Calcutta Chicken Roll

This is a Calcutta-style roll in which chicken kathi (skewered) kababs are wrapped in sweet, flaky porota.

  • Cooking time
    3 hours
  • Calories
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In this kathi roll recipe, succulent pieces of chicken have been marinated in spices, cooked over charcoal, and wrapped in mildly sweet, flaky porota (paratha) along with sliced onions, lime, and green chillies. It is really that simple! We show you the best way to make the dough for the wrap, and chicken kababs from scratch. As we are making kababs in the oven (as opposed to in a tandoor or charcoal oven), we have deployed the 'dhungar' method of infusing smokiness. We're further pan-frying the kababs with onions and capsicum, the way Hot Kathi Roll on Park Street does—but you can serve the kababs with just sliced raw onions and chillies if you prefer.

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For the kathi kababs

  • 500 g chicken thigh (boneless)
  • 5 g salt
  • 3 g black salt (beetnoon)
  • 5 g lime juice
  • ½ tsp gorom moshla
  • 3 g kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 3 g ginger
  • 2 g garlic
  • 50 g yoghurt
  • 15 g mustard oil
  • ¼ tsp ghee

For the porota

  • 450 g maida (all-purpose flour)
  • 8 g salt
  • 20 g sugar
  • 25 g vegetable shortening (dalda, crisco, etc.)
  • 300 g water
  • eggs (for egg-chicken roll)

To pan-fry the kababs

  • 10 g vegetable oil
  • 200 g onions
  • 40 g capsicum
  • ¼ tsp gorom moshla
  • ¼ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (optional)

For garnish

  • onions
  • green chillies
  • chaat masala
  • lime


Making the kababs

  1. Trim the excess fat from the chicken thigh. Divide into 4-cm chunks.
  2. Make a paste of ginger and garlic. Marinate the chicken with salt, black salt, lime juice, gorom moshla, kashmiri red chilli, ginger and garlic paste, yoghurt, and mustard oil. Coat the meat well with this mixture.
  3. To give the meat a smoky flavour, first, set a small metal bowl (or a DIY bowl fashioned from aluminium foil) in the middle of the marinated chicken pieces. Next, burn a piece of charcoal directly over the flame until you see a layer of ash on the outside (this will take about 5–7 minutes). Then, place it in the metal bowl and pour the ghee on it. Cover the entre dish with aluminium foil and weigh it down with a plate. This is the ‘dhungar’ method of infusing burnt-charcoal flavour to a dish. 
  1. Keep it covered for 5 minutes to infuse the chicken with a smoky flavour. After 5 minutes, remove the charcoal. The charcoal smell should be subtle, so don’t leave it in too long.
  2. Once you remove the small metal bowl and the charcoal, mix everything and cover it again for 1 hour. This is to marinate the chicken.
  3. Soak bamboo skewers (‘kathi’) in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from charring in the oven.
  4. Grease an oven grill set over a tray with oil. Now, fold each chicken piece in half and thread it through the skewer. Folding the meat helps to keep the kebabs compact and hence juicy. It also prevents them from spreading in the oven.
  5. Preheat your oven to 250℃ or the highest temperature it will go.
  6. Layer the skewers on the grill and roast them at 250℃ for 15 minutes. If using a thermometer, the kababs are done when the internal temperature of the chicken thigh reaches 75℃.
  7. To stir-fry the kababs, slice onions and capsicum. Heat vegetable oil in a kadai. Add the sliced onions and capsicum. Remove the kababs from the skewers, and add them to the pan. Don’t forget to add any of the kabab drippings that may have collected at the bottom of your roasting tray. Finally, add gorom moshla. You may also add kashmiri red chilli powder for colour. Stir-fry everything on high heat for 4 minutes. Once done, set aside.

Making the porota

  1. In a mixing bowl, take maida, salt, sugar, and vegetable shortening (dalda/crisco).
  2. Rub the dalda into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs in texture.
  3. Pour 270–300 g warm water, and knead continuously for 5 minutes. Once the dough is soft, smooth, and pliable, coat it with oil to prevent it from drying.
  4. Cover and rest for 1 hour. The dough needs to relax before you can work with it.
  5. Divide the dough into 130 g portions. Tuck in from all sides to form a smooth ball. You can now start rolling the laccha parathas. If the dough resists the rolling pin and keeps springing back, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before continuing.
  6. For the laccha paratha, roll out the portioned dough into a 12-cm disc. Coat its surface with oil and dust generously with flour. Next, make an incision on the disc along a radius, and roll it in the shape of a cone.  Stand the cone up and press to flatten. You now have a piece of dough with layers built into it! Rest it for another 10 minutes to allow it to relax, so that it doesn't spring back while rolling out.
  7. Now, roll each laccha for a second time into discs 22 cm in diameter.
  8. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in an iron skillet to fry the porota. Rotate continuously for even browning. Flip every minute for a uniform crust.
  9. For egg-chicken roll, beat an egg with a pinch of salt. Pour it over the fried porota and spread it. Lift the porota off the pan while the eggs are still runny, and allow the extra egg to drip into the pan. Now, carefully lay down the egg-y side of the porota over it and fry until the egg is cooked.

Assembling the roll

  1. On a hot, freshly-fried porota with the egg-side facing up, arrange the stir-fried chicken kababs a little off the centre. Garnish with thinly sliced raw onions, green chillies, a squeeze lime, and a pinch of chaat masala. You may also add some green chilli sauce and tomato ketchup if you like. Roll it up as tight and neat as you can, and wrap the bottom half in paper, tucking away any excess paper.

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