Wednesday, May 4, 2011


4 years away from this hodgepodge of cultures, I still miss NY dearly. There's no other place that has the spirit and the vibe of this ever alive city. Most of all, I miss grabbing a 'meal' from one of the roadside carts or a hole-in-the-wall pizzerias and walking down the street munching on food. And yes, everyone around you thinks it's perfectly normal to eat as you run to catch the bus or the train or whatever other 'emergency' you may have. From those $1 bagel and creamcheese carts to falafel kiosks to the famous Chicken n Rice on 53th street, people in NY have grab-and-go meals available from the morning office hours, lunchtime rush to the wee hours after clubbing. The city truly never sleeps along with the hundreds of vendors serving street foods from around the world!

One of my favorite places is the Kati Roll Company serving what they call 'a spicy mixture of meat and vegetables rolled in Indian flat-bread'. The menu is simple but the food more than makes up for the shabby appearance of the place and the bare-looking menu card. My favorite on the menu is the Paneer Kati Roll (makes me drool even as I type this).

Well, how do I get to have Paneer Kati Roll without flying all the way across the country? I make it in my own kitchen. I have come up with my own version of this spicy-savory dish. I don't know what all goes in the original kati roll, but my creation keeps me satisfied between my visits to NY :D.

Paneer Kati Roll

Paneer Kati Roll

Parathas (Indian flat-bread - slightly thicker than a tortilla) for wrapping
1/4 lbs Paneer - cut into ~1 inch cubes
1/2 Medium onion - sliced
1/2 Small red bell pepper - sliced
1 Teaspoon cumin-coriander powder
1-2 Teaspoons red chili powder - adjust per your liking
1 1/2 - 2 Teaspoons frankie masala/chaat masala
Lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 Teaspoons oil
  • Heat a saute pan on medium and sear the paneer cubes on all sides until golden brown. Let the paneer cook in its own oil, you won't need to add any oil. Remove and keep aside.
  • Add oil to the same pan and saute the onions and bell peppers on high heat for 30-45 seconds. Don't overcook.
  • Lower the heat to medium and toss in the paneer cubes, cumin-coriander powder, red chili powder, frankie and/or chaat masala (I use these for the tangy-salty taste that comes from the dried mango powder and black salt) and salt to taste.
  • Mix everything well and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and sprinkle some lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle some more chaat masala/chili powder if desired, roll the paneer-onion-bell pepper mixture in a paratha and enjoy the kati roll!  
A few notes:
  • This is typically made with a maida paratha, but I went for home-made whole wheat paratha. You can get plain parathas/Malaysian parathas from the store.
  • This is my no-marination, no-grilling recipe. You can also make this dish by marinating paneer in the spices and a little bit of oil and grilling it.
  • Different colored bell peppers taste and look good. Feel free to add them or any other veggies you like.
  • You can add some green chutney (cilantro/mint chutney) to the roll.

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