This Paneer Frankie Roll, also known as Paneer Kathi Rolls, is a popular Indian street food made with flaky flatbread, covered with egg, wrapped with spicy paneer and tangy toppings. Perfect to pack for a grab and go meal, or a special weeknight meal. Take this Frankie to your next potluck, and it is sure to be a hit!  

Three frankie rolls, or Kathi Rolls on a black base with a bowl of the filling in the back

I have very fond memories of enjoying frankie in Mumbai growing up (All you Mumbaites might remember Tibbs Frankie at Linking road, Bandra) . We used to love eating them on the streets where there would be Paneer Frankie, Egg Frankie, Chicken Frankie and my favorite Mutton Frankie. Now you can find Frankie in many places, but 20 years ago there was just that one place where we could find frankie’s!

So something awesome happened, my mom learnt to make Frankie at home…Ta Da!! Now we had much easier access to it. It was a delicacy we would enjoy once a month. Even now, whenever we meet, she makes it for us. Her recipe beats even the best ones on the street. So I obviously had to learn and share that with you all!

What is Frankie Roll?

Frankie roll is a flaky paratha, layered with egg, filled with curried veggies or meat (or any leftovers 😀), topped with onions, spicy sauces and spices, then wrapped to make a grab-and-go meal. It is perfectly rolled up into a parchment paper and foil, to make it easy to carry around.

Hands down, it is one of India’s most popular street food. Think of it as Indian burrito!

Frankie is also a great way to use up leftover curries or subzi. Make a paratha or use a frozen one heated well, smear some egg and roll in the curry.

This is a perfect on-the-go food for busy people and kids. It’s ideal for both adult or kids’ lunch boxes. Cut it into fun small rolls and it is perfect to serve at parties or potlucks. Even better, make a Frankie Roll station with all the ingredients spread out, and let your guests get creative!

You will love Frankie as it is: 

  • Easy to make
  • Customizable
  • Easy to carry or pack

What’s the difference between Kathi Roll and Frankie?

Frankies were originated in Mumbai, and Kathi Rolls started in Kolkatta.

Based on what I could find, Frankie is said to be created by Amarjit Tibbs of Mumbai (hence the Tibbs Frankie place in Bandra, Mumbai). He was inspired by the Lebanese pita breads filled with falafel or meal. So he launched it in Mumbai with an indian twist, and named it after his favorite cricketer, Frank Worrell.

Kolkatta’s Kathi Rolls can be said to be a bit different than Frankie with they typically being filled with cutlets or grilled pieces of meat, topped with sliced onions and cucumber, along with chutney and chaat masala.

As you can see, there is not a major difference as you can really fill the Frankie roll with whatever you like and vary the toppings to your taste 🙂

What are the main parts of a Kathi Roll?

FlatBread

This typically is a flatbread made with all-purpose flour, but you can choose to make it healthier with a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.

You can also just use any paratha or even a frozen paratha you have at home. I love to use Kawan parathas, as they are closest in taste and texture to the homemade flatbread made with all-purpose flour (or maida).

You can use a naan to make the roll. Buy garlic naan from Trader Joes or an Indian grocery store, and heat it well.

Final option I have is to use a flour or whole wheat tortilla.

Really either one works! Obviously, the taste will change based on what you use. What is most important is that it tastes good and you enjoy it!

Curried Filling

This is a filling of veggies or meat. Sometimes it is just more egg.

Toppings

Sliced or chopped onions. I would not make frankie without them…period!!

Sauces such as chutneys or I will share the authentic chopped green chili peppers in vinegar below.

Spice blend of chaat masala, or my mom’s easy 3-ingredient frankie masala.

Easy to make, a Frankie is bursting with flavors, and can be made in under 30 minutes depending on what you decide to fill it with. You can also use a store-bought paratha to make a Frankie roll.

What are the different options to make Frankie Rolls?

Even though I am sharing the popular Paneer Frankie today, remember that Frankie is very very customizable. You can add green chutney as a topping. You can add a variety of fillings to it. Below are some options –

  • Paneer / Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Aloo Tikki
  • Mutton Curry
  • Chicken Kebab
  • Tandoori Gobi
  • Breakfast Egg Bhurji
  • Paneer Bhurji
  • Chicken Keema
  • Paneer Schezwan
  • Chilli Chicken / Paneer
  • Or make a breakfast Frankie with just egg.

The options are endless!

How to make?

We will first start with making the filling for the paneer frankie. Then we will make the flatbread and assemble the frankie / Kathi Roll.

Stuffing for paneer frankie

Making this filling takes just about 15-20 minutes. This is really the same as Paneer Jalfrezi, which I love to make as a quick dinner with roti/paratha too.

  • Take a heavy bottom pan and heat oil in medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle a bit.
  • Then add the sliced up onions, garlic and fry them for a bit.
  •  Add the spices and sauté the onions and garlic till they are coated with spices evenly. Make sure to not burn the spices.
  • Just sprinkle some tablespoons of water on the pan if the spices and onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Then add the yellow and red bell peppers and stir them till they also get well coated with spices.
  • Now you can add the chopped tomato along with the tomato puree until the puree mixes well with the curry.
  • Add the paneer cubes after you see that the curry has become a semi-solid gravy.
Paneer stuffing for Frankie Kathi roll
  • Make sure the paneer blends well and becomes soft by stirring in between intervals.
Paneer Jalfrezi with peppers in a large pan

Garnish with cilantro and your filling is ready.

If you love paneer, check out this collection of 20+ Best Paneer Recipes.

The Flatbread

Let’s talk about the flatbread. There is the original way to make it with making a dough, and there is my mom’s way to make it with a batter (similar to a dosa).

I really could not decide which way to share, so here I am going to share both with you. Both options have a bit different taste and texture.

The traditional way is easier for seasoned cooks. But my mom’s batter way is great for everyone. If you have made a pancake, or any sort of crepe or dosa, you know how to spread this. You dont have to make the perfect dough, or roll the flatbread, just spread it on a griddle/tawa and flip it!

So here is my mom’s batter method to make frankie base:

  • Add all-purpose flour (maida) and salt to a bowl. Mix water to make a smooth batter. This batter should be easy to spread, like a crepe or dosa, but not as thin as a crepe.
  • Beat 4 eggs in a bowl. Add salt and mix well.
  • Heat a flat tawa or griddle, then spread a ladle full of batter as shown below. Spread some oil.
  • After one side is cooked, carefully flip the flatbread to the other side. Let it cook for 30 seconds to a minute until some golden brown spots appear. If needed, apply 1/2 teaspoon more oil.
  • Then flip back and apply about 1/2 a beaten egg on the roti (in Hindi called maida ki roti).
  • Let it cook for about 15 seconds, then flip the roti to cook the egg well.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside. Make all the roti’s the same way. Between each roti, keep a parchment paper or foil, so they don’t stick to each other.
Paneer Frankie base from batter

Now let’s see the original method:

  • Mix all-purpose flour (maida), oil and salt. Knead well to make a soft dough (see roti recipe for how to make a soft dough). Divide equally into 8 balls and cover with a moist cloth. Note: You can also use a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour to make your frankie healthier. I personally would not do all whole wheat flour for a frankie)
  • Break the eggs and whisk them.
  • Take one ball of dough and using a rolling pin, roll out to a 6” round.
  • Put a tawa or a griddle pan on medium heat and place the rolled out dough onto it. After about 1 minute, flip it onto the other side and continue to cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • Apply 1/2 tsp of oil on the roti. Flip it to the other side and add some more oil.
  • Now apply about 1/8th of the whisked eggs (1/2 an egg) on one side of the roti. Let it cook for about 15 seconds, then flip it over to cook the egg completely. It is okay if some spreads around.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside. Make all the roti’s the same way.
Making Kathi roll base on a tawa

Regarding the taste and texture, this flatbread made with a batter is best enjoyed right away (what this means is if you make a frankie roll, and pack it to go, it might get a bit soggy). However the one made with a dough, stays better for longer. Now, you can see why the street vendors chose the later method, as they want you to be able to grab and go!

Verdict: My husband says the batter method flatbread is much more tastier, and he enjoyed it more than the dough method.

Choose the way you prefer!!

The Toppings

Onions: Slice or chop one red onion.

Sauce: The sauce here is finely diced green chili pepper in vinegar. You can skip the green chili pepper if making it for kids. Also, make this vinegar some time before, so the green chili is marinated well in the vinegar.

3-ingredient Frankie Masala: Mix equal amount of black salt (kala namak), mild-ish red chili powder and dry mango powder (amchur). That is the easy peasy version!

You can obviously use other toppings to taste. This Green cilantro chutney or avocado cilantro sauce are great additions too!

Green chili in vinegar in a bowl and spices in another small white bowl

Assembling the Frankie roll

Now you have all the parts ready to make the frankie.

Lay the flatbread roti on a plate. Place the paneer filling in a straight line at the center of the roti.

Then spread some onions on the filling.

With a spoon, spread some vinegar. Let some marinated green chilis roll in, if you like spicy food!

Sprinkle the frankie masala.

Roll the roti and wrap a parchment paper or foil around half of the roll, so the filling does not drop or come out.

Assembling paneer Kathi roll / Frankie

There you have the perfect on-the-go meal.

We have it as a special dinner, where my daughter can choose the filling and topping she wants to include.

Paneer Frankie Roll in hand with some more Kathi Rolls in the back

A note about serving frankie to kids,

  • Reduce spice in the paneer filling.
  • Avoid adding green chili to the vinegar.
  • Reduce the red chili powder in the spice mix (masala).

Make it a frankie party!

Make the filling options such as paneer, aloo tikka or chicken.

Have a variety of toppings ready, and let your family or friends assemble their own Frankie rolls.

Pair with Mango Lassi to balance the flavors.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful, almost sacred, Frankie recipe. Share it with your loved ones!

Other Mumbai Street Foods you will enjoy:

  • Vada Pav – The humble street food of Mumbai, that every person can afford and enjoy. These can also be called Spicy Potato Sliders.
  • Pav Bhaji – Try this one-pot Pav Bhaji recipe in the pressure cooker and you will not make it any other way again!
  • Sev Puri – A popular Mumbai street food, Sev Puri is a sweet, spicy and tangy chaat.
  • Misal Pav – A delicious Maharashtrain breakfast, made as a one-pot recipe in the pressure cooker.
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4.82 from 11 votes

Easy Paneer Frankie (Paneer Kathi Roll)

This Paneer Frankie Roll, also known as Paneer Kathi Rolls, is a popular Indian street food made with flaky flatbread, covered with egg, wrapped with spicy paneer and tangy toppings. Perfect to pack for a grab and go meal, or a special weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 rolls

Ingredients 

For the Roll

For the paneer filling

Toppings

Instructions 

To make paneer filling:

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 30 seconds.
  • Add sliced onions, garlic and fry them for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add all the spices and stir them with the onions for a further minute. Add a couple of tablespoons water if the spices stick to the pan.
  • Add the yellow and red bell peppers and mix with all the spices for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomato and tomato puree and cook for about 2 minutes until the tomatoes mix well with the curry.
  • Add the paneer cubes and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the paneer softens. Garnish with cilantro and keep aside.

For the roll by making a dough: (see notes to make as a batter)

  • Mix flour, oil and salt in a medium sized bowl. Knead well to make a soft dough (see roti recipe). Divide equally into 8 balls and cover with a moist cloth.
  • Break the eggs and whisk them.
  • Take one ball of dough and using a rolling pin, roll out to a 6” thin round. This dough is stretchy, so it takes some effort to get a perfect thin roti.
  • Put a tawa or a griddle pan on medium heat and place the rolled out dough onto it. After about 1 minute, flip it onto the other side and continue to cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • Apply 1/2 tsp of oil on the roti. Flip it to the other side and add some more oil.
  • Now apply about 1/8th of the whisked eggs (1/2 an egg) on one side of the roti. Let it cook for about 15 seconds, then flip it over to cook the egg completely. It is okay if some spreads around.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside. Make all the roti's the same way.

Toppings

  • Put the diced green chili pepper in the vinegar and set aside. Perfeably have this ready 30 minutes before you assemble the frankie.
  • Mix the black salt, red chili powder and dry mango powder in a small bowl.

Assembling the Paneer Frankie

  • Lay the flatbread roti on a plate. Place the paneer filling in a straight line at the center of the roti.
  • Then spread some onions on the filling.
  • With a spoon, spread some vinegar. Let some marinated green chilis roll in, if you like spicy food!
  • Sprinkle the frankie masala.
  • Roll the roti and wrap a parchment paper or foil around half of the roll, so the filling does not drop or come out. Enjoy you frankie roll!

Notes

Making the flatbread with a batter: This is my mom’s way to make frankie flatbreads. This is a great way to make the bread for people with less experience making a dough and flatbread. 
  • Add all-purpose flour (maida) and salt to a bowl. Mix water to make a smooth batter. This batter should be easy to spread, like a crepe or dosa, but not as thin as a crepe.
  • Beat 4 eggs in a bowl. Add salt and mix well.
  • Heat a flat tawa or griddle, then spread a ladle full of batter as shown below. Spread some oil.
  • After one side is cooked, carefully flip the flatbread to the other side. Let it cook for 30 seconds to a minute until some golden brown spots appear. If needed, apply 1/2 teaspoon more oil.
  • Then flip back and apply about 1/2 a beaten egg on the roti (in Hindi called maida ki roti).
  • Let it cook for about 15 seconds, then flip the roti to cook the egg well.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside. Make all the roti’s the same way. Between each roti, keep a parchment paper or foil, so they don’t stick to each other.
Want to skip making the flatbread from scratch? Here are some options you can use: 
  • Kawan paratha – you can find this in the frozen aisle of indian grocery stores 
  • Naan or Garlic Naan – I get then from the indian grocery or Trader Joes
  • Leftover paratha or roti or bhatura 
  • Tortilla 
Other topping options: 

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 11gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 677mgPotassium: 220mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 693IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 183mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Nut-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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