Chicken Kathi Roll (Eggless)

The chicken kathi roll or simply “chicken roll” as it’s known as in Kolkata (the birth place of this mouth watering treat) is my favourite street food snack. Ever. When you try it, you’ll know why. The classic chicken roll combo features a soft paratha layered with a fried egg, spicy chicken pieces traditionally cooked in a tandoor and red onion slices pickled in lime. Tastegasm much? (That is a word in the dictionary by the way. Well, The Urban Dictionary – but a dictionary nonetheless). On my first trip to Kolkata I ate loads of these and dragged my family to Nizam’s – the restaurant that “invented” the Kathi Roll. I can’t verify that fact, though what is certain is that their rolls were unbelievable.

When I returned home I was itching to recreate them. The kathi roll purists may note I have made a tweak to the classic (omitting the fried egg to make it slightly lighter) but my recipe still packs a punch and leaves you wanting more. Promise! 

Chicken Kathi Roll Recipe
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Lachha Parathas (Recipe: http://spicediary.com/2017/11/lachha-parataha-punjabi-layered-flatbreads/)
To make the chicken
  1. 6 skinlesss boneless thighs, (approx. 750g) cut into 1” chunks
  2. 4 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  3. 2“ ginger, grated
  4. 3 garlic cloves, grated
  5. 2 tbsp oil
  6. 1 ½ tsp salt or according to taste
  7. 1 tsp garam masala
  8. ½ tsp haldi
  9. ½ tsp paprika
  10. ½ tsp coriander powder
  11. ½ tsp cumin powder
  12. ½ tsp chilli powder or according to taste
  13. 2 tsp tandoori powder (optional)
You will also need
  1. 2 tbsp mustard oil (you can use a normal cooking oil instead)
  2. 1 large onion, finely chopped
Red Onion Salad
  1. 2 red onions, very thinly sliced
  2. 1 birds eye chilli, finely chopped
  3. Juice of 1 ½ limes
  4. ¼ tsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Turn on your grill at the highest temperature setting & line a baking tray. Place all of the “to make the chicken” ingredients in a bowl & mix well.
  2. Scatter the chicken pieces on the baking tray & place in the grill for 12-14 minutes or until fully cooked and remove from grill. (The chicken should be white all the way through).
  3. Heat mustard oil in a pan. Add the onions & cook until light golden. Then add the grilled chicken & mix. Sautee for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
  4. To make the salad, combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness/sourness and adjust accordingly.
  5. To assemble the kathi roll, place a paratha on a plate, top with chicken and onion salad (as pictured) and roll up in foil.
Notes
  1. You can use paneer, red onions and green peppers instead of chicken to prepare vegetarian kathi rolls!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Desi Chilli Chicken

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Whenever I make this dish, I’m reminded of a recent trip to India which ended in pain and tears. The good kind. Obviously. 

It was the night before we were due to fly back home when I decided to visit an Indo-Chinese street food cart next to my grandma’s house. I had passed this cart everyday and had been eyeing up the “goods on offer” carefully considering if I should do the deed. To clarify, doing said deed would involve purchasing a portion of their ever popular chilli chicken and hakka noodles. Sounds simple enough right? But deciding on whether or not you should get involved in an authentic street food experience in India is a dubious proposition indeed (concerns of the “aftermath” consumes much of the reason why).

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Fancying myself as somewhat of an adventurous foodie, I decided to go for it. I handed over my 30 rupees and minutes later, a piping hot mountain of noodles topped with a glorious looking portion of chilli chicken headed my way. I dug in. The first mouthful…wow. In fact every mouthful tasted better than the last. I couldn’t stop. I must have been at it for at least half a minute when I suddenly halted. I looked up and found streams of tears rolling down my cheeks.  Then came the immense burn on my tongue, followed by panting. In short, I was a HOT MESS. In hindsight, this should have been where this culinary escapade ended. But it didn’t and I couldn’t not have more! The burn became more painful but I ploughed on. I fought back the tears and carried on like some sort of deranged addict. The end soon came when the hyperventilating started and I started getting weird looks from, well, everyone. Quite possibly the most exhilarating eating experience of my life!

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Understandably when I returned home, I was itching to recreate this dish and did so successfully but without the cry-me-a-river effect! This recipe is a slight twist on the original but is packed full of flavour which makes it oh so good! Scooped us with hot chapatis or even spicy noodles you will want to try this. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

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Desi Chilli Chicken
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 400g boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  2. 2tbsp gram flour
  3. 1 tsp black pepper
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
  6. Egg white from 1 egg
  7. 4 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
  8. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  9. 3” ginger, finely chopped
  10. 2 birds eye green chillis, finely chopped
  11. 2 tbsp tomato puree
  12. 1 medium onion, diced into 2” chunks
  13. 3 stems spring onion, cut into 1” chunks
  14. 1 small capsicum, cut into 2” chunks
  15. ½ tsp salt
  16. ½ tsp paprika
  17. ½ tsp coriander powder
  18. 1 tsp amchur
  19. 1 tsp garam masala
  20. Handful coriander, finely chopped
  21. Small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a bowl. Add the gram flour, pepper, salt, red chilli flakes and egg white. Mix well.
  2. Heat oil in a wide non-stick pan. Place chicken in the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes until it is white and slightly golden in colour on both sides. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  3. Using the same pan and oil, reduce the heat to low/medium. Now add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Now add the tomato puree and mix well.
  4. Add the onions and sauté for 1 minute. Now add the spring onions and capsicum and mix. Add the chicken. At this point, add salt, paprika, garam masala, amchur. Mix well. Add the fresh mint and coriander.
  5. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat.
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/