Let’s get started with some Tasty Kolkata Kathi Roll Recipe!
Kolkata Kathi Roll is street food, it originated in Kolkata West Bengal. In its original form, it is just roasted kebabs wrapped in a paratha with some onions. Although over the years that has evolved into various variations and it’s popular all around India.
The problem is nowadays any filling folded in an Indian flatbread. That is roti or paratha is now being called Kathi roll.
I am from Kolkata and a Bengali too. And I have myself had many different varieties of Kolkata Kati roll in Kolkata itself. Although the only difference between Kathi rolls inside Kolkata and outside Kolkata is that, rolls that we get in Kolkata very close to the original form and are not manipulated too much.
But the Rolls that you get outside Kolkata that is basically outside West Bengal. There is a very high chance that the recipes are way more different than the original one.
The name Kathi roll cam from the word Kathi, which means stick in Bengali. Referring to how they were originally made since the kebabs were skewered in a bamboo skewer and then roasted.
Kolkata Kathi roll is not only popular in India but nowadays they have become a very popular takeout food. Especially in Indian restaurants located in Canada and the United States. It mainly contains a filling with flatbread and eggs that are cooked on the flatbread. So that it sticks to the bread. Click here to read more Kolkata Kathi Rolls!
Although the question is where did it actually originate?
It is said that the Kolkata Kathi roll started its life in the Nizam restaurant in Kolkata a very popular eatery founded in 1932. You might have heard a lot of stories about how it started with the locals. But it’s difficult to believe which is the right one.
There was a time when the Britishers ruled India and Kolkata was the capital of India. So the British clerks also known as the British babus didn’t want to touch the kebab while eating them. And since they were clerks they need to hurry in the morning and had very less time for a meal. So the restaurants came with something where they don’t have to touch the kebabs and they can just take it quickly from the restaurant like a takeaway. So that is how Kolkata Kathi Roll Came into existence!
This is where the culture of rolling kebabs and bread started in India and then spread to all the other places.
The Kathi part in the Kolkata Kati roll came much later. That is mostly because initially the skewers were made up of iron. They were easy to maintain and last a lifetime. But as the popularity grew these long heavy iron skewers became a problem. So in 1960, the nizams moved to bamboo sticks. They were lightweight and available in large numbers.
These bamboo skewers in Bengali are referred to as Kathi or stick and the name Kathi kebab and Kathi roll soon became more popular.
How to make Kolkata Kathi Rolls?
Traditionally Kolkata Kathi Roll is wrapped in a layered paratha. This paratha is a dough that is kneaded into a rope then rolled into a round patty. It is then flattened and with a rolling pin and partially fried in the pan also known as a griddle. The paratha is partially cooked and then kept aside until needed.
If an egg has to be added it is usually cracked into the tawa and the paratha is put on top of the egg so that both are cooked together and the paratha gets coated on one side with the egg.
This Kathi kebab was originally beef and now have variations with chicken or mutton chunks marinated in spices and cooked on skewers. They are normally cooked over sigree which is a kind of Indian grill runs on coal. When the roll is being prepared these are taken off the skewers and tossed with onions, chillies, and sauces in the pan before being laid in a thin strip on the centre of the paratha.
Always remember that the egg side is up when the egg is added. At this stage most roll vendors will add various kinds of sauces, a dash of vinegar, a squeeze of lime sometimes, a Shake off chat masala, and maybe some juliennes of carrots, onions, cucumbers, and capsicum. the whole thing is then rolled up. Originally it used to be rolled in an old newspaper but nowadays parchment paper is preferred.
Variants of Kolkata Kati Roll
Nowadays Kathi rolls come in a large number of varieties. The innovation tends to be only in two components of the recipe that is the filling and bread. The filling variations may include egg, potato, paneer, mix vegetables, and curry of chicken or mutton.
More exotic versions may also contain in a combination of Thai curries and Szechuan curries. Eventually, it gained so much popularity that in August 2012 taco Bell released a version of Kathi roll in India. The Mexican inspired burrito is a combination of Kathi roll and Kathitto.
Kolkata Kathi roll is gaining popularity in the United States!
Getting a huge amount of popularity in Indian restaurants located in the United States. The Kati roll company founded by Payal Saha and located in New York City is the first restaurant in the US to specialise in Kathi rolls. We can say that it’s working as the catalyst for the rise in the popularity of Indian food in the United States.
Also, there are various food trucks like “Roll Ok Please” that sell Indian Kathi Rolls and people just love it in the United States.