Frankies and Kati Rolls Are Not the Same Thing


Always Hungry has a write up on Tabla’s Indian street food “cart”, which is set up in front of the restaurant located next to Madison Square Park. It’s a little pricey, and way out of the Midtown Lunch boundaries- but the piece distinguishes between the kati roll (which we all know very well) and the “Frankie”, a term you are seeing more and more in NYC.

A Frankie is an Indian wrap best described as a Mumbai burrito. The construction of a frankie sounds very similar to a Kati (Roti) roll, but among the Indian community they could not be more different.

Consider it the Indian version of the New York and Chicago-style pizza debate. A kati roll is an inexpensive street food that was first popular in Kolkata before spreading throughout India. The concept was conceived when street vendors didn’t have enough time to wash their plates, so they started serving their marinated and grilled kebabs wrapped in paratha or roti (Indian flatbread), effectively offering the two items together without the dishware.

Frankies are unique to Mumbai and distinguished through the practice of egg washing the casing. The omelette-like roti wrapping is stuffed with tangy, saucier proteins.

Pretty interesting stuff.  So, I guess that means Biryani Cart (on 46th & 6th) and Kati Roll (on 39th btw. 5+6th) serve kati rolls, and Indus Express (on 48th btw. 5+6th) actually serves frankies.

To read more about the frankie, or Tabla’s stand go to Always Hungry.

Original Kati Roll Review (6/29/06)
Biryani Cart on 46th Gives Kati Roll a Run For Their Money
Indus Express is Like an Indian Version of a Midtown Deli


  • ah, I was just thinking of kati rolls a min ago. How long is the Biriyani cart on an awesome day like this?

  • Interesting- I was first introduced to the frankie in Lucknow, which is in northern India, far from Mumbai. I would stop by a stand just before the main thoroughfare that offered only “mutton,” “chicken” and “veg.” fillings. Those frankies actually had egg inside the roll, and resembled more of an advanced taquito or a traditional Juarez style burrito than any kind of modern Western burrito.

    In any case, I STILL haven’t made it out to the Kati roll places in the city, but I’ll be making an extra effort to do so soon!

  • Shit now i want kati roll.

  • Here it would be wrapped in a hot fresh Naan….with lots of Mango and Red onions….with two skewers of chicken or lamb tikka…with maybe Doner(Gyro) for the salad dodgers out there.

    Gonna order one….NOW!

  • Not for lunch, but for dinner, the Table downstairs area has an awesome lamb sandwich (Naanini). It’s $16, but it’s enough for two people. Shredded lamb, mashed potatoes, drool that I put on it…

    They should sell THAT for lunch under the ML price point.

  • I find Kati Rolls at Biryani Cart & Kati Roll to be way too greasy.

    Just stopped at Indus Express and they no longer make Frankies (no eggs involved).

    Anyone know of a spot in Midtown that does??

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