Melbourne's Best Snacks: MKS Spices'n Things' beef godhamba roti

Published on 29 September 2021

Photo: MKS Spices'n Things' beef godhamba roti (illustration: Joanna Hu)

Go long on this classic Sri Lankan short eat in Dandenong.

Godhamba roti is a light Sri Lankan flatbread that’s commonly used to mop up curries or to wrap around a dry curry mixture to form one of the nation’s favourite snacks (or, as it would be put in Sri Lanka, short eats). These parcels fit as snugly in the hand as a smartphone and are available all day long in Sri Lanka
from roadside stalls, commonly eaten for breakfast on the go. Fish roti comes in triangular shapes, while meat and vegetarian rolls are rectangular.

MKS Spices'n Things is a family-owned grocery and restaurant, and director Yogathas Navaneetharaja oversees its many stores. It started in 1992 as a humble attempt to offer a taste of home to many Sri Lankans, and soon expanded into the empire it is today.

The flagship Dandenong store alone sells 200 to 300 godhamba roti daily. The roti itself is vegan, like many Sri Lankan foods, and is light and stretchy. Eggless and milkless, it owes its elasticity to soaking in oil. Once soaked, the roti is stretched out on a hotplate, and bite-sized pieces of beef, potato, and 10 spices including pandan leaves and coriander powder are dropped on top before it’s folded into a neat prism and fried on each side. It has a delicious peppery warmth and flavour that lingers on the palate.

MKS Spices'n Things, 23 Pultney St, Dandenong,

By Rushani Epa

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