Mastering Paneer Kathi Roll: A Taste of Kolkata at Home

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine strolling through the bustling streets of Kolkata, where the air is filled with the tantalizing aroma of freshly cooked street food. Among the most cherished of these delights is the Paneer Kathi Roll, a perfect fusion of flavors wrapped in a soft, flaky paratha. This dish has its roots deep in the heart of Bengal, where it began as a simple kebab wrap and evolved to include a variety of fillings, paneer being a crowd favorite.

Ingredients

To recreate the rich flavors of Kolkata’s Paneer Kathi Roll in your own kitchen, here’s a detailed list of ingredients you’ll need, categorized to make the preparation straightforward.

For the Paneer Filling

  • 250 grams paneer, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil for cooking

For the Wraps

  • 4 large whole wheat parathas (can use store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for frying

For the Green Chuthey

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 green chili, more if you like it spicier
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt to taste
  • A splash of water to blend

For the Other Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Chaat masala (optional)
  • Julienned carrots (optional)
  • Sliced green chilies (optional)

Tools and Equipment

To recreate the flavorsome Paneer Kathi Roll in your kitchen, you’ll need some specific tools and equipment. Having the right tools will make the preparation smoother and more enjoyable. Let’s break down what you’ll need:

Essential Kitchen Tools

  1. Non-Stick Skillet or Tawa: This will be used to cook the wraps and paneer, ensuring they don’t stick and burn.
  2. Mixing Bowls: You’ll need various sizes for mixing the paneer filling and preparing the green chutney.
  3. Sharp Knife: A good sharp knife is crucial for finely chopping vegetables and slicing the paneer.
  4. Cutting Board: Opt for a large one, as you will be chopping various ingredients.
  5. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key, so ensure to measure all your spices and liquids accurately.
  6. Spatula: A spatula will help in flipping the wraps and stirring the filling, keeping everything intact.
  7. Rolling Pin: Essential for rolling out the dough to make fresh, soft wraps.
  8. Grater: Useful for grating paneer if you prefer smaller, softer chunks in the filling.
  9. Tongue: Useful for flipping the wraps on the skillet safely.
  10. Brush: A brush to apply oil lightly on the skillet or on the wraps.
  11. Lemon Squeezer: For that fresh squeeze of lemon just before serving the rolls.

Prep Work

Before you start cooking, proper preparation sets the stage for a smooth and successful kitchen experience. Let’s get all the pre-cooking steps out of the way.

Marinating the Paneer

Begin by taking 200 grams of paneer and cutting it into long, thin strips. In a mixing bowl, combine the following to create your marinade:

  • 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder for a vibrant color and mild heat
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder for an earthy tone
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala for that all-important spice kick
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste to add depth
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil for an authentic pungency
  • Juice of half a lemon to bring all flavors together

Mix these ingredients thoroughly until the paneer strips are evenly coated. Set this aside for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse into the paneer, enriching its taste and texture.

Preparing Vegetables

While the paneer marinates, you can prepare the vegetables. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Thinly slice 2 medium-sized onions. These will add a sweet crunch when slightly caramelized.
  • Julienne 1 large bell pepper. Choose a color—red, yellow, or green—to contrast beautifully with the paneer.
  • Finely chop 2 green chilies if you like a bit more heat.

Having these vegetables prepped and ready will not only speed up your cooking process but also ensure that each bite of your Kathi Roll is bursting with freshness and flavor.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your paneer is marinated and your vegetables are prepped, it’s time to cook. These instructions will guide you through cooking the paneer and making the wraps to create your delicious Paneer Kathi Rolls.

Cooking Paneer

  1. Heat the Skillet: Begin by heating a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to coat the surface.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: Add the sliced onions, bell peppers, and green chilies to the skillet. Sauté them for about 2-3 minutes until they are slightly softened.
  3. Add Marinated Paneer: Carefully place the marinated paneer pieces into the skillet. Let them sear without moving them for about 2 minutes on each side to get a nice golden crust.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Once the paneer is golden on each side, stir the vegetables and paneer together in the skillet. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, ensuring everything is well combined and the paneer is cooked through.
  5. Season to Taste: Taste your paneer and vegetable mixture, adjust salt if necessary, and sprinkle some chaat masala for that extra zing.

Making the Wraps

  1. Prepare the Dough: If you’re making the wraps from scratch, mix whole wheat flour, a pinch of salt, and water to form a smooth dough. Divide the dough into equal balls.
  2. Roll Out the Wraps: On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a thin circle, about 8 inches in diameter. Try to keep the thickness uniform.
  3. Cook the Wraps: Heat another non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place a rolled-out wrap on the skillet and cook for about 1 minute until bubbles form, then flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. Assembly: Once cooked, transfer the wrap to a plate, brush with a little butter or ghee, and you’re ready to fill them with the cooked paneer mixture.

Following these steps will ensure that each component of your Paneer Kathi Roll is perfectly cooked, bringing homemade gourmet street food right into your kitchen.

Assembling the Kathi Rolls

Now that you have your paneer filling, wraps, and green chutney ready, it’s time to assemble your Paneer Kathi Rolls. Let’s bring the flavors together for this delightful street-food-inspired dish.

Adding Fillings

Start by laying out one of the freshly prepared wraps on a clean surface. Spoon a generous amount of the cooked paneer filling down the center of the wrap, making sure to leave some space at the edges for folding. Drizzle some green chutney over the paneer for an extra kick of flavor. If you like, sprinkle a bit of chaat masala for added zest, and distribute some thinly sliced onions for crunch. The key is to arrange these ingredients in layers for a burst of flavor in every bite.

Rolling the Kathi Rolls

Begin rolling the wrap tightly from one end to the other, ensuring that the filling stays well-contained. Tuck in the sides of the wrap as you roll to prevent the fillings from spilling out. Once rolled, you can secure the roll with a toothpick or lightly press the edge to seal it with the warmth of your hands. For a final touch, brush the outside of the Kathi roll with a little oil and grill on a preheated skillet until each side is golden brown, giving it a nice, crispy exterior. Serve your Kathi Roll warm, paired with extra green chutney or a squeeze of lemon to enhance the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve mastered the art of making Paneer Kathi Rolls, presenting them in a way that amplifies their deliciousness is key to enjoying this delightful dish. Here are some tips on how to serve these flavorful rolls to ensure every bite is as satisfying as those found in the vibrant street food stalls of Kolkata.

Pair With Refreshing Beverages

Serve your Paneer Kathi Rolls with a refreshing beverage to balance the richness of the paneer and the spices. Traditional options like chilled sweet lassi or aam panna enhance the dining experience with their cooling effects. If you prefer something simpler, a cold glass of lemonade or mint mojito also pairs beautifully with the spicy notes of the rolls.

Accompaniments That Complement

Adding sides can turn your Paneer Kathi Rolls into a complete meal. Consider serving them with a side of tangy mint chutney or tamarind sauce for an extra burst of flavor. A small salad made from thinly sliced cucumbers, carrots, and beets, lightly seasoned with salt and lemon juice, can add a crunchy, fresh contrast to the soft warmth of the rolls.

Plating Techniques

For an appealing presentation, cut each roll diagonally and arrange them on a plate with some greenery. Garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves and a few slices of red onion not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the flavors. If you’re serving a crowd, arrange the rolls on a large platter and let your guests help themselves.

Following these serving suggestions, you’ll elevate your Paneer Kathi Rolls from a simple homemade dish to an impressive feast that captivates all the senses.

Conclusion

Ready to bring a taste of Kolkata’s vibrant street food scene into your kitchen? With the right ingredients and a bit of culinary flair you can whip up your very own Paneer Kathi Rolls. Whether you’re cooking for a casual family dinner or a more festive gathering these rolls are sure to impress. Don’t forget to pair them with a chilled beverage for that perfect finish. So roll up your sleeves grab your skillet and let the flavors of India transform your dining table into a bustling street food stall. Happy cooking!

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