowly the water and oil. Mix to a flexible, but not sticky dough. Add more flour if needed.Leave it for 20 min to rise. Make small balls (as big as an egg) from the dough. Roll each of them to a flat pancake using a rolling-pin. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat and cook each pancake on both sides. You may leave the pancakes to the last moment, so that they are warm.

Heat water in a pan and boil the eggs until they are hard-boiled. It will take 10-12 min to be ready. In the mean time, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan and cook the chicken until golden brown. You might use drum sticks with bone, it will give more flavour to the mixture. I personally prefer boneless chicken thigh meat.

Mince the onion and garlic fine. Cut the potatoes in small cubes of 2×2 cm. Cut the green beans in pieces of about 4 cm.

Heat oil in a wok or wadjan pan. Fry the onion until transparent and add the minced garlic. Fry for a couple more minutes. Then add the tomato paste. Add the ground cumin, paprika and curry powder. Stir well. When the spices start to release their aroma’s, add the water and the bouillon cube.

Add the green beans and potatoes. Cook for 10 min or until they start getting a little soft. Add the cooked chicken and cover the pan with the lid. Leave in a lower heat to cook for about 30 min. In the mean time peel the eggs. Taste the vegetables. When they are almost completely cooked, add the eggs to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Before serving, prepare the pancakes. Serving tip: place one pancake flat on a plate and cover with the chicken mixture. Enjoy!

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