The History of Indian Street Food

The kathi roll is said to have started its life in Kolkata. There are many stories about how exactly the roll got started. Some centre around harried office commuters who wanted something quick and portable, some mention British Babus who were too fastidious to touch the kabab. The most likely origin is probably more mundane, but in any case someone decided to roll things up at some point. It eventually became commonplace in Kolkata and later spread elsewhere.

The Kathi part of the name came later. The name eventually became synonymous with any kind of paratha rolled with stuffing (even when neither kati not kabab was involved) such as the egg roll or the potato roll, and later even for other breads such as naan or roomali.

Urbanization and street food go hand in hand. Across the globe, street food has become an important part of daily life as local populations find work outside their homes or villages. Street food is of particular cultural importance in India, where colonization by the British Empire compromised traditional Indian life.

Street food gave pushcart vendors and their families a means of income as well as a vital cultural connection. Street food is still an integral part of Indian life and, though served from a diner rather than a pushcart, The Kathi Junction upholds this essential Indian tradition.