Filling wrapped and rolled – The Indian Express

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By Monish Gujral, 26th May 2013

Simplicity! Something so foreign in today’s gadget friendly and complex world which leaves us little time to enjoy whatever we have. Less or more is subjective. But for want of more we tend to miss what we have. Even in our eating habits, this urban complexity surfaces. The restaurant menus are becoming more modern, complex, the products on the grocery shelves of a supermarket are so varied that one sometime forgets what one was looking for in the first place, in those never ending shelves.

I remember, while in school I would be happy to eat a simple bun-samosa, a popular snack we used to get outside our school at a nondescript refugee market. Or even a simple kulcha and seekh kebab roll with extra chutney and onions would satisfy my hunger after a game of tennis. Alas! Speaking about wraps and rolls, we all have grown up with them. A homemade parantha with scrambled egg or shammi kebabs rolled in a paper thin roomali roti. Famous Nizami Kathi Rolls, one of my all time favourites. Kathi roll is a street-food with origins in Kolkata. Its original form was a kathi kebab enclosed in a parantha. Over the years and many versions later, all of them now go under the generic name of kathi roll. Nowadays, any filling rolled up in any kind of Indian flatbread is called a kathi roll.

Kathi roll is said to have been started by Nizam restaurant in Kolkata in 1932. It was a layered parantha with a kebab filling. Nizam’s used the steel skewers earlier to cook the kebabs but eventually started using bamboo sticks called kathi in Bengali, hence the name kathi rolls.

Nizam enjoyed the monopoly of selling kathi rolls till other restaurants and takeaways caught up with them and started selling their version of the popular wrap.

So the simple wrap and roll game has been there for quite some time, may be unrecorded in gastronomic history as to who started rolling the food in flatbreads, but numerous examples exist globally to prove its more of a universal convenient foods.

So there is the famous hummus and humble falafel rolled up in Arabic pita bread, or shawerma rolls, or Moroccan flat bread with Moroccan chicken kebabs or even a Dal-puri which is a staple of people in Tobago and Trinidad, in which often they roll the kebabs or veggies. Dal-puri is a fried layered parantha which is stuffed with semi cooked split peas.

Dal-puri may have travelled to Trinidad and Tobago with settlers who migrated as a work force centuries ago. It may have been a convenient tiffin food for them—easy to cook and carry to their workplaces. Today it’s become a popular street food in the island nation. I am sure most of us have our share of favourite rolls and wraps. I am going to share with you the recipes of my version of Dal-puri rolls from Trinidad and Tobago.

[button color="green" link="" target=""] Click for TRINI DAL-PURI WRAPS Recipe [/button]

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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