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

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The kati roll is kind of Bengali street food. It was in London, rather than the bustling 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 a rolled, egg-fried paratha, that deliciously fatty and flaky Indian flatbread. Although I use frozen parathas from my local south Asian grocer, you could instead use mini tortillas, which are lighter and more readily available. I’ve filled mine with paneer, but you could substitute with 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 egg-fried parathas, onions, chutney and paneer in separate bowls, so everyone can assemble their own roll at the table.

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Makes 4 (a hearty dinner for 2, or lunch snack for 4)

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

For the filling
125g Greek yoghurt
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp salt
250g paneer
, cut into large cubes

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

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

First make the chutney: blitz the coriander, chillies, garlic, onion and lemon juice with one or two tablespoons of water, until you have a smooth sauce, then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Now for the onions. Warm a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onions and garlic, and fry for three to four minutes, until the onions have started to soften but still have some crunch. Stir in the lemon juice and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. To prepare the paneer, mix the yoghurt, cumin, turmeric and salt in a large bowl, then dip the cheese in the yoghurt mix to coat it. Lay the paneer on a greased oven tray and bake for 15 minutes.

While the paneer is cooking, fry the parathas (or flatbread of choice). Put a little oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, then fry one bread for 30 seconds on each side, just until it has started to brown, then pour over a quarter of the beaten eggs. Using tongs, flip over 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 breads and eggs.

Take everything to the table, and assemble. Lay a generous helping of onions down the middle of one bread, followed by some of the paneer and a drizzle of the chutney, roll up and enjoy.

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