If you're looking for a super easy paneer kathi roll recipe, you've landed in the right place. If this is your first time, rest assured that you'll get all the information and tips you need to rustle up the tastiest paneer cheese rolls in just 30 minutes.
This popular Indian Street Food incorporates soft paneer cubes, bell peppers, red onion, and a lightly spiced yogurt and tomato-based sauce. This tasty filling is served inside a soft flaky paratha spread with a thin layer of green chutney.
Paneer Kathi rolls are a great way to begin a lazy Sunday (or any other day of the week for that matter). Whether you'll be enjoying them for lunch, brunch, or dinner, making extra filling and cilantro chutney is highly recommended for a speedy snack or light meal the next day.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
4 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Easy recipe. Ready in just 30 minutes and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
- Ridiculously flavorful.
- Versatile. With so many different ways to adapt the filling, these paneer cheese wraps never get boring.
- Make-ahead friendly.
🛒 Key Ingredients
- Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). You should be able to find it at your local store. Otherwise, you can buy it online or at an Indian specialty store. If you want to make your own, check out this Paneer Recipe from Swasthi's recipes.
- Paratha. A type of Indian flatbread traditionally used in kathi rolls. Paratha has to be my favorite Indian bread - I can't get enough of the buttery layers. You may need to visit an Indian grocery store or buy it online if you can't find it at your usual store.
- Yogurt. Any unsweetened plain or Greek-style yogurt will work well in this recipe. You can use dairy-free or low-fat yogurt if you wish.
- Kashmiri chili powder. Adds mild heat and a sweet fruity flavor to the sauce.
- Paneer: Swap for another type of protein if you prefer such as chicken or tofu.
- Paratha: You can also use whole wheat roti or flour tortillas instead.
- Tomato paste: You can use tomato ketchup if you need to.
- Red and green bell peppers. Switch for zucchini, mushrooms or spinach.
- Kashmiri chili powder. Substitute with smoked paprika or regular chili powder. You can also use chaat masala, but note that it doesn't have the same sweetness as kashmiri chili powder.
- Spicy. Add red chili powder or fresh red or green chilies to the sauce.
- Vegan. Switch the paneer for a vegetable mixture of bell peppers, spinach, and zucchini.
- Chicken kathi rolls. Made with sautéed chicken thigh pieces or leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Egg: Switch the paneer for a scrambled egg mixture. A great option for breakfast.
🧑🍳 Recipe steps
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions! *
1. Make the cilantro chutney. Place the cilantro (coriander), ginger, chili, cumin powder, lime juice, and water in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Cook the paneer and bell pepper filling. Place a medium/large non-stick pan on a medium-high heat and add the onion and fry for a few minutes until translucent. Add the peppers and paneer and cook until the peppers begin to soften, and the paneer begins to brown. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, Kashmiri chilli powder, ground cumin and turmeric powder. Remove from the heat, stir in the yogurt and set aside.
3. Cook the paratha according to packet instructions until golden brown. I cook frozen parathas on a medium heat in a little hot oil to ensure they do not stick to the pan.
4. Assemble and enjoy! Spread a thin layer of coriander/cilantro chutney onto each cooked paratha, add some of the paneer filling, fold and serve immediately.
👍 Top tips
- Adjust the chili in the cilantro chutney to suit your taste. I often pick up some Jwala or green bird's eye chilies from the local Indian grocery store when I make the chutney. These chilies give the chutney a good kick. The green chilies in my local store are a lot milder and a better choice if you are sensitive to spice.
- Don't overcook the peppers and onion. The red onion and pepper should be cooked until they soften a little but still have a crunch. Avoid cooking them until they are completely softened.
- Brown the paneer. Paneer tastes best when it is slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Fry on a high heat until the sides begin to brown, but make sure you don't overdo it. You don't want the paneer to harden and become tough.
Packed with protein-rich paneer and healthy bell peppers, paneer kathi rolls can easily stand alone as a satisfying meal. Here are a few side dish ideas, if you're in the mood for something extra,
- Chutneys and sauces. Serve with a small bowl of mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or a zesty yogurt-based sauce.
- A refreshing salad. Such as a cucumber and tomato salad or mixed green salad.
- Roasted vegetables.
- Potato wedges of sweet potato fries.
Kathi rolls will keep in the fridge for 2 days but taste best when fresh. I often make this recipe with the intention of having leftovers. It's best to store the filling and chutney separately in the refrigerator and cook fresh parathas just before you plan to eat them. I always reheat the paneer mixture on the stove or in the microwave. My preference is for a hot filling, but you can also eat it cold.
You can freeze the paneer filling and coriander chutney separately for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat the filling on the stove or in the microwave and enjoy with freshly cooked parathas. Do not freeze assembled Kathi rolls, they will be safe to eat but will not taste good.
Paneer has a high melting point thanks to its freshness and minimal processing. It keeps its shape when heated making it a great substitute for meat in many Indian dishes.
The best kathi roll is a fresh kathi roll. The trick is to serve them immediately and not to leave them hanging around. Cook up the parathas just before you plate up so they're still warm and crispy when filled and served.
More quick and easy vegetarian recipes
Paneer Kathi Rolls
Green Cilantro Chutney
- ½ cup cilantro (coriander)
- 2-3 green chilies
- ½ inch fresh ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp lime juice or ½ lime approx
- 1-2 tbsp water
Kathi roll filling:
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 7 oz (200 g) paneer cut into cubes (Note 1)
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into sticks
- 1 green bell pepper sliced into sticks
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder (Note 2)
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (puree)
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) plain or Greek yogurt (Note 3)
- 4 parathas (Note 4)
- 1 handful cilantro (coriander) chopped
- Make the green chutney by blitzing the cilantro chutney ingredients in a food processor.
- Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add oil. Add the red onion when the oil is hot and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to turn translucent.
- Add the bell peppers and paneer and continue to cook until the peppers soften, and the paneer starts to brown, tossing regularly to ensure the paneer is brown on all sides.
- Add the garlic and fry for a minute until fragrant.
- Add Kashmiri chili, ground turmeric, ground cumin and stir in the tomato paste.
- Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt.
- Cook the paratha according to packet instructions.
- Assemble the Kathi roll: Spread the chutney on each paratha, add some of the cooked paneer mixture, top with a little fresh cilantro, fold into rolls and serve immediately.
- Paneer: You should be able to find it at your local store. Otherwise, you can buy it online or at an Indian specialty store. If you want to make your own, check out this Paneer Recipe from Swasthi's recipes. You can also swap the paneer for chicken or tofu.
- Kashmiri chili powder: Adds mild heat and a sweet fruity flavor to the sauce. Substitute with smoked paprika or regular chili powder. You can also use chaat masala, but note that it doesn't have a sweet flavor like Kashmiri chili powder.
- Yogurt: Any unsweetened plain or Greek-style yogurt will work well in this recipe. You can use dairy-free or low-fat yogurt if you wish.
- Parathas: A type of Indian flatbread bread traditionally used in kathi rolls. You may need to visit an Indian grocery store or buy it online if you can't find it at your usual store. You can use whole wheat roti or flour tortillas instead.