Kati rolls

Kati rolls from Ali Baba's Kitchen in Hamden

Ali Baba's Kitchen, Hamden

The dish

Kati rolls chicken

Chicken kati roll at Ali Baba's Kitchen in 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.

The place

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 breakdown

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

203-535-1164, alibabaskitchen.com

Open daily for lunch and dinner

Wheelchair accessible

This article appears in the November 2020 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.

Mike Wollschlager, editor and writer for Connecticut Magazine, was born and raised in Bristol and has lived in Farmington, Milford, Shelton and Wallingford. He was previously an assistant sports editor at the New Haven Register.