Bone marrow varuval with roti

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Roasted bone marrow is combined with a spiced coconut milk sauce in this luxurious varuval recipe from Karan Gokani. Serve as a main course with freshly cooked rotis - the recipe below will make 5-6. 

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First published in 2022





  • 300g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml of whole milk
  • 100g of warm water
  • vegetable oil, to cook

Bone marrow and sauce

Spice paste




Make the dough for the roti by warming the milk to body temperature in a small pan, then combining with the warm water. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl, then add the milk and water and knead well until the dough comes together. Continue kneading for 10-12 minutes until the dough feels like Play Doh

  • 100ml of whole milk
  • 100g of warm water
  • 300g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Divide into 80-100g balls. Coat each ball in oil, cover with cling film and rest for 3-4 hours or over overnight in the fridge


Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 


Heat oil for deep frying to a temperature of 180C and deep fry the sliced onions for a few minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper


Lay the marrow bones out in a tray and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the cut side. Roast for 6 minutes


Roll the rested dough into 2cm thick discs on a well oiled surface and rest for 2-3 minutes. Starting with the first disc, carefully stretch the dough into a rectangle as far as you can without tearing. Traditionally the roti is ‘thrown’ or ‘slapped’ to stretch out. Once stretched, sprinkle some oil and flour over the roti and gather it up. Finally coil it into a tight circle, tucking the edge underneath to secure it from unraveling. Repeat with the remaining discs, then cover and rest again for 30 minutes


Make the spice paste. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the coconut to it and fry until golden brown. Set aside in a bowl and wipe down the pan


Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same pan and fry all the remaining ingredients for the spice paste on medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add them to the coconut and blitz everything to a thick paste, adding a little bit of water to help you along


Heat a wide heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil to it and add the curry leaves, fried onions, ginger and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes, adding a splash of beef stock if it looks dry


Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and fry for 30 seconds. Tip in the tomato paste and green chillies and cook for about 2 minutes


Add the spice paste along with the remaining beef stock and coconut milk. Simmer everything till it is reduced to a thick sauce. Season to taste


Transfer the roasted bones to the curry sauce and simmer for 5-8 minutes


To cook the roti, preheat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and roll the balls out to a 10-12cm disc. Add a splash of oil to the pan followed by the first roti and fry for 1 minute. Flip the roti and fry for a further minute, then continue to flip every 20 seconds until the roti is golden and crisp. It should take 3-4 minutes in all. Crush the roti before serving

  • vegetable oil, to brush

Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a frying pan and once it’s hot, add the curry leaves. Cook for a few seconds, just until they crisp up. Drain on kitchen paper


Once the bone marrow has finished cooking through, garnish with the fried curry leaves and serve with the freshly cooked crisp rotis

After giving up his job as a lawyer to pursue a career in food, Karan Gokani channelled his passion for South Indian cuisine into the launch of the now hugely popular Hoppers. As creative director, he oversees menu development at all three Hoppers sites.

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