Kati Roll

Oh Indian Burrito!  Where have you been all my life???  I don’t really know if the owners of Kati Roll would refer to what they sell as an “Indian Burrito”, but as far as I’m concerned, if the shoe fits…

It’s Indian food.  It’s a burrito.  Indian Burrito.  Done.  Sure, there’s no rice, no beans, and instead of a tortilla, it’s a piece of fresh paratha (Indian flat bread).  But it is rolled up, and it is eaten with your hands.  Indian Burrito.  Indian Soft Taco is also accepted.

Very rarely do I find a place that serves something I’ve *never* eaten or seen before… so Kati Roll was definetely one of my more exciting finds when looking for places to eat near work.  Sure, I’ve had tons of Indian food before, but never in such a convenient, made for New York lunch kind of way. 

The menu has ten options, or fillings for your fresh made piece of paratha.  The fillings are Aloo Masala (spicy potato), Achari Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese in spicy pickle), Chicken Tikka, Beef Tikka, Shami Kabab (Spiced mutton mince kebab), or any one of those fillings mixed with Unda (spiced Indian Egg omelette).  Or you can just get the Spicy Egg Omelette by itself.

You can order one roll for $3 to $6 (depending on the filling), or two for slightly less (they give you a discount when you order two of the same roll).  I’ve had the Chicken Tikka which is fantastic.  The chicken is really good, and covered in red onions with a slight lemon flavor.  Really, really good.  I’ve also had the spicy potato- which is really spicy… but also delicious, if you like potatoes.  Very similar flavor to a samosa, just without the fried stuff around the outside.  The paratha is grilled fresh on a gigantic skillet in the back, so it is really really good (albeit pretty greasy).

There are a few tips to make your visit a little bit easier… so check out the +/- after the jump

THE +

  • It may not be an authentic preperation (is it? I don’t know)… but it’s authentic spicyness.  If you don’t like spicy… stay away!
  • Fresh made paratha is delicious
  • Easy to eat with your hands

THE – (what people who don’t like it, would say)

  • It’s too spicy
  • It’s very greasy
  • The chicken tikka roll has too many red onions
  • You smell like Indian food the rest of the day (because you eat it with your hands)
  • Because the paratha is made fresh, sometimes it can take a really long time.  I advise getting there right at Noon (it still took 10 minutes for our food), or calling ahead your order at peak times

There are wooden tables and chairs to eat in the restaurant if you want to eat in.  If you are a big eater, you could defintely put down two of these rolls (smaller then a burrito, bigger then a soft taco).  Normal eaters I would recommend one and a half, light eaters, just one.  Best thing to do is go with a friend and order two different kinds so you can share!

Kati Roll, 140 W. 46th St., 212-730-4280 New Location: 49 w. 39th St. (btw. 5+6th) 212-730-4280

60 Comments

  • We went to this place today, but it wasn’t as spicy as advertised. The frankies (as they are called in Bombai) were good, and our Indian specialists approved.

  • I had the cottage cheese roll and it was pretty decent. one roll is the right size for lunch, b/c if you’re going for size, might as well go to chipotle. I’ll try the spinach one, but they should think about expanding the menu.

  • Some of you had questioned whether kati rolls are really authentic Indian food or soemthing that has been dreamed up for the NYC fast food scene. These items have been and remain very popular as street food in both Calcutta (Kolkata) and Bombay (Mumbai) known as rolls and frankies, respectively. The name kati roll may be a misnomer since the kati (skewer) although probably used in the cooking is not part of the food when served.

    In Calcutta, at least, the rolls are eaten just like as they are served here with chopped onions and lemon. Only difference is they usually use chopped green chillies to allow the eater to specify the level of spicyness. Every time I go back there, I make it a point to stop for these rolls from my favorite roll place out of the many choices.

    Although the Mexican burrito has been around for a long time, I ate such a roll in Calcutta more than 25 years back, so I would hate to call this an Indian burrito, maybe the burrito should be called a “Mexican kati roll”!

  • Just tried this yesterday. I had three, the spicy egg, the mutton, and a chicken. All were good, a bit oily. But, I did feel afterward that I had a brick in my stomach, and it still feels like that now, a whole night later. I may not return. Also, my favorite Cuban place is two doors down.
    -Anthony K.

  • After reading this post today I tried a chicken tikka roll in Curry Hill in a place called Katie Rolls and Chaat House. This is the first time I’ve ever had a light Indian meal. Nice and tasty.

    Love the site, BTW.

  • Just shared 4 rolls: Chicken Tikka Roll, Aloo Masala Roll (spicy potato), Unda Chicken Roll, Shami Kabab (Spiced mutton mince kebab). Tasty and affordable. Two was not satisfying for a big eater. All were spicy but the mutton. The mutton would be my favorite if it were more spicy. It’s samosa filling in paratha. Not much added with the egg in the Unda roll. Forget about the unda and save a dollar. Definately a good deal to get two of the same. Save a dollar! Listed price includes tax! Good deal! Thanks Midtown Lunch for the recommendation!

  • the BEST indian rolls are at Roomali in “curry hill” 27th and lexington…on 28th. it has a way orange awning. my friend will walk all the way over from the east village, he travels in rain, sleet and snow…they are that good! chicken tikka, and the bihari…YUMMM! many others “roll” houses have opened up around there, but nothing compares!

  • i have died and gone to heaven. the 11 blocks i have to walk to this place is the only negative i can think of. had two of the aloo masala. could have easily had a third (and maybe a fourth!) spicy and hearty and cheap (unless you are a pig like me).

  • tried chicken tikka and aloo masala. Awesome! I adore the aloo masala and could scarf 2 down anytime. Next time I will ask for no onions. Too many onions on both. Great find. Thanks!!!

  • Took me forever, but I finally made it to Kati Roll. My mistake was only getting one, which only left me hungry, wanting a second. So I had to go back for dinner to get two more (but I went to the downtown location, not as good as the Midtown one).

  • The Kathi rolls were extremely greasy and quantity wise were not adequate. I ordered the chicken tikka and the shami kabab and the shami was the best of the two. The lamb was tender and fresh, however the overall experience was greasy. Not a great place for the health conscious.

  • Just walked 9 blocks to Kati roll.
    I had Shami Kebab and Chicken Tikka: very delicious, extremely greasy.
    So greasy, that the paper adhered to the wrap.
    Lots of onions=bad for co-workers. Not sure if I’d return but definitely worth a try.

  • Just tried it now, and sorry, this one doesn’t live up to the hype. $8 gets you a lot more food at Minar (e.g., 2 beef Tikka rolls versus a meat platter), and the beef in my Tikka was unquestionably dry and, IMO, not especially tasty with regard to spices or marinade. I know it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but for my money, the Kwik Meal food cart at 45th/Sixth does ‘meat-wrapped-in-a-flour-product’ (e.g., chicken pita, lamb pita) much better.

  • Walked by Kati Roll today, and inside is a giant banner saying their last day is June 28th, and they are moving to West 39th between 5th & 6th.

  • …for all the folkc complaining about onions….. you can ask for your kati rolls w/o onions…..

    and you can call ahead and order, and 10 minutes or so later, they’ll be waiting for you when you arrive

    and that Katie Roll place on Lex….they put LETTUCE (ewwww) in their kati rolls….nothing like wilted lettuce in a warm kati roll to spoil it

  • Sadly, for anyone getting Kati Roll this week, as of today they have no more mutton (lamb) rolls, and claim the earliest they MAY have more is next week. Hiccups in the international mutton market? Poor grazing up in Sheep’s Meadow? Who knows.

    The chicken and beef are still excellent substitutes, but nothing matches the mutton…

  • The kathi kabab (roll) was supposedly invented by Nizam’s restaurant in Calcutta in the 1930s. It is still there:

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060118/asp/calcutta/story_5733258.asp

    In Delhi, there is a large Nizam’s (which I doubt is a real branch of the original), but at any rate has a website that describes the usual variations of the kathi kabab

    http://www.nizams.com/

    In Mumbai (Bombay) the kathi kabab is called a Frankie, named after the late lamented West Indian cricketer Frank Worrell.

  • The Shami Kebab (lamb) Roll is back!

  • I love Kati Roll. The guy turning out the food is great, the buradi chicken is deliciously spicy, and the whole thing has a narcotic effect when enjoyed with a fizzy cold diet Coke. I love this place to death, and try to convince myself that chicken and rice is a healthier alternative to the rolls (but man that paratha is good…)

  • Just went to this place for lunch. Order ahead, didn’t have a wait. Have to say, that it is the best lunch that I have had since our offices moved down here. Although it was a bit greasy, what’s a little grease..the spices were perfect! Had the paneer and the unda chicken. wonderful, wonderful. The chicken was cooked to perfection, tender, not dry at all. If I had a bottomless pit for a belly, I would have ordered at least ten more! Great value, cute little joint. Highly recommend it!

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