If I want a quick lunch in the city it usually requires something I can have on the go, not too pricey and satisfying. Most of the time, I get stuck trying to decide between the corner slice of pizza or the gyro guy. But there’s also the Kati Roll. It’s quick, affordable, fresh, and you can eat it on the go- which is a plus!
Kati Roll originated in Calcutta, India, it is known as a ‘street food’ which is ideal for a quick lunch. It’s a simple yet delicious flatbread- the ‘paratha’ which has a skewer of meat inside. The paratha’s dough is kneaded into rolls and cooked on a tawa (griddle). It wasn’t until 2002 when Payal Saha opened the first Kati Roll Company in Greenwich Village. Now the owner of multiple branches, and one in London, she has introduced the Indian street style food into New York.
Kati Roll Company gives a full Bollywood vibe in their stores, with Bollywood posters lining the wall and a pop of orange decor and metal chairs resembling the daba syle stools in India. Their menu offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, along with lassi (yogurt smoothies) and masala chai. We checked out their brand new location on 2nd ave and had an opportunity to try some of there Kati Rolls.
We ordered Unda (egg) Chicken roll, chicken tikka roll, shami (minced lamb) kabab roll, shrimp masala roll, kosha mangsho roll (slow cooked baby goat), and achari paneer roll (pickled Indian cottage cheese). I, personally was a huge fan of the kosha mangsho roll. I never really liked egg with my rolls, but when I tried the Anda Chicken Roll, I was surprised, I really liked it. Surprisingly, all the rolls were really good. I do not eat paneer at all, but for the sake of the blog, I tried it, and I think because it was pickled, it added a unique taste to the roll. As for the meat rolls, all were very tender and juicy. The shrimp roll had a nice kick of spice in it and a hint of lime, which was the perfect balance for a seafood roll.
Each roll is sprinkled with chaat masala (a mix of 30 spices!) a green chutney, consisting of cilantro, as well as some raw and cooked onions. Even though many much spices are added to each roll, the taste is very subtle and not too overpowering. I hate when I can just taste the condiments and then the bread, but this time the bread to meat ratio was just perfect!
Kati Roll offers five flavors of lassi, which was shocking to me because I didn’t think it was possible at all. They have the classic mango lassi, mishti doi lassi (dates), Kesar pista (pistachio), orange blossom, and mixed berry. I personally loved the mixed berry and mango. The orange tasted identical to a cream orange popsicle and the misthi lassi I wasn’t a fan of, although Adnan loved it! I think I’ll stick to my orange popsicle, because I didn’t like it in lassi form. As for the pistachio- it was great for pistachio lovers, I am not a pistachio lover. And no I didn’t forget the masala chai, I was sure to squeeze that in even after all the food I had, and I’m glad that I did because I am now a fan of their masala chai. It’s blended perfectly, not too powerful and just the way I like it- MILK!
Payal Saha has done an awesome job introducing the simplest food in New York, the Kati Roll!