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May 24, 2011 06:50 AM


I was pleasantly surprised. I never got the craze for kati rolls, but Village newcomer, Thelewala, has me reconsidering. Their Nizami roll (essentially a kati roll named for Calcutta's premiere kebab slinger) starts with a thin, flaky paratha with a pleasant amoung of chew around the edges. It could definitely be flakier, but that's a common complaint and their paratha still is miles better than the bread I've had elsewhere. The chappli kabab I had was grilled to order. It wasn't made in the chappli shape, so it had me dubious, but the flavor was terrific. The lamb was gamey and juicy and studded with whole coriander seed. I ordered my roll extra spicy and my lips were humming accordingly. Thelewala also sells chaat, snacks based off fried dough, potato and/or legumes. It looked like they do quite a bit of business in phucka (pani-puri), which will definitely be a summertime treat to look forward to.

As far as interior goes, it's one of the nicer kati roll shops out there. The store is tiled and brightly lit with energetic Bollywood remixes pumped in. If you choose to linger there are a few stools tightly wedged into a small counter area. If you go when it's not busy, it's easily manageable, and definitely worth a visit if you are a fan of Kati Roll across the street.

112 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. We had Lime Paneer and Achari Aloo Tikki. Both rolls were tip top and full of flavors brightly fresh. As JungMann points out the bread stuff would profit from more flakiness. We were planing our next visit way before we left - that good. We'll hit the chat and report back. Right now there seem they are manned by the owners A plus team whose sense of execution and precision is an exception on any level of the restaurant scene. These assets are combined with exuberant spice sense and a big dosa of humor, as our chat with them demonstrated (Oh, go anyway).

    1 Reply
    1. re: wew

      Lamb roll and peanut chaat - again both fine snack food. Next try will be a larger plate. These are not Manhattan prices, check their menu. Don't let an early positive notice in the NYT shy you off.

    2. I also really enjoyed the chappli kebab, and will definitely stop back for more in the future, im not sure about the phucka, but the order of bhel puri we got was just ok - the seasoning was about right but the puffed rice in the mix could have tasted fresher.

      all in all id definitely stop here before the kati roll company across the street

      1. Also pleasantly surprised by Thelewala. Very zingy, bright flavors -- lots of lime and chopped red onion in the peanut masala -- with a respectable amount of kick (though I prefer more). And not at all oily. But I missed the sweet, spicy, salty, tangy combo that I'm used to in chaats, which comes from the combo of tamarind, yogurt, chaat masala and chilis and/or spiced up coriander or mint chutney. Is that the North Indian approach to chaat -- not something you'd find in Thelewala's Bengali chaats?

        We also enjoyed the lime paneer nizami roll -- again, low on oil and nice to see paneer burji (scrambled -- not the huge chunks of paneer that you get across the street at Kati Roll). Good flavor -- though the lime dominated a bit too much (they call it a Lime Paneer roll for a very good reason).

        Their ready-made masala chai was also quite good -- a good balance of the different spices and not too strong and acidic. Curious to explore the other chaats.

        112 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012