Paneer Kathi Rolls

Paneer,Bell Peppers and Onions in a tortilla wrap

A Kathi roll is a very popular street food with it’s origins in Kolkata, North East India. Calcutta chat is a league of its own and a legendary one at that. Street food is as popular as gourmet food in India. That is where you actually wonder if you “Eat to live or Live to eat” !! Or at least I do. Most cities have a wide array of street food joints that cater to local cuisines or from the neighboring states or sometimes from all over the country and even the world!

Today’s street food scene is so eclectic that one can easily get lost in it..I mean that in a good way! From American sweet corn dunked in butter to Chinese momos to South Indian Dosai decked up as pizza……the variety is unbelievable and the taste addictive! There seems to be a magic in the hands of these street vendors….crowded roads, constant traffic, hot and humid weather, no matter what is thrown at these food carts, the crowd persistently throngs them to devour the food. Clean, sterile kitchens can only dream to achieve that flavor…LOL ! That’s just my opinion….not to offend five star restaurants and gourmet kitchens…there is a certain magic in the street food that is unmatched!

Kathi rolls have a very Mughlai/Nawabi influence in taste. Traditionally meat is used, marinated in a rich spice blend and cooked on skewers. An easy substitute is paneer. Paneer, bell peppers and onions marinated in yogurt and a whole array of aromatics, you can cook them on skewers or cook them directly in a skillet. When you simplify it, paneer kathi rolls make for a quick and easy weekday meal or weekend indulgence. I use store bought organic corn and flour tortillas as a wrap for the filling. It saves me a lot of time and there is no compromise on the taste as well.

Marination time : 30 minutes minimum (marinate and refrigerate the previous day or night) although not essential when in a time crunch.

Prep time : 15 minutes + 30 minutes if marinating

Cook time : 20 minutes Heat level – 🌶🌶🌶 Ease Level – 😃

Recipe : Paneer Kathi Rolls

Ingredients :

  • Paneer : 450 grams – chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • Colored bell peppers – 3 medium – chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • Red onion – medium – chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • Yogurt – 1/4 cup

For the marinade : Make a PASTE of the following :

  • Tomato – 1 medium
  • Mint leaves – 6 or 7
  • Cilantro – a handful
  • Ginger – chopped – 2 inches
  • Garlic cloves – 4 or 5
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Serrano chili – 1/2 a chili
  • SPICE POWDERS :
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne – 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Dried fenugreek leaves – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Sugar/Jaggery – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Almond meal – 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt to taste

Some plain yogurt or sour cream or mayonnaise for dipping. You can also add some cucumber slices or onion slices in the roll for an extra crunch.

How To :

Ready for marination
Cooking in a skillet

Do not let this ingredient list daunt you, trust me, it is an easy recipe! Now, on to the recipe:

  • In a large mixing bowl, throw in all the cubed ingredients. To it add all the items under the SPICE POWDER list.
  • Add the yogurt.
  • Make a paste of all the PASTE items listed and add it to the bowl as well.
  • Mix them all together and let sit, if you have the time or let it sit until your skillet heats up.
  • Use a nice large skillet or wok, heat it, add oil. Add the entire batch of the paneer, peppers and onion mixture.
  • Let it cook on medium flame, stir it every minute once.
  • It may ooze some water when cooking, but the almond meal should help thicken it up as we keep cooking it.
  • Cook it until all the water evaporates but make sure you do not overcook the peppers to a mush. It adds to the taste when you leave them al dente, slightly crunchy.
  • Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
  • Heat tortillas and add at least 1/2 cup filling per tortilla and roll it up. I do not add any extra mint chutney…just some cheese and sour cream for the kids.

You can just put this filling in a bowl and enjoy as is. I did. That minty flavor, subtle heat, creamy paneer…..delish !! Make it your own and relish it. Street food without having to leave home! Enjoy !!

Thank you for stopping by !

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