- A what? Check out our step-by-step guide on how to make this Bengali street food classic.
If you want to jump straight to the recipe, scroll down to the bottom!
A what? A Kathi Roll. As far as street food goes, India generally knocks it out of the park. There are few places better to get quick and cheap eats that are bursting with flavour. The Kathi roll has been a personal favourite of mine since the moment I tried one on the side of a busy road in Kolkata.
Traditionally the Roll would consist of skewer-roasted meats wrapped up in a flaky, egg-dipped paratha with an array of veg, sauces and seasonings scattered over the top. Today, pretty much anything enfolded in an Indian flatbread is referred to as a Kathi Roll.
The bread is undoubtedly the key here. I'm delighted to share with you one of the best-kept secrets of the big supermarkets. Venture into the frozen section of your local superstore and spend some time walking the aisles. Somewhere between the mashed potato pellets and the Viennetta lies a gift from the frozen Gods. Paratha. Flaky, buttery, versatile and a doddle to cook, most of them are vegan too.
The next thing to think about is your fillings. You can go down so many different routes here but the elements I like to include are: hot and spicy, sweet, sour, crunchy and fresh. I used our Curry Blocks as they really fit in with the quick and easy brief, but you could also fry up some chicken or panner with onions and spices.
I love making pink pickled onions which nail the sour and crunchy vibe. These pickles are a brilliant way to brighten up lots of dishes from Indian to Mexican and South-East Asian.
Combine all of the pickle liquor ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, thinly slice some red onion and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour over the hot liquor and you're done. After a few hours, the pigment in the red onion will dissolve and dye the whole lot bright pink. These are best left overnight and can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Once you have your fillings ready and your curry heated through, grab a paratha from the freezer. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Place the paratha in the pan and wait for it to puff up. Once it does, carefully flip it over and cook until both sides are golden and flaky. This shouldn't take more than a minute or two on each side.
Slide the paratha out onto a plate and spread some mango chutney all over the top. Spoon the hot curry into the middle and top with your pink onions, some chopped mint and coriander and a drizzle of coconut yoghurt if you want to cool the whole thing down.
Roll the whole thing up and find a quiet corner where nobody can see you shovelling curry into your mouth.
Kathi Roll (Serves 1)
Cooking time: 15 minutes (+ 2 - 24 hours inactive)
- 2 Curry Blocks
- 1 Frozen Paratha
- 1 Red Onion
- 60ml of White Wine Vinegar
- 240ml of Water
- Pinch of salt
- 5g of Sugar
- Handful of Mint
- Handful of Coriander
- Dessert Spoon of Mango Chutney
We like to add a drizzle of coconut yoghurt to add some richness and cool the whole thing down!
- Add water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a pan and bring to the boil.
- Thinly slice the red onion, place in a small bowl and pour the hot water and vinegar mix over the top. Make sure the onion is completely submerged and it will gradually turn bright pink. Leave the onion to pickle for a couple of hours. It’s best after 24 hours and will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Heat 2 blocks of curry in a pan or in the microwave.
- Heat a drizzle of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Place the paratha in the pan. Once the paratha has puffed up, flip it over carefully. Cook until each side is golden brown and flaky.
- On a plate, spread some mango chutney over the paratha. Top with the hot curry, chopped herbs and a handful of pink, pickled onions.