As I was writing last week’s post looking back on mouthwatering memories from the last 3 years, I realized that one of my favorite Indian street food wraps still hasn’t made it to the site – Chicken Kathi Roll, better known in western India as ‘Chicken Frankie.’
Simply put, Indian Roti-Chapati or Paratha style thick flatbread, often layered with well-beaten egg, and served as a wrap with choice of spiced meat and/or vegetables – qualifies as a Kathi Roll. Although originally, the meat being cooked on skewers (Kathi means stick) gave them the name.
For more on Kathi rolls, here’s a link to Wikipedia’s explanation and a look back at the history of Kathi rolls.
Growing up, my mom and dad often made Kathi rolls as a weekend family meal – it used to be one of those ‘all five of us working in the kitchen’ kind of meals.
And too many cooks didn’t spoil the broth (or the roll) in this case…
Instead, each of us kids would take on a chore and before we knew it, a simple meal of delightful chicken-filled Kathi rolls was at the table.
For my homemade version, I still prefer my family’s flavorful shredded chicken filling with amazing spices lending depth to the meal, without the need for separate chutney. (Store bought Kathi rolls generally use a filling of chicken tikka like the ones in this recipe with mint or cilantro chutney.)
And the Pickled Red Onion Relish topping – well, you’ll just have to taste this Chicken Kathi Roll to believe its flavors.
A quick note before we get to the recipe, the February 2015 issue of Live Encounters Magazine focuses on the Parsi community. I’m proud to be part of this esteemed group of writers.
- 1 lb boneless chicken, breast or thigh meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup chicken broth (or water)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 homemade ( my recipe is here ) or store-bought Roti-Chapati or Plain Paratha
- 2 well-beaten eggs
- Indian Chaat Masala (optional, to sprinkle over the filling)
- 2 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or ½ teaspoon each minced garlic and grated ginger)
- ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon cracked black peppercorn
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon red or cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar or white refined sugar
- 1 cup thinly sliced or chopped red onion
- ½ cup thinly sliced or shredded carrots
- 4-6 large mint leaves, finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 fresh Serrano or Thai green chili, very finely minced (optional, fresh chilies have a very strong spice kick)
- Bring all the ingredients for the onion relish together in a bowl. Make sure the vinegar has coated the onion and carrots. Leave aside at room temperature for at least 1-2 hours for the flavors to marry.
- Marinade the chicken pieces with the canola oil, spices and salt. Refrigerate and let the chicken marinate for at least 2-4 hours; no harm done if the chicken is marinated up to a day in advance.
- In a saucepan, bring the broth or water and lemon juice along with the bay leaf to a boil. Add the marinated chicken to the hot broth; cook covered for 10-12 minutes.
- The chicken will be cooked through and most of the liquid will be absorbed, (or boil the liquid till it gets absorbed.) Using two forks shred the chicken into chunks, as finely as desired.
- Heat a flat griddle; lay the homemade or store-bought Roti-Chapati or plain Paratha on it. While one side is heating up or cooking (read note below) evenly spread 1-2 tablespoons of well-beaten egg over the side facing up. Flip the flatbread, so the egg can cook.
- Lay the Roti-Chapati or Paratha, egg side up on a flat surface. Add a generous helping of hot shredded chicken down the middle, top it with desired amount of pickled red onion relish and a sprinkling of Indian Chaat Masala (if you have it on hand.)
- Fold the flatbread to create a wrap, using parchment paper to hold it together and catch drippings from the roll.
- Always serve Chicken Kathi Roll freshly assembled, for the best experience.
- Indian flat bread can be made at home with simple dough using this recipe . However, they are also sold, cooked and frozen, or uncooked, at regular and ethnic stores in many western countries. In either scenario, Roti-Chapati and plain Paratha can easily be reheated or cooked on a hot griddle, before serving.