Even if you’ve never been to Suriname, if you live in the Netherlands you’ve probably heard of Roti. Roti is a very popular dish in Suriname and therefor also popular with Surinamese that now live in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam you can find a good place for roti (my favorite is Roopram Roti on the Van Woustraat), but where I live it’s a lot more difficult to find a good roti. And as roti is often made with chicken, a good vegetarian roti is even harder to find. I decided to share a recipe for vegetarian roti from Suriname so that you can also make a good roti at home!
I’ve been to Suriname a few years ago, but even before that I already loved roti. It’s spicy without being hot and a welcome change if you’re done with potatoes or pasta.
The word Roti is officially the name of the flatbread that you eat with this dish, and comes from India. When Hindus went to Suriname, they took the recipe of the Roti bread with them. In Suriname Roti is often used as the name of the whole dish, not only the flatbread. It’s a dish with curry, potatoes, vegetables and often chicken. In Suriname the vegetable that it’s made with is ‘Kousenband’ (yardlong bean), which is similar to green beans.
The first time I made vegetarian Roti at home, I used a store bought curry sauce. But I got many messages on Instagram saying that you can also make your own ‘kerriesaus’ (curry sauce). On this page I’m sharing the recipe for the home-made sauces separately so that you can choose whether you make your own or if you use store-bought.
Instead of chicken, I added vegetarian chicken pieces (the one from the Vegetarische Slager are my favorite in the Dutch supermarkets).
As Kousenband can be difficult to find in your country, you can use green beans.
Recipe Roti sauce
If you want to make your own Roti curry sauces, here’s a recipe. The recipe is for about 3 people.
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon massala herbs
250 ml vegetable broth
Warm some olive oil in a pan, shortly glaze the garlic and onion. Add the tomato paste, massala herbs and vegetable broth. Turn the fire to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Sir occassionally.
Now that you’ve made your own curry sauce you can continue with the rest of the recipe for vegetarian roti from Suriname. Or you can use store-bought curry sauce in the recipe below.
Recipe Vegetarian Roti
Ingredients (for 3 people)
1 package vegetarian chicken
1 package Roti flatbread (for example from Faja Lobi or Rosita’s)
1 can of ‘Kerriesaus’ (I used Rosita’s), or use the recipe above
250 grams precooked baby potatoes
250 grams green beans (or Kousenband)
Bring water to a boil, boil the eggs and green beans for 7 minutes.
Warm some olive oil in a big pan, add the vegetarian chicken pieces and fry for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the sauce and the baby potatoes. Fry for about 7 minutes, until the baby potatoes are soft. Shortly warm the Roti sheets (flatbread) in a baking pan without oil, for about 20 seconds on each side.
Peel the eggs and cut in half.
Serve the vegetarian Surinamese Roti with the flatbread and the eggs.