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Before I went to the Kati Roll Company, I’d never heard of a kati roll. I’m very fond of Indian cuisine so when I heard that there is such a thing as Indian food “wraps,” I decided I needed to try it out. I thought it was just a new swing on burritos, but as it turns out kati rolls are an authentic street food in Kolkata, India. The Kati Roll Company may be the first eatery of its kind to offer this traditional fare in New York City - and perhaps in the U.S.
I walked through the front door of their newest location (their largest) and was surprised to find a very small, but cozy space occupied by a few tables and dozens of hungry people waiting in line to order.
The menus have a Bollywood movie poster on one side - I couldn’t help thinking of Slumdog Millionaire; shows how much I know about Bollywood. The line moved swiftly and most people were in and out in a flash, grabbing their beverages on their way to the counter.
I went in starving, so I ordered a couple of different rolls and managed to grab a table. I had a mixed-veggie roll filled with vegetable and beet patties, with peanuts and raisins. I’d never had anything at an Indian restaurant with beets in it and I found it to be pretty unique with a nice, slightly spicy sweetness. After that, I wolfed down a shrimp masala roll which had a delicious coconut-lime flavor and tasty medium shrimp, and a achari paneer roll containing grilled Indian cheese cubes and a delicious, slightly tart, spicy pickle which was really yummy with the creamy cheese and soft, warm bread.
All were all unexpectedly easy to eat: not too saucy or spicy, not messy at all. Each was well seasoned with their own proprietary spice blend and wrapped in a warm, soft paratha (a classic, fresh griddled bread). I kept thinking that not only do you not have to worry too much about getting a spot on your tie, but these kati rolls would make excellent cocktail or office party foods. They deliver locally, so you can skip the line if you want to. They’re also open fairly late, so working overtime might not affect your ability to grab some good eats.
The Kati Roll Company has been around for a while. The company was founded in 2002, now has three locations in New York City, and will be celebrating its ten year anniversary soon. Fans of the place may want to stay tuned. My sources tell me that there will be a celebration with food and entertainment, so check out The Kati Roll Company online and make sure to try out a kati roll. ‘Cause if you haven’t done so already, you’re missing out.