Chana Kathi Rolls | Chickpea Stuffed Flatbread

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These Chana Kathi Rolls are a vegan take on the classic Indian street food. Warm and cozy chickpea curry wrapped in a crisp Indian flatbread to create the perfect on-the-go meal!

Kathi rolls (also spelled kati rolls) are an Indian street food originating from Bengal that are eaten for quick meals or on-the-go snacking. Instead of scooping up bites of curry, you roll it up in a fresh roti for a minimally messy meal! 

These Kathi Rolls are filled with chana, aka, chickpea curry. The chana is already delicious on its own, so once it’s wrapped in fresh roti, it becomes next level

chana kathi rolls wrapped in parchment paper on plate topped with red onion and cilantro
Image Credit: Eva Agha

This recipe is part of the #FromYourBowl series on the blog – see here for more information.

Today we’re joined by Eva Agha, who runs the food blog The Curious Chickpea. Eva is a half Sindhi-half white American who grew up in the Midwest. She’s currently living in Washington, DC, working full-time on The Curious Chickpea to create delicious vegan recipes that everyone can enjoy! 

hand holding chana kathi roll wrapped in parchment paper with focus on chickpea curry filling

Eva chose to share this recipe because, not only is it one of her favorite go-to recipes, it is also a great intro recipe to Indian cooking! It’s an easy-to-follow recipe that packs a lot of mouthwatering flavor with just a few budget-friendly ingredients.

Stay tuned for an extra Q&A with Eva at the end of this recipe, where she tells us what food she absolutely cannot stand! ???? Take it away, Eva:

INGREDIENTS FOR CHANA KATHI ROLLS

ingredients for chana kathi rolls in small white bowls on marble background

I love all things chickpea, (probably obvious after reading the name of my blog ????) and I don’t know if I could ever pass up an excuse to make fresh roti, so this recipe is one of my all-time favorites! 

  • Chickpeas: are the base of chana. These light, yet hearty legumes are a staple in Indian cuisine. 
  • Roti: or another flatbread such as paratha, chapati, or even flour tortilla can be used. These breads can be purchased frozen or refrigerated at Indian grocery stores, or you can make them yourselves (I will be sharing my roti recipe shortly). Alternatively, you can serve this with a fresh batch of Eva’s Western Style Flatbread or Restaurant Style Naan. For a gluten-free option, you can use a store-bought gluten-free wrap, or simply serve the chana with warm rice instead of bread. 
  • Coconut Milk: adds creaminess and healthy fats.
  • Flavorful Veggie Blend: Ginger, Garlic, Onion, Tomato, Cilantro, and Green Chilis (like Serrano Peppers) come together to give our dish an array of mouthwatering flavors and an extra kick of spice.
  • Indian Spices: like Garam Masala, Coriander, Turmeric, and Amchoor give this dish all of its iconic, traditional flavors. There are no real substitutes for them, but don’t worry! Many of these spices can be found at your local grocery store, or you can get them at an online Indian grocery, or from Amazon. Garam masala is a popular warm spice blend, coriander is the seed of cilantro, and amchoor (also spelled amchur) is a traditional tart spice used in chana that is made from dried, unripe mangoes. As I said, there is no true substitute, but if you are in a pinch and can’t find any amchoor, you can use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead – it will still be great ????
  • Optional Toppings: like Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Onion, and Minced Hot Chili Peppers are the finishing touches on a typical kathi roll. To lessen up the sharp bite of the sliced onions, you can soak them in ice water for 10 minutes, or use pickled red onions instead. A few more optional toppings include Aachar (Indian pickle) or Chutney (e.g. tamarind or cilantro).

HOW TO MAKE CHANA KATHI ROLLS

cooked chana, or chickpea curry, in white nonstick pan

Chana is one of the first recipes to experiment with if you’re interested in cooking Indian cuisine not only is it easy, but it takes just over half an hour to prepare. Fair warning: your house is going to smell INCREDIBLE whenever making this!

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt, cooking until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and chili and stir
  2. Stir in the spices, then add the chickpeas, tomato, coconut milk, and water and bring to a simmer. Let cook until the tomatoes have mostly disintegrated and the liquid has thickened. 
  3. Mash some of the chickpeas to your desired thickness/creaminess and then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Let simmer until thickened. 
  4. Heat the roti on a dry skillet until warm, then add the chana and top with red onion, minced chilies, and cilantro. Roll up the bread like a burrito without the ends folded in. 
  5. Enjoy as-is or add optional aachar or chutney! 
chana kathi tolls on serving plate next to mint chutney and aachar, or indian pickles
Image Credit: Eva Agha

You can customize your Chana Kathi Rolls to the way you like them; depending on the size of your bread and how much you want to stuff them, you can prepare more or less of them at a time using this recipe. 

Typically, kathi rolls are made to be eaten on their own, but I do love adding some tamarind chutney or mango pickle (called aachar) to spice it up even more! You can store any leftover chana in the fridge for up to 5 days, and your bread will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, or as labeled on the packaging. 

chana kathi rolls wrapped in parchment paper on white serving plate next to tomato and mint chutney

If you’re looking for more Indian-inspired recipes, you’ll also love this Creamy Coconut & Red Lentil Curry, these Instant Pot Dal Tadka (Spiced Lentils), and this Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup! Or, check out Eva’s blog for even more deliciousness.

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag @TheCuriousChickpea, @FromMyBowl, & #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

Print

Chana Kathi Rolls

chana kathi rolls wrapped in parchment paper on white serving plate next to tomato and mint chutney

These Chana Kathi Rolls are a vegan take on the classic Indian street food. Warm and cozy chickpea curry wrapped in a crisp Indian flatbread to create the perfect on-the-go meal!

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes ~6 Rolls
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon high-heat cooking oil (such as coconut, avocado, or vegetable oil)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 14 green chilies (e.g. serrano peppers) minced*, more or less to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon amchoor powder (dried mango powder),  or substitute 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup (117 mL) full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup (117 mL) water, plus more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 1 tomato, chopped (4.5oz/125g)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 6 roti (paratha, chapati, or flour tortilla; see notes)
  • To serve: red onion*, minced chilies, cilantro, Aachar (Indian pickle), and/or chutney (e.g. tamarind or cilantro)

Instructions

  1. Aromatics: Heat the oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the onion and a pinch of salt; Cook until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and chili and stir for 1 minute.
  2. Spices: Stir in the garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric, and amchoor (if using lemon juice add at the end), salt, and pepper. Toast the spices for 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Simmer: Add the chickpeas, tomato, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the tomatoes have mostly disintegrated and the gravy has thickened, about 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to get too dry, add more water (or coconut milk), to taste.
  4. Mash: Using a fork or potato masher, mash some of the chickpeas to thicken the gravy and make it creamy. If substituting lemon juice, add it now. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Mix in the minced cilantro. If the chana is too wet, let it simmer over medium-low until thickened to your liking.
  5. To make the chana kathi rolls: heat the roti on a dry skillet until warm, then add chana. Top with red onion, minced chilies, and cilantro. Roll up the bread (like a burrito without the ends folded in) and enjoy! Optional: add aachar or chutney.

Notes

  • This recipe is created by Eva Agha of The Curious Chickpea
  • Roti: Roti means bread and refers to a range of Indian flatbreads. Kathi rolls are traditionally made using parathas, but I prefer making chapati or pukla style roti as it’s simpler and less indulgent. These breads can be purchased frozen or refrigerated at Indian grocery stores, or you can make them yourselves (I will be sharing my roti recipe shortly!). Alternatively you can serve this with naan or a Western style flatbread (my recipe here) or even store bought tortillas.
  • Spices: Most of these Indian spices are found at your local grocery store. Amchoor (also spelled amchur) is a tart spice made from dried unripe mangoes and is a traditional ingredient in chana. There is no real substitute for it, but you can use fresh squeezed lemon juice instead–it will still be great. You can purchase amchoor at Indian grocery stores or online (Amazon or online Indian grocery stores).
  • Spice Level: the heat level of this dish will vary based on how spicy your peppers are. If you are sensitive to heat, you can remove the seeds from some or all of the peppers, but dice the flesh. I would recommend using the seeds from only 1-2 serrano peppers for a medium heat level.
  • To Serve: Sliced onion and minced hot chili peppers are the traditional finishing touches on kathi rolls. Soak the sliced onion in ice water for 10 minutes to lessen the sharp bite, or use pickled red onions instead.

Keywords: vegan indian rolls, vegan chana rolls, vegan kathi rolls, vegan flatbread rolls, chickpea flatbread, vegan chickpea curry

 

BONUS Q&A WITH EVA:

When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you like to do? 

I love to go on walks and hikes with my husband, Omar, and my dog. In fact, it’s on our daily walks that we have one of our favorite conversations: what our next meal should be! When I’m not in the kitchen, I also love to travel I have visited over 20 countries and more than half the states!

Are there any foods that you cannot stand? 

Seaweed! ???? I realize that it’s fish that smell like seaweed, and not the other way around, but I have never been able to get over that mental block! The smell and taste are just too much for me and I can only manage it in small amounts.

What does diversity in food media mean to you?

Diversity in food media is a complex conversation that is tough to cover in such a brief response, but I think it’s imperative that there is room for people of all backgrounds in this industry. I want people of every background to explore cuisines outside of their own! That being said, I think it is important to mention that when doing so, time should be taken to learn about the history behind the food, and the context around each of the dishes. When sharing these dishes with others, it is also important to clarify where the recipe inspiration comes from, so that they can learn the history as well. 

The notion of diversity in food media also means making room for non-white voices to not be pigeonholed or have their work devalued based on their background.

How does your background/culture/upbringing influence your food choices and how you cook today?

I was raised vegetarian and we were mostly vegan at home. Both of my parents had a knack for cooking they loved trying out new recipes and even more so, they loved exposing me and my siblings to different cuisines and cultures. It was from cooking with them that I got my love of adventure (both in and out of the kitchen)!

*As per the mission of #FromYourBowl, a donation was made to the Coalition for Rainforest Nations in Eva’s name. Eva says she chose this charity because, “Climate change is an emergency that affects all of us, and is already having serious detrimental effects on the most vulnerable populations around the world. In Sindh, Pakistan where my dad is from, climate change is causing dangerously intense monsoon seasons. Pakistan is considered the fifth most climate-vulnerable nation in the world. The Coalition for Rainforest Nations partners with governments of rainforest nations around the world to protect their rainforests, which is an important step to mitigating climate change.”

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. We made this as written with lemon juice as a sub for the amchoor powder. It was so amazing in wraps. Going to try this in the future over potato wedges as a poutine situation. Looking forward to that soon.