Godambah or stuffed roti

I’m convinced every country has their own version of a stuffed pastry. They differ in names, they differ in flavours, but essentially it’s the same kind of thing, a little bit of vegetables or meat thrown between  some pastry or bready outside and then cooked. Quite often frugal in ingredients, seasonal and easy to use up what ever is going on in your fridge….and so far, I like them all.

England has the pastie.

Italy has the calzone.

Eastern Europe has the pierogi.

Japan has the gyoza.

India has the samosa

South America has the empanada.

Australia has the pie


Sri Lanka has the godambah, or stuffed roti.

Street food at it’s best. I ate these in Sri Lanka teamed up with a feisty chilli sauce, and usually wrapped up in yesterday’s news. An easy food to eat while you wander around.

I hadn’t made them up until now, as roti and I were not friends. As  much as I had tried, I just couldn’t master the little buggers. Then I caught sight of this cookbook lying idly on its side waiting for a good page flipping.

Bingo…oh big bingo! Loved it.

 Stuffed roti, along with a whole lot more goodies to be cooked on other days. Now there is nothing I like better than Sri Lankan food. Every thing about it speaks to my senses. Visual, taste, smell it’s all there. I’d made curries before and Love Cake but it was now time to give the Godambah a crack.

For the original recipe please see here. For how I did it, see below.

Vegetable Godambah

* adapted from Sri Lankan Flavours– Channa Dassanayaka


2 1/2 (375g) cups plain flour

1 (250mls) cup water

1 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together, and let rest, covered for a couple of hours. Give it a quick knead and divide dough into 8 balls. Roll balls on a pizza tray (or something stainless steel.) Then store in a well oiled bowl. The oil  is important to get the right consistency when rolling out the roti.

Get a ball, and spread out dough with your finger tips, pushing out to a rectangular shape. Place a good sized spoonful of mixture in the middle and fold up. Then fry each side until golden.

Roti Mixture

a couple of slurps of vegetable oil

1 onion diced

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sambal olek

Fry until fragrant and then add potatoes, carrots and 1/2 cup peas.

(Use what ever  vegetables take your fancy, and incorporate mashed potatoes in there to firm up the mixture. I used…)

3 steamed potatoes- mashed

1 steamed carrot- diced

Once all parcels are cooked up, serve with some chilli sauce.

* Roti can be cooked up as a flat bread as well and served with a curry. Just fry quickly in an oiled fry pan or wok.


44 thoughts on “Godambah or stuffed roti

  1. I had to sound out the word..Go-dum-ba.. ok I got it.. I love anything like this and by the way those aussies cannot make a pie! you have to go to NZ for a REAL steak and cheese pie!.. c


  2. Stuffed things to stuff in one’s mouth. My preference runs to those porcelain skinned dumplings they parade past you at yum cha – some with scallops and chives, others with prawns, and some with minced pork, chinese sausages, peanuts, bambooo shoots and multiple goodness within.

    These look wonderful and I’m keen to trial them – thanks for inspiring.


  3. MMmmm!
    I like anything fried.
    and wrapped up in a bread like wrapper!
    I think the whole concept of a chicken pot pie is from the Southern part of the USA- but I’m not here to quibble about recipe origins. We like to do fritters with batter and vegetables or fruit, as well.
    All I say is “Fry it up!”


    • Oh now I’m curious to see who did it first. I hadn’t heard of the term ‘pot pie’ before. For Australians, it’s a bit of an iconic food. Up there with a lamington or pavlova. You kind find some dodgy ones, but some truly delicious ones as well.


  4. I have a friend who recently married a Sri Lankan chap. Since then she’s been right into cooking Sri Lankan cuisine. We love going there for dinner. All the food is sensational and so full of flavour. She hasn’t made us godambahs though – I’ll have a word to her about that!


  5. spicy vegetables wrapped in home made roti sounds absolutely delicious..i’m going to try these out on my bairns this week at our fortnightly dinner and get together..thanks for the inspiration and recipe brydie..


  6. Brydie, that sounds absolutely moreish! I’ve never tried making my own roti, but I’m looking for a good vegetarian dish, and this might be perfect! Thank you!


  7. A friend and I had this very discussion long ago (about 15 years!) and I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve never made roti, but you’ve made it look easy to try and the flavors are right up my alley!


    • I’m sure there are loads more little parcels of goodness about the world that I’m still yet to discover as well.
      These little guys were far easier to make than I originally thought, let me know if you give them a go.


  8. You know something funny? I actually don’t like any of the pastry variations 😛 I’d never made the connection before, but pasties, pies, samosas, and similar products have just never been high on my list. I do quite like calzone though – and if I did like roti, then I would definitely fill it with your filling. Impressive effort, even from a non-pastry person!


  9. Brilliant effort Brydie; they look just like the authentic version enjoyed in Sri Lanka. Certainly got the digestive juices going just looking at the pics! Thanks for your inspiring efforts.
    Sherine & Frederick


  10. mm B how gold is the sbs food site hey? its been a great resource on the road being away from cooking books. rotis have been my friend recently even camp cooking. just getting comfy with dosas too after many attempts. maybe i can catch up with some foodie blogging soon. – d


  11. Now that is just what I want for lunch – looks magnificent – I love the stuffed pastry/bread! No wonder the idea of leftovers that you can easily transport is universal! Makes such sense. Lately we have been into steamed dumplings.


  12. oh YUMM! you are amazing! we never do take out but occassionaly on a friday night when there is alot of running around, we get a couple of these from our local vegetarian indian shop. amazing!! love them.
    we have tried making them a while ago but they do become quiet fiddly & time consuming to make.

    thanks for the inspiration, I will attempt them again!

    fave indian cookbooks – flavours of India & cooking korma


  13. Mmmm we buy these freshly made on sat morn from a little sri lankan shop in melbourne. Might try making my own. Pan rolls and massapans (not sure if thats the right spelling) are also great to eat. Pan roll is made like a pancake then fried. Massapans are more of a filled bready type.


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