The World On A Plate


Koti Roll – India, Kolkata


I feel a bit guilty admitting this is probably the best thing I had to eat in India – and that’s from a big selection of good food. The reason for the guilt is that I saw the way animals were kept in India, and it really should have been enough to keep me vegetarian for the duration.

Quite aside from the man selling chickens in Darjeeling who sat upending bird in a jug of water until their legs stopped moving, the way meat is displayed should also be a warning sign.

Often left unrefrigerated on open stalls and covered in flies, if anything is going to upset your stomach in India, this would be it.

But something about the koti roll stall smelled so delicious every time I passed it that I eventually gave in, and am very glad I did. The koti roll is a bit like a shawarma in principle – grilled meat wrapped in bread.

But the India version uses a paratha rather than a pitta bread. Parathas are freshly made to order by spreading a round of dough on a hot griddle, smearing it with ghee, folding, it turning it, and repeating the process. The result is the flakiest butter bread and hot from the grill is beyond delicious. Spread with a spiced raita yogurt, and filled with hot chicken it takes on a new dimension all together.

And yes I did get moderately ill (I think) from eating it. But for the record, it was worth it.

posted under India

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