Consumer Pulse
- Kottu: From
Revolution to
Neomal Marambe, Sri Lanka

It used to be a cheap takeout meal but now it has invaded the menus of top restaurants and 5 star hotels. To aficionados, the perfect Kottu is simply a work of art, with the beat of the metal paddles against the griddle - a musical performance in itself – creating the soundtrack to dinner.

What is it? Kottu is a mix of left-over food all chopped up together, with the primary ingredient of Gothamba rotti bringing all these diverse flavours together. It is estimated to have originated in the Eastern coastal town Batticaloa in the 1970s, and has since gone on to take over the Sri Lankan street food scene.

Making all the random bits and pieces of ingredients come together to create an amazing kaleidoscope of flavour on the taste buds, is the masterpiece of the ‘Kottu Baas.’

Today there are Kottu parties, festivals, and Kottu specialised food joints, found all over Sri Lanka. Varieties range from the mundane Chicken, beef, vegetable, to slightly more exciting cheese, seafood, and prawn. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is evident that Kottu has the potential to go even further, where recently a prominent Sri Lankan chef introduced ‘Ice-Cream Kottu,’ a new variety which is a total departure from the existing spicy Kottus in the country. Basically, today, Kottu has become just a crazy mix of everything you love to eat.

The Artist – Kottu Baas

The Kottu story is a very important one for marketers, where the product does not necessarily need to be complex, serious, or technologically superior, to be loved by people. Simplicity and excitement are the beauty of many success stories.

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