Ali Baba's Kitchen, Hamden
Discovering a new delicious dish is like making a new friend. You didn’t know it existed, the first experience is memorable, and it’s now a part of your life. I had never heard of a kati roll until a coworker gave me the “try it, you’ll like it” pitch. I did, and I do.
Ali Baba’s Kitchen in Hamden was established in 2009 with the idea that people want great food, but they really want great food that is also portable. Someday I hope to try other things on the menu — gyros, kebabs, falafel, couscous — but right now it’s all kati roll all the time. Ali Baba’s has seven options of the popular Indian street food, which is flaky, warm flatbread wrapped around meat (chicken, beef, lamb), vegetables (potato, cauliflower) or dairy (paneer, egg). The tender meats are marinated and blended with spices and the other four rolls provide hearty vegetarian options that put salads to shame. They are surprisingly filling and only $3.75 apiece.
The lamb kati roll with its hint of nutmeg is my top choice, but you can’t go wrong. Other standout rolls are the paneer (cubes of cheese with spices, tomatoes, onions and peppers) and the egg, which tastes very similar to a fried egg roll but with a soft, doughy texture.
Ali Baba's Kitchen
986 Dixwell Ave., Hamden
Open daily for lunch and dinner