New Delhi, India
March 11, 2013
The best kathi kababs I’ve ever had are the absolutely fantastic Nizam’s kathis in Kolkata. Unfortunately, since I don’t live in Kolkata, and have little occasion to visit that city frequently, we decided to try and find a good kathi kabab joint in Delhi. Oddly, while Nizam’s do have outlets in Delhi, their kathis aren’t as good as the ones in Kolkata. And, honestly, most other kathi kabab eateries in Delhi end up making their rolls too greasy, stuffing them full of too-spicy meat, or both.
The Kathi’s (yes, that’s how they spell it, misplaced apostrophe and all) has emerged, after some research, as our favourite kathi place in Delhi. It’s not fancy: just a small outlet on the periphery of the large open space next to the PVR Anupam cinema. There’s a counter here with a tiny kitchen beyond. Seating consists of several plastic tables and chairs set out haphazardly in front—or you can, of course, take the kathis and go sit on one of the benches in the open space.
The menu consists of two main types of rolls. There are kathis, for which the wrap is a more rich one, mostly lined with beaten egg, which is cooked along with the roti or paratha (unless you’ve asked for a vegetarian kathi, in which case the egg is omitted). The second type is the roomali roll, for which a light, muslin-thin roomali roti is used as the wrap: it’s lighter, and with no egg added, even for the non-vegetarian options.
The Kathi’s offers different types and sizes of rolls: single egg single chicken/mutton, double egg double chicken/mutton (which is a large portion—one is mostly enough for me!), paneer kathis, potato, and mixed vegetable kathis, with or without egg. The same options are available in the roomali rolls, though without the egg, of course. In addition, you can order three kababs as is: chicken, mutton, or paneer tikkas. Juices, aerated drinks, and cold coffees are also available.
On our last visit, we ordered a single egg single mutton kathi each, followed up by a single egg single chicken kathi (for my husband) and a Kashmiri kathi (for me).
The kathis took about ten minutes to dish up, and they came to us so piping hot that we actually had to wait for them to cool a bit before we could eat. Since we were sitting at a table, we got foil-lined paper plates, and a large plastic dispenser of the fresh yoghurt and mint chutney that they provide. This chutney is the perfect accompaniment to the kathis, because it isn’t spicy, just refreshing and very cool—a great contrast to the hot kathis. The kathis aren’t spicy, either (not even the Kashmiri kathi, which comes cooked with tomatoes and some strips of green bell pepper). Just a good amount of diced, lightly spiced cooked meat, lots of sautéed onions, and the rich (but not greasy) flavour of egg and roti. Simply delicious.
Our bill was Rs 530, taxes included. Even though the place is a little inconvenient (since you’re sitting just off the pavement, and a sometimes unpleasant place it can be)—it’s a small price to pay for kathis as good as these.
From journal Kabab Town: Finding Delhi's Best Kababs