Tamal Ray’s recipe for Bengali kati rolls | Indian food and drink

Kati roll is a kind of Bengali street food. It was in London, rather than the busy streets of Kolkata, that I first tried one. Dreamed up at some point in the early 20th century, kati rolls are traditionally made with grilled meat, which becomes the filling for an egg-fried rolled paratha, that deliciously greasy and flaky Indian flatbread. Although I use frozen parathas from my local South Asian grocer, you can use mini tortillas instead, which are lighter and more readily available. I filled mine with paneer, but you can substitute two fried chicken breasts or another meat if you prefer.

bengali kati rolls

The DIY required for kati rolls is reminiscent of fajitas. Serve the fried egg parathas, onions, chutney and paneer in separate bowls, so everyone can put together their own roll at the table.

Preparation 10 minutes
To cook 30 minutes
Makes 4 (a hearty dinner for 2 or a snack for 4)

For the rolls
Vegetable oilfor frying
4 parathas, or mini tortillas
2 large eggs
beaten with 2 pinches of table salt

For filling
125 g Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ tsp salt
250g paneer
cut into large cubes

For the onions
3 medium red onions
(about 350g), peeled and thinly sliced
cloves of garlicpeeled and minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the green chutney
70g fresh coriander (leaves and stems), roughly torn
2-3 green bird’s eye peppers
split in the middle and seeds removed
½ clove of garlic
peeled and minced
40g white onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice

First prepare the chutney: mix the cilantro, chillies, garlic, onion and lemon juice with a tablespoon or two of water, until you have a smooth sauce, then transfer it to a small bowl and set aside.

Now for the onions. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the onions and garlic, and sauté for three to four minutes, until the onions begin to soften but are still crisp. Stir in lemon juice and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/Gas 6. To prepare the paneer, combine the yogurt, cumin, turmeric and salt in a large bowl, then dip the cheese into the yogurt mixture to coat . Place the paneer on a buttered baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

While the paneer is baking, fry the parathas (or flatbread of your choice). Put a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then brown a loaf of bread for 30 seconds on each side, until it begins to brown, then pour over a quarter of the beaten eggs. Using tongs, flip the bread and move it around the pan for 20-30 seconds, until the egg is set and stuck to the bread. Set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining three loaves and eggs.

Put everything on the table and assemble. Place a generous portion of onions in the middle of a bun, followed by some paneer and a drizzle of chutney, roll up and enjoy.

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