Nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village lies Kati Roll, the acclaimed eatery dedicated to Kolkata street food. This establishment was founded in 2002 by Payal Saha, who wanted to introduce his favorite hometown meal to a new audience, despite having no experience in the restaurant industry. Today, Kati Roll has earned numerous praises for its simple but flavorful wraps, and launched new locations in Midtown and London.
This Kolkata dish is said to originate from Nizam Restaurant, a popular place in the 1930s for kabobs and Mughlai cuisine. Kati refers to the skewers on which marinated meats and vegetables are roasted and stuffed into an Indian flat bread called a paratha. Nizam is said to have invented the roll to satisfy busy commuters and British officials who eschewed eating without silverware. Nizam’s invention spread throughout Kolkata before arriving in New York City at the turn of the millennium.
As we approached the Greenwich Village location, the familiar orange awning and sign greeted us, standing brightly against the New York City landscape. The interior is minimalistic, but cozy with orange and brick walls, an open kitchen and vintage Bollywood posters lining the walls — a nice touch for a restaurant specializing in Indian street fare.
A number of fillings are available for your freshly baked paratha, priced between $3 and $6, ranging from the popular Chicken Tikka to the fiery Aloo Masala (spiced potatoes). My personal favorite is the Shami Kabob, which is marinated lamb with lentil croquette. Be warned the food here can get spicy, but there are options like the various Unda (eggs) Rolls that don’t pack too much heat. Guests have the choice of substituting their paratha for a lighter flatbread called a roti, which is made of whole wheat. There is also an organic salad, as well as masala chai (tea) and beer.
Learn more at TheKatiRollCompany.com.
Kati Roll: Greenwich Village
99 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012
tel 212 420 6517
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