Kolkata Chicken Roll/ Roti Wrap with Spicy Chicken Filling


We needed a quick dinner before rushing off to see Kahaani, a Hindi thriller casting my favourite actress Vidya Balan. Our home has adopted a no-eating-outside-on-weekdays policy. Since it is only in its second week, felt bad breaking it so early on. After all the resolution may grumble and complain about an early death at my hands. Not going that guilt ridden route!

After mulling over various quick options, decided to make a healthier version of Kolkata chicken rolls which are basically roti wraps with spicy chicken filling. It is very much like the Mexican taco.

A hugely popular street snack, these are known as rolls and depending on the stuffing inside they are called chicken roll, egg roll, egg chicken roll, paneer tikka roll, mutton roll, fish roll, potato roll so on and so forth. It is actually a greasy paratha which they fry in front of you and put preprepared filling, sprinkle some salad and roll it up in a white roll of paper and you are good to go. 

In the 1980s little vans took position in every nook and cranny of  Kolkata selling these rolls. So I basically grew up with it. This is one snack which can proudly claim to have South Kolkata roots. Culturally and historically Kolkata can be divided into two parts--north and south. The northern part is much older, known as Adi Kolkata (the original one) and almost all the famous snacks like telebhaja, cutlet, vegetable chops, moglaiparatha originated from there. Among many jeers is this food thing that we, newbie southerners have to face from the veteran northerners. So when the rolls emerged on the scene, we southerners quickly claimed it as our own. North caught onto it much later. 

It is a wholesome snack and used to be really cheap (not any more, like everything else in India). It is usually eaten from late afternoon onwards. Every Kolkatan swears by these and claims to know the best roll shop in the city. I have a couple of favourites too :-)


Ingredients For The 
Healthier Version Of The Roll:

The Rolls:

4 Chapatis/rotis/ Indian wheat bread (usually two of these makes a filling dinner). 
Either make your own chapati or get ready-to-eat-ones from the supermarket.

200 gms of chicken 
( Any skinless, boneless portion, I used two breast pieces )
Vegetarians can substitute with potato or paneer

One medium onion, finely chopped

One medium pepper, finely chopped

2 tea spoons of meat masala

A pinch of turmeric/haldi

Half a tea spoon of ginger and garlic paste, each

2 green chillies, finely chopped 
(seeded or de-seeded depending on your heat tolerance)

3 to 4 cloves of garlic,
peeled and slightly crushed

2 tea spoon of Maggie Hot & Sour Ketchup 
(or any other ketchup)

Salt to taste

2 tea spoons of oil
(vegetable/sunflower)

4 strips of paper to roll the rotis in for an authentic look
(Approx 5 and 1/2 inches long and 12 inches broad)

The Salad:

1/2th cucumber finely chopped

Half onion, finely chopped

1 green chilli, finely chopped

Juice of half a lime

handful of chopped cilantro

Rock salt or any other salt for sprinkling


  • In a pressure cooker, put the two pieces of chicken, about 3/4th cup of water and the crushed garlic cloves and steam them for up to 2 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker, steam the chicken pieces in the way you usually do. Once they have cooled down, pull out the chicken meat into thin stripes
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil, add the chicken pieces, ginger garlic paste, the onion, the pepper and the masalas. Fry for four to five minutes till everything is fried, add salt and the ketchup, mix well and remove from heat
  • Make your chapatis or roast the store bought ones
  • Mix all the ingredients of the salad together and set it aside

  • For assembling the rolls, lay the trips of paper, on them put the chapatis in a way that a couple of inches of the paper is not covered by the chapati. Lay the chicken pieces and top with the salad. Roll the chapati and then wind the paper around it and tuck in the little extra. This will help in holding the filling inside.
  • The roll is ready. It is usually served with lime and chilli. This a an on-the-go snack, eaten in late afternoon/early evening before dinner which starts from 9ish in the evening.

107 comments :

  1. Nice clicks, read about this on other Bengali food blogs, would love to try out a vegetarian or even eggs are fine..

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    1. Yes egg rolls are yummy...will share the recipe with you, if you want...:-)

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  2. This is mouthwatering and I have never made this. Thank you for this recipe.

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  3. Hi Suchi, I loves both version of the rolls. Look so tempting, will add this to my long long to do list. LOL Have a nice weekend.

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    1. I also have a long, long list of to do Amelia :-) I guess we all do :-)

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  4. Wow... They look so tempting... I had them when I went to Calcutta once. They were out of the world. You are so right that India has become so expensive. Its so much cheaper to live here than in India now...

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    1. Yeah these taste really great Swetha :-)

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  5. I love both version ! It looks very tempting and I'm sure it taste scrumptious ! ;D

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    1. Yes Anne, it does taste good :-)

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  6. Replies
    1. Yes filling meal it is Julie :-)

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  7. Suchi I love these rolls look wonderful!!!

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  8. How simple and delicious this recipe is Suchi! I love it! I'm going to make it tommorow!
    Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

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    1. Hi Eri, do let me know if you tried it and how you liked it :-)

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  9. Looks delicious :)
    http://lavanyasrecipes.blogspot.com/

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  10. Suchi you create wonder.... tomar roll dekhe jekono probasi Bangalir prothomai Gariahater Beduiner kotha mone pore jabe!Excellent click dear!

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    1. Bolcho Gariahat er Bedwin mone pore jabe? :-)

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  11. delicious looking chicken roll perfect for this season to eat outside

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    1. True, you can easily take these to a picnic :-)

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  12. I always admire your photos, they are so pretty!

    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  13. Gosh your blog is a visual treat.. page after page after page. Is it you doing the pics??? Can't believe you're a good cook AND a great photographer. I've had those rolls in Calcutta, they're yummy.

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    1. Yes the pics are mine...husband occasionally helps....thanks, glad you liked them :-)

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  14. how did you like the movie.. Am sure you must have become nostalgic :).. getting to know clacutta through you.. wil try a veggie wrap soon on these line :)

    Ongoing Event: I'm a STAR

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    1. Rasi, I loved the movie :-) Generally I do not enjoy thrillers, find them too stressful ( my family laughs openly, I generally watch thrillers with one eye, so that in case they show something gruesome or scary I can quickly close the other....*sigh*)
      Anyways went to watch it on a cold London evening just for Vidya Balan...I adore her and that adoration in increasing with every movie of hers...she is one Indian actor in recent date who has dared to go against the tide and do all kinds of different things on-screen. We need more of her work and also others following her path. Maybe this will bring about the end of three act heroines where they initially fight with the hero, then dance with the same hero in Swiss Alps and in the last scene wear a white sari and cry prettily and then hug the hero. Am I being too optimistic? Frankly I am tired of dumb divas.
      To get back to the movie, being a Kolkatan, I can say that the way they showed the city is completely true to life. There is no dressing up or down and they have captured Bengalis also very well--a little curious, not to optimistic, little lazy, yet gentle and kind....
      The suspense was very tight and eventually all our guesses were wrong! Excellent cinematography, editing, storytelling, frankly did not hear the music much was so engrossed...
      I am so glad that the movie has been declared a hit!

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  15. Simply delightful looking chicken rolls. Makes me nostalgic about my stay in Kolkata.


    Deepa

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    1. Hi Deepa, yes it is a very Kolkata thing :-)

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  16. That looks so unbelievably good. I am just awful at making flatbreads, but I love the filling you've used!

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  17. Oh, how delicious this must be...and so much healthier made at home :)

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  18. wow dear i wanna bite into it now...awesome...love to have the plate...perfect side

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  19. very delicious wrap.
    Do visit my new blog
    http://www.foodydelight.com/

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    1. Hi Pranjali, thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you liked the rolls :-)

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  20. Excellent click suchi!
    http://followfoodie.blogspot.com/

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  21. i can eat katti roles anytime _ loves your clicks it looks so good

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    1. Same here, I can eat rolls anytime :-)

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  22. Wraps look so yummy... Lovely filling. Nice clicks

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  23. So delicious!!!! Love the clicks and the presentation :)

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  24. Lovely. Wraps especially the way it is made here - so healthy. Somehow, to me the wrap tastes different from eating a roti separately with the same curry that is used for the filling. I wonder why!

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    1. You are so right Radha...I am not sure about enjoying roti with that chicken filling as much as I enjoyed the rolls :-)

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  25. The chicken wraps looks delicious...The pictures taken are absolutely wonderful..keep it up!!

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  26. Looks delicious but I'm a veggie though! ;-) Lovely pics.

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    1. Easy Akshay get a veggie stuffing :-)

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  27. Oooh yum yum!! I would eat one of these for lunch or dinner any day! I love your no eating out on weekdays policy - great idea.

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    1. Thanks Katherine, lets see how long we can stick to no eating outside on weekdays policy :-)

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  28. this looking hot delicious.........loved the presentation....can feel the taste as well...hmmmm..yumyumm....
    Maha

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  29. Photos looks so delicious! Should ask momma to make all this!!:) Infact my mom makes awesome wraps ..i so miss it!!

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  30. nice blog.. nice snaps.. first time here... and these wraps look so tempting.. following you..
    Reshmi @ Noel collections

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    1. Hi Reshmi, welcome to my blog :-)

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  31. awesome clicks Suchi..

    Chicken rolls...my favorite food while on the go!

    btw, did you like the movie...check out the review on my blog !

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    1. Thanks Rahul, I left a comment in your blog :-)

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  32. It looks yum..!! These are the moments that make me feel bad about me being a vegetarian.. but I still can try your receipe using Paneer.. to me that's always a substitute of chicken.. :DI loved the photography too.. :)

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    1. Yes paneer and even potato makes a great filling for these rolls Gayathri :-)

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  33. yummmmmmmmmyyy :) nicely presented!!

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  34. These sound delicious. I hope you enjoyed the movie. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. You've created a great spot to visit and I'll definitely be back.I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Welcome to my blog Mary. Yes I did enjoy the movie. Thanks :-)

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  35. What a fun presentation with the newspaper wrap! Your chicken wrap look so yummy.

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  36. Looks awesome, exactly my kind of food! :)

    http://teenytastytriumphs.blogspot.co.uk/

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  37. These look awesome! I make similar roti wraps at home to carry for lunch. Roti is such a versatile and elegant bread yet so easy to make!

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  38. Cool makeover for a masterpiece. Nothing can heal the blues as well as a good roadside roll. However, a roll needs to drip oil and sauce when you bite into it, preferably on to your clothes and down your elbow, or else it is not a roll. And a plain chicken will not do, it has to be a double egg chicken roll. I totally agree with every Kolkatan having his own best roll shop. It is as touchy a subject as which football club you support I guess. For all your readers who will be giving this "healthy" version a try, please please try the real version, it is really healthy for the spirit. Thanks to Kahani and your post, Kolkata seems to be the flavor or the month.

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    1. Ha Subhorup frankly I also like the greasy version better :-) but sauce, no, I am strictly lebu ur rosh girl...which is your favourite roll shop? Ish amar ekhuni Kolkata giye egg chicken roll khete ichee korchee...

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    2. I left Kolkata nearly two decades back, and I visit infrequently so my most common experience is offering to take someone to a trusted and reputed shopping location only to reach it and find it has shut down years back. Rolls - Trimurti on AJC Road and Badshah at Gariahat are second preferences to the obvious Nizams, whether from the pavements outside the locked down establishment or from the famed faux marble interiors! Yours?

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    3. I left Kolkata exactly a decade back :-) For me the shop topping the list is Nandi Street Bedwin, that shop literally opened in front of our very eyes...initially a mutton roll cost Rs 5...now that shop is closed...another favourite is Stop Over in Ballygunj Phari near my school, a regular hangout during school days and of course if you want to go over the top Dhaba, the Ballygunj Phari one...

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    4. Oh ha how can I forget Bhobanipur ee to be precise Jodubabu ur Bajar er kaach ee ekta dokan achee Mass Snacks bole...they make the most awesome egg rolls ever...they sprinkle some kind of masala....onyo roll gulo mota muti but the egg rolls steal the show...

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    5. Great. Now I have some new roll destinations to check out. Thanks, Suchi.

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  39. Pics dekh ke muh mein paani aa gaya.

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  40. Hi Suchi,

    Nice write up, recipe and photos. Just one point I would like to mention is about the roll history. The rolls originated in Calcutta you are right. But as you rightly said it is not a North Calcutta product, it is not from South Calcutta too. Nizam's behind New Market started it as their English customers didn't like tearing the greasy paratha with fingers. So they wrapped the paratha with the kebabs inside. The rolls are not from North or South, but Central Calcutta :)

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    1. Oh I did not know this, what I knew was some shop late at night ran out of enough meat curry to serve a customer mangsho paratha, instead served it as a roll and hence the beginning...thanks Sumit for this slice of history :-)

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  41. I have had rolls so many times, but I had no idea regarding its Kolkata roots. Informative post. :)

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  42. delicious chicken rolls dear...Im so drooling just going thru these pics !

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  43. Allow me to express my feelings shamelessly here...

    DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!! (with all the saliva dripping from my mouth).

    P.S. I'm hungry now.

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  44. thats yummy :) i always had a passion to learn bengali nd bengali food style.. guess this ll help for the start up :)

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    1. Yes this is a pretty easy recipe to start...but this is not the real deal...the real rolls are made with parathas...

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  45. Awww... This looks so delicious Suchi.. I am definitely going to try this out today evening it self.. Already taken the print out of the recipe.. Glad to found your blog:) *hugs*

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    1. Do let me know how it came out Sonia :-)

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  46. I'm so in love with all of the flavors in this!

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    1. The flavours are indeed great :-)

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  47. Hi Suchi,
    While visiting New York I ate a lot of Kathi rolls. I was told it's a Calcutta speciality. I love these rolls. I will have to try your version of these. They look superb!

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  48. Loads of buzz about Kahaani. Hope you all enjoyed, after devouring this delicious rolls :)

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  49. You did a really beautiful job of these. The flavours look like a match made in heaven

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  50. Looks really tempting. Would definitely give it a try. Do stop by my blog bake-a-mania.blogspot.com

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  51. wow It's really good to have one healthier version of this yummilicious preparation.

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