Paneer kathi roll – SNC April Challenge for Southern Team

Breakfast kathi roll 2014-03-06 033

Long time back, while growing up in India, I remember the shock in one of my friend’s face as a young adult when she found out that we ate fish and rice at home almost everyday. She belonged to a family who ate only roti/chappati with vegetable curries and ate fish on very rare occasions, if at all, and almost no rice. This was a major cultural difference, and it is quite normal across the states in the country.

India is a vast country, with 28 states and 7 union territories (Union territories are under the direct Central govt unlike the States that are governed by the elected Stated legislature). Each state has its own language, culture, dress code and cuisine. Did you know you could get a fair idea of what part of the country a person belonged to just by their name? A Banerji is a Bengali, while a Manjrekar is from Maharastra, Iyer is from Tamil Nadu while a Nair is from Kerala and so on. Each state has its own dress code. For example, women in most states wear sari, but the way they wear sari in Bengal is vastly different from the way they wear it in Maharashtra. And neither of them is even close to how sari is thought to be worn all over the world.

A traditional Maharashtrian sari wearing style


A traditional Bengali sari wearing style (my grandmother never knew to wear it in any other way)


Bihari sari wearing style

Bihari bride

If you notice, even the style of wearing the ‘bindi’ and jewelry are different. Sometimes, one can tell where a traditionally dressed woman belongs to just by looking at the way she wears her bangles. But there are some broad similarities, like all of them wear saris, bangles, necklaces, bangles, bindi etc.

kathi roll4


In the same way, cuisine of each state differs, but there are some broad similarities. Based on the weather, food habits, ingredient availability, and practices, each state has a fully developed food culture and cuisine. Due to the vastness of the country and difference in language, tastes and customs, people from one state can be totally unaware of the food habits and dishes from another state. However, based on some very basic likeness in flavors, use of ingredients, fashioning of dishes and method of cooking, food in India is divided into two major groups – North Indian and South Indian.

kathi roll delicious

Divya Pramil from ‘You too can cook’ started a lovely event called SNC challenge where bloggers from both zones of India posted recipes from their part of the country. Every month, a challenger from each zone posts a recipe and the members from the other zone try it out and post their thoughts. If you are interested in joining this one of a kind challenge, please write to Divya.


I belong to the Northern Team.


This month, I am challenging the Southern team with Kathi roll – a recipe that is a unique combination of street food that has flavors of the North but originated in the streets of the East. Let me explain.

According to Wikipedia: The Kati Roll is said to have started its life from the Nizam Restaurant in Kolkata, a popular eatery founded in 1932 that sold kebabs and parathas and other Mughlai food in the heart of Kolkata.

It seems, the customers who were always in a hurry found it very easy to eat the food when rolled into a roll, and hence the roll was born.

Breakfast kathi roll 2014-03-06 018

However, the flavors in a kathi roll are distinctively from up North, a far cry from traditional Bengali cuisine. Over the decades, kathi roll developed and reached other parts of the country where it constantly got reinvented in local flavors and became one with the other street foods.

Kathi roll makes for a scrumptious, quick and filling breakfast. It’s ideal for those who need to eat heavy breakfast because they are skipping lunch. These can easily be packed into lunch boxes as well.

Kathi roll can be made with many different ingredients, with meat as well as vegetable fillings. In this post, I am sharing paneer filled kathi roll.

Breakfast kathi roll that I make is based on ‘roti’ or ‘chappati’. To learn step by step process of making a roti, please click here.

Make kuchumber before hand and refrigerate until you need it. To make kuchumber, click here.


Knead the dough and cover it with a damp cloth. (For steps to make this dough, click here)

cover with a damp cloth

Make the paneer filling.

Cube paneer into 2cm cubes
Sprinkle spices and gram flour2 Mix well2-1
Mix whipped yogurt3 Toss around well
Cover with a wrap and keep for 15 min
Roast spices lightly1.1 Get rest of the stuff together
Cube tomatoes and onions
Fry spices in oil9 Add green peppers10 Add paneer11
Add fenugreek leaves13 Add tomatoes and onions

Once the paneer tikka filling is ready, start cooking the rotis. The roti that you roll out should be at least 8 inches in diameter, and not too thin or too thick.

2 diameter 8 inch


Once you have rolled out the roti, fill it with a green of your choice (I used cilantro in this demonstration, but you can use spinach or a combination of both. Make sure whatever green you use is compatible with the taste of paneer).

coriander roti1 (480x640)coriander roti2 (480x640)coriander roti3 (480x640)coriander roti4 (480x640)coriander roti5 (480x640)coriander roti6 (640x480)

Cook the roti following the methods given here. Tip: Use the pan roasting method for this roti.roti 1


Once the roti is cooked, lay it out on a flat board and fill the center with paneer and kuchumber. Roll it and wrap it in foil or butter paper or tissue.

roti 1 fill with salad fill with paneer
roll wrap kathi roll2

kathi roll2

You can cut into halves or serve it whole.

Breakfast kathi roll

You can pre cook the rotis and keep them. Before assembling the roll, heat the pan and coat it lightly with a few drops of oil. Heat the roti. Fill it up, roll, and serve.

kathi roll yumm

Printable recipe

4.8 from 4 reviews
Paneer tikka kathi roll - SNC April Challenge for Southern Team
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 pieces
  • 2 cups paneer cut into two inches cube
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 large onion cut into quarters
  • 1 large tomato cubed small
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • ½ cup cilantro (optional)
  • 4 tbsp oil
Roast and grind together (use mortal or pestle)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 2" stick cinnamom
For marination
  • 1 tsp gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp chat masala powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ cup yogurt whipped
  • Roti rolled out
  • ½ cup cilantro or spinach leaves
  • Refer to the kuchumber post above.
  1. Marinade the paneer with all the marination spices and yogurt, cover and keep aside for 15 minutes to an hour.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the roast and ground spices
  3. Add green peppers and saute for a minute
  4. Add marinaded paneer and stir until it's nicely coated with the spices.
  5. Let the paneer pieces fry for 5 minutes. Stir them gently every once in a while, making sure they don't stick to the pan.
  6. Now add kasoori methi, onions and tomatoes.
  7. Let it cook until the tomatoes soften and the onions look translucent.
  1. Roll out a roti about 4 inches diameter and place the greens.
  2. Starting from one side, start folding in the sides, overlapping them over the previous fold.
  3. Once the folds are closed, roll it into a ball.
  4. Roll out the roti using a rolling pin. It should be roughly 8 inches in diameter.
  5. Cook on a pan
  1. Prepare kuchumber (follow the links in the post)
To assemble
  1. Place a roti
  2. Fill with 1 tbsp kuchumber
  3. Fill the 1 heaped tbsp paneer
  4. Roll and wrap in foil/butter paper
  5. Serve whole or cut in half with ketchup.
Note: You can make all of these overnight. To assemble next day, heat a tsp oil in pan, and heat the roti on both sides. Heat paneer separately in microwave or skillet. Place paneer and kuchumber in the roti, roll and serve.


kathi roll served


Note: I hope you enjoy making and eating the kathi roll. If you have any questions, please let me know. I will try my best to answer them. You can make the rolls in plain roti, but I always find it more enjoyable and healthy to make the green rotis as they also get in more nutrition.
Note: There is a shortcut that I sometimes apply. I fry the marinated paneer separately in ghee and refrigerate them. I also cut the vegetables and store them in Ziploc. In the morning, I simply toss everything together in a pan with spices, heat the rotis, fill them, roll them and it’s good to go. It takes less than 15 minutes to get everything together. This is usually excellent on weekends when the kids are out for long periods playing or doing activities or you need a heavy breakfast a bit later in the day because you might be skipping lunch.

Note: I have had several querries regarding re-heating a kathi roll. Kathi rolls are pretty similar to burritos and I found this wonderful article that gives different options to up these kathi rolls .

Breakfast kathi roll

41 comments for “Paneer kathi roll – SNC April Challenge for Southern Team

  1. April 1, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    yummy and delicious roll for this month.thanks Minnie for this lovely challenge
    Ramya recently posted..Norwegian Julekake | Eggless Christmas BreadMy Profile

    • April 2, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      Thank you Ramya, I hope you enjoy it.

  2. April 1, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    I love Indian clothing, it is one of the aspects of India I am more proud of 😀
    Lovely looking paneer rolls, I am in love with the wonderful kathi recipe!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..CCU Undercover: Cake, Bake & Sweets Show Part #1My Profile

    • April 2, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      Me too!! I love wearing Indian clothes 🙂

  3. April 1, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Love every rolls .Thats a wonderful challenge .Will participate in it .
    sathya recently posted..Redbellpepper Chutney/Easy Chutney/Breakfast SidedishMy Profile

  4. linsy
    April 1, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Love the idea of adding green and make roti again, no stuff things to do. Thanks for thinking about us. Its awesome, will take two to go please. Thanks.

    • April 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Thanks Linsy 🙂 Anytime!!

  5. April 1, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Oh Gosh! Such an amazing post Minnie. Wonderful, mouthwatering challenge indeed.
    Sanoli Ghosh recently posted..PIZZA PARATHAMy Profile

    • April 2, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      Thank you Sanoli 🙂

  6. April 2, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    A fascinating post, Minnie. Thanks for taking the time to write and share it. I live near Chicago’s “Little India” where there are a few clothing stores. There are saris in the windows but I never knew that a sari reflects its state of origin. I cannot wait to go back and see if any match those that you’ve described. Love, too, the recipe and its history. Again, fascinating. 🙂
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Try This One For ThighsMy Profile

    • April 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      Thank you John!! You are very sweet, hahaha!! Sari is actually a 9 yard cloth that you wrap around, and it’s the way you wrap it that makes the difference. Think of it as a wrap around skirt. Maharashtrian sari is a bit longer in length – I think 12 yards.

  7. April 2, 2014 at 2:20 AM

    I thought of making this on thrusday for my husband’s lunch. SO it will be more easy my dear minnie. Thanks dear. this time I am going to try your recipe…

    • April 2, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      Thank you Yashodha 🙂 Can’t wait to see your creation.

  8. April 2, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    How informative! I didn’t pay close attention to the difference in clothes and it was very eye opening for me! Wearing a beautiful sari is one of my dreams. 🙂 These rolls look delicious!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Seefood Media & DSLR Video Setting TipsMy Profile

    • April 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      Thanks Nami! Maybe I will post a how to post.

  9. April 2, 2014 at 4:50 AM

    I love visiting to get a peek into an Indian kitchen – a cuisine I’m eager to learn more about. This rolls are the best!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Sprouted Wheat Bread with Seeds in the ThermomixMy Profile

    • April 2, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Thanks Maureen!

  10. April 2, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Gorgeous rolls and a very interesting read! Nice to meet you. You have a lovely space and happy to follow!
    Asmita recently posted..Egg CurryMy Profile

  11. April 2, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Love Kathi rolls, especially the ones from Kol. Well done Minnie!
    Ansh recently posted..Gujarati DalMy Profile

  12. April 2, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Such an interesting post! And the food challenge is so interesting, too. I know a little bit about Indian food, but really very little. Most of the dishes I make are Northern, although some of my favorites are Southern (dosas, for example, or sambar). I don’t recall that I’ve ever had a paneer kathi roll, and certainly haven’t made it. Looks wonderful! Fun post, super recipe. Thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..The Twentieth Century CocktailMy Profile

  13. April 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    I just realised I don’t know enough about India. I had no idea saris are worn differently in different regions. I did hear the other day though that by 2030(?) the population of India will exceed the population of China. Staggering! I love how you added coriander to your roti bread – it looks very pretty. This would make a wonderful lunchtime snack xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Thirroul Olympic PoolMy Profile

    • April 3, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Trust me Charlie, even I don’t know enough about India. In fact, I don’t so much about Bengal itself, because most of my exposure to its culture and cuisine has been through my parenst and some friends. And even then the influence has been ‘influenced’ because even my Mom grew up with Assamese influence….

      Complicated. I wish the population didn’t explode in this fashion. That is possibly the only thing that has been making a mess of that country. Too many people, not many resources explored. Thanks so much!
      Minnie recently posted..Paneer kathi roll – SNC April Challenge for Southern TeamMy Profile

  14. April 3, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Fascinating post! Loved learning more about India, I had no idea.
    Your roll is amazing, complicated and time consuming to make, but I have no doubt it’s delicious!!

  15. April 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Kathi rolls of kolkata are too good. One of the best roadside food. 😀 But don’t think the bengalis eat it without chicken, they are stricktly Non-Veg on this point hahaha.
    Bhaskar recently posted..Life takes a new turn.My Profile

    • April 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      True, lol!! It has always been a challenge making kathi rolls without chicken, but this version is a hit thankfully, so Saturdays are not as bad as before.
      Minnie recently posted..Pancakes with Caviar #InaFridaysMy Profile

  16. April 7, 2014 at 5:18 AM

    Excellent post Minnie !! Such a powerhouse of info on various cultures and food. Very well researched ! And the preparation of kathi roll with the step by step pictures is just so awesome !
    Nupur recently posted..Mooli Ka Raita : Radish Yoghurt dip : Navratri recipesMy Profile

  17. April 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Thanks for this delicious rolls Minnie, I tried n linked it here!!!
    sangeetha priya recently posted..Paneer Tikka Kati Roll | Vegetarian Chapathi Roll RecipeMy Profile

  18. April 21, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Excellent Combo Minnie, I linked my paneer kahti roll here, Thanks for the yummy breakfast
    jaleelakamal recently posted..Paneer Tikka Kahti RollMy Profile

  19. April 28, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    It was a delicious kathi roll.. Loved it and will be making it often. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

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