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Sadia Hussain

Jun 2, 2019

Pan Rolls Recipe

The next time you want a delicious, unique finger food to impress your family and friends, this is the recipe you want to try!

These pan rolls are a popular Sri Lankan snack food. Ground meat wrapped in a thin pancake, breaded and fried. I have been hearing about these over the years but this is the first time ever that I've made them and I'm so glad I did.

This Sri Lankan pan rolls recipe is ideal for Ramadan when you want something crispy, savory and spicy for Iftar. They are a little fiddly and time consuming to prepare but believe me they are so worth the effort.

I made a big batch before Ramadan and froze them. I just pop them out of the freezer and fry them until they are perfectly golden.

Pan Rolls Recipe

Sadia Hussain




1 Hour 30 Minutes


  • Oil for cooking

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste

  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste

  • 1 kg/2lbs ground beef

  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground (optional)

For the Pancakes 

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 cups water 

  • 1 cup full fat milk

For Assembly 

  • 4 eggs beaten

  • Bread crumbs


  1. In a large pot heat oil and sauté onions until soft and light brown.

  2. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder and fry on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add ground beef and fry on high heat for 10 minutes.

  4. Turn heat to low and cook covered, for 20 minutes. Ground beef should be dry. Add chopped coriander, green chilies, and cinnamon (optional).

  5. Take off heat and cool completely.

  6. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and sugar.

  7. Add egg, water and milk and mix until lumps are gone and you have a thin-ish batter.

  8. Heat a nonstick frypan and pour a 1/2 cup batter in the middle, quickly swirling it around to thin it out into a round pancake.

  9. Cook on medium heat until bubbles form on top, flip once and cook for a minute.

  10. Take off the frypan, fill with ground beef and roll like a spring roll, pressing the ends to seal.

  11. Dip in egg and coat in breadcrumbs. I like to do this part twice (dip again in egg, coat again in breadcrumbs) but you don't have to.

  12. Fry until golden brown or freeze for later.

Tips and Bits

To make the process shorter and easier, make your ground meat filling the day before.

I like to pour my batter with a ladle and swirl it around with the ladle until thin and round.

The pancakes have to be hot and rolled right off the frypan or they will not stick together when rolled.

You can lay these on a tray or baking sheet. Seperate with plastic or wax paper and freeze until hard, then store in freezer bags.

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