Mamta's Kitchen

Kathi Rolls or Frankies, Vegetarian

Frankies or Kathi Rolls

Mamta Gupta

Frankie and Kathi rolls, also known as a Chapatti/Paratha Rolls, are quite popular as a 'food on the go' in India. Frankie comes from Mumbai/Maharashtra and a Kathis roll from Calcutta.

A Frankie often has a thin layer of omelette spread on a roti/paratha, before putting a ‘tikki’ or a ‘cutlet’ or a layer of vegetarian or non-vegetarian fillings. Then various salads and chutneys are added on top. It is then wrapped and served piping hot as a ‘food on the go’. I am not sure about the authenticity of this story, but it is said that Frankies were first marketed by a guy called Fankie and are named after him.

A Kathi roll has a filling, with a layer of yoghurt and chutney, and then rolled in a Paratha, served immediately. Both are so similar these days that I will write them as one recipe.

The truth is that various fillings of leftover vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes have been used by Indians up and down the country for generations, to use up their leftovers. We used to do it in our house, with chapatties, parathas or poories and any leftover vegetables, without giving them a name. These have now become so popular that they are made with fresh chapatties and nans and sold in fast food places all over India.

Here, I have given several filling ideas, but you can use any filling you like. The amount of filling depends upon personal choice and what is available. Serves 4 (2 per person). Makes 4

Edited November 2022. Waiting for better pictures!


  • 4 Chapatties or

  • Plain Paratha

  • Oil to shallow fry

  • For the Paneer filling

  • 1-2 tbsp. oil

  • Onion average sized, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and finely shredded/grated

  • 1 green/red/yellow pepper/capsicum , deseeded and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium/large tomato, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1 to 1/2 cup Paneer (Indian cottage cheese)

  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree for extra flavour and colour

  • 1 level tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder, adjust to taste

  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala powder. If bought ready made, you may need more, because home made has much stronger flavour

  • 1 tsp. Chat Masala. You cam buy it ready made

  • Salt to taste

  • To serve

  • 1/4 cup thick natural yoghurt

  • 2 tbsp. Coriander Mint Chutney

  • A few fresh mint/coriander leaves to serve

  • 1/2 cup onion rings

  • A little chaat masala helps to spice up the filling


  1. Heat oil in a wok/non-stick karahi.

  2. Add onion and ginger and fry until softened, not browned.

  3. Add green/red/yellow pepper/, stir fry for a few minutes

  4. Add chopped tomato and stir fry for a minute.

  5. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala and tomato puree. Stir fry for 10-15 seconds. Add Paneer, stir fry for a minute of Add chat masala and stir in.

  6. Check add salt to taste

  7. Allow the mix to cool a little.

  8. Making the rolls:

  9. Mix yoghurt and coriander/mint chutney. Keep aside

  10. Heat a frying pan or tava to medium hot. Brush with a little oil.

  11. Place the chapatti on a work surface. Spread a spoon of yoghurt and mint chutney mix on top.

  12. Place a spoon of filling evenly on one side of chapatti/paratha.

  13. Sprinkle a few fresh mint leaves, onion rings and chaat masala on top. Roll the chapatti firmly.

  14. To heat: Lightly brush with oil, and place on an oiled, heated tava/griddle.

  15. Fry until golden brown and semi-crisp on all sides. Although you don't need a lot of oil, more liberal you are with it, crisper they are going to be. I often use no oil at all.

  16. Serve hot wrapped in a foil or waxed paper.


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