What’s In A Name

Country of OriginIndia
State – 
West Bengal

For generations, Nizam ruled (with an iron skewer) over the ‘roll’ empire. Decades passed as the Bengalis in Calcutta knew not but the kebabs from Nizam. Over time, information about the fabled ‘Indian wrap’ spread across the land, and soon different states in the country began replicating the dish, modifying it to meet the tastes of the locals. Case in point: Mumbai and the Frankie!

While the rest of the country were busy sticking their meat on iron skewers, the chefs at Nizam opted for lighter bamboo skewers – called kati (or kathi). And the name, quite literally, stuck! The name ‘kati/kathi roll’ soon became synonymous with what we know to be a stuffed egg roll.

Our Connection

কোথায়? (Where)Nizam’s Restaurant – Kolkata, India
কখন? (When)
March, 2019

When I used to live in New Delhi, the kathi roll used to be my go-to street food whenever I was in the mood for something unhealthy (which was always) or just didn’t have time to prepare lunch. While the kathi roll was a dish you would find almost everywhere in Delhi – from roadside vendors to dedicated restaurants – one in particular caught my eye (and my stomach) – Nizams.

For years, I believed the kathi roll to be an invention of the Delhiites – given their fabled Mughlai history. However, it wasn’t until I took a weekend trip to Calcutta that I realized that I never really was good at history. Turns out, the original (OG!) kathi roll resides further east, in Calcutta.

Moreover, the true Nizam’s restaurant lies buried deep within the chasms of the busy city. If it hadn’t been for our local guide, I never would’ve known about it let alone stepped foot in the restaurant. I would’ve missed out on a local and very hidden gem.

But it didn’t happen! I did get to know about it, I did go there, and I did try the truly authentic, 100% original kathi roll. 


Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 30 mins Rest Time 70 mins Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings: 3
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


"The Kathi Roll - West Bengal's answer to the Bombay Frankie. A grab-as-you-go delight that will make you want to leave your home-cooked lunch at home whilst you propel yourself to work!"



  1. Add the diced chicken1 to a large mixing bowl

  2. Marinate the diced chicken with the yogurt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, amchoor powder, salt, and pepper

  3. Cover the bowl with cling film or aluminum foil and let it rest for 60-70 minutes2

  4. While the chicken marinates, slice the red onion and chop the green chilli

  5. Bring a pan over medium-high heat. Place a frozen paratha3 in the pan and wait for it thaw. Cook the paratha until it reaches a golden brown colour on either side. Repeat the same for the rest of the parathas

  6. Place the parathas on a plate to rest. In a separate sauté pan, pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil and bring it over a medium heat

  7. Once the pan is warm, add the sliced onions and chopped green chillies. Sauté until the onions turn translucent

  8. Pour the vinegar into the pan. Continue to sauté until the vinegar is absorbed by the onions and chillies

  9. Once the onions and chillies are infused with the vinegar, take it off the stove and transfer it on to a plate

  10. It's time to turn our attention to the chicken. Once the chicken is done marinating, pour a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and bring it over the stove on high heat

  11. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the marinated diced chicken into the pan, piece by piece, using a tong.4 Cook the chicken in the pan5 for roughly 10-15 minutes on high heat or until the chicken is cooked through6



    Once the chicken is cooked, turn the heat to a minimum - to keep the pieces warm while you prepare the rest of the dish

  12. Rest the cooked chicken on a plate while you prepare the parathas

  13. Crack an egg into a small bowl7 and whisk until the white dissolves in the yolk and forms a yellow liquid

  14. Pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a pan and bring it over a medium heat. Once the pan is warm, pour the whisked egg into the pan. Place one of the parathas over the eggy liquid and press gently until the egg spreads all across the bottom side of the paratha

  15. Wait for the egg to cook before removing the paratha from the pan and transferring it on to a sheet of baking paper. Repeat the process for the rest of the eggs and parathas

  16. To Serve (per serving): Place the eggy paratha on a sheet of baking paper (egg side up) with half of the paratha sticking out. Pour a tablespoon of coriander/mint chutney over the paratha and spread all over. Place a few chunks of the cooked chicken on the paratha, vertically, in the middle. Garnish with a pinch of the vinegar-infused onion and chilli and a sprinkle of chaat masala. Fold the paratha from either side. Wrap the kathi roll in the baking sheet. Twist and tighten the excess sheet below to prevent spillage


1. If pre-diced chicken breasts are not available, then buy 3-4 whole chicken breasts and cut them into large chunks.

2. I would recommend leaving the diced chicken to marinate overnight. This helps the meat absorb the flavours to its fullest. If that's not possible, then leave it to marinate for at least 1 hour

3. The frozen parathas have been used as it saves time. It also seems to have the right flakiness and texture that you would normally find in a kathi roll. You can choose to make your own parathas if you feel like it or buy readymade fresh parathas from the market. You can also experiment with different types of parathas, like Roomali, Lachcha, Malabar, etc.

4. If there are a lot of chicken pieces, it would be advisable to cook them in batches. Cooking too many at a single time (overcrowding the pan) would boil the chicken instead of pan-frying and making them golden brown.

5. You can cook the chicken in the oven, or even on the grill using wooden skewers. If using an oven, pre-heat the oven at 180 deg Celsius and cook the chicken for roughly 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked through.

6. To check if the chicken is cooked, use a tong or fork to pierce through the meatiest part of the largest piece of chicken. The insides should be a glistening white without any hint of pink (raw chicken)

7. You can omit the egg and serve the kathi rolls with just plain parathas if you so wish! I wouldn't recommend it though. 

8. You can serve the coriander/mint chutney separately instead of applying it inside the paratha.

9. The prices of the ingredients (table below) are only rough estimates and are subject to change!

10. As certain ingredients are common household items - salt, pepper, oil - you may not be required to purchase them, and so the cost of preparing this dish is lower.

Keywords: Chicken, Eggs, Lunch & Dinner, Main Course, Non-Vegetarian

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