Number 13: Gobi Aloo Kati Rolls from the Kasa Indian Truck

Categories: SFoodie's 50
Kasa_gobi_aloo_roti.jpg
Iann Ivy
Kasa's aloo gobi roti.
SFoodie's countdown of our favorite 50 things to eat and drink, 2012 edition

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Kolkota's version of a New York slice, kati rolls were  designed to eat on the street. Originally a meat skewer wrapped in a paratha (flaky flatbread), the rolls have evolved in numerous directions over the years -- some with egg and sliced onions and chiles, others with curried meats and chutneys. 

It seemed only appropriate that Kasa, a three-year-old Castro restaurant specializing in kati rolls, should launch two food trucks in the past year. Just like Anamika Khanna and Tim Volkema's permanent restaurant, the trucks serve a revolving menu of kati rolls with familiar and less-familiar fillings: chicken tikka, lamb curry, paneer with peppers and tomatoes, and SFoodie's favorite, gobi aloo.

The bright yellow curry is showered in shaved red onions, then dabbed with cilantro chutney -- and if you dare, green-chile sauce -- before being rolled up in a soft, thick roti. Cilantro grabs your attention first, and then coriander arrives, the dominant note in the curry's masala, sparkling and clean. The potatoes and cauliflower are simmered just until they're tender, but you can taste them underneath the spice. And as you crunch, onion's sulfurous bite flashes and dies and the chile's heat swells. Within a few bites, you're thankful for the presence of that roti, floury and a little flaky, which absorbs some of the burn. 

Kasa's kati rolls are as stout as a burrito, but nowhere near as long; it's easy to fist one as you walk back from the truck to your office or sit on a concrete berm somewhere, watching people instead of a monitor. San Francisco's streets are full of crab cakes and sisigs and lomo saltados that have been truck-ified, sometimes well and sometimes awkwardly. It's a joy to find a street food like the kati roll that has been returned to its natural environment, where it is flourishing.

Kasa Indian Truck: various locations, www.kasaindian.com, Twitter: @kasaindian.

Other favorites in this series:
14: Delfina's trippa alla fiorentina
15: Truffled tater tots from Leatherneck Steakhouse
16: Baia Pasta's durum-wheat pastas
17: Z&Y's flaming fish with chile oil
18: Auntie April's fried catfish
19: None but the Brave from Heaven's Dog
20: Saha's vegan kibbeh
21: Starter Bakery's hazelnut kouign amann
22: Pupusas at Cafe and Restaurant Montecristo
23: 2 a.m. apple fritter at Bob's
24: Le Sanctuaire's vadouvan
25: Crab louis salad at Nettie's Crab Shack
26: Soy sauce chicken from Happy Bakery & Deli
27: Locanda's Jewish-style artichoke
28: Local: Mission Eatery's asparagus-egg sandwich
29: Memphis Minnie's 18-hour brisket
30: Custard buns from City View
31: Mission Chinese Food's kung pao pastrami
32: Panisse frites from Frances
33: Izakaya Yuzuki's chawanmushi
34: Fatted Calf's chorizo
35: Silvanas from House of Silvanas
36: Linden Street Brewery's black lager
37: Aged oolongs from Red Blossom Tea Company
38: Broken Record's crawfish grits
39: Cebiche mixto from La Mar 
40: Nutella-hazelnut hand pie from Black Jet Baking Co.
41: Fifth Floor's burger
42: Perbacco's agnolotti dal plin
43: Iced coffee from Sightglass
44: Cypress Grove's Purple Haze Chevre
45: Lechon from Tastebuds Cuisine
46: Duck with beets from AQ
47: Tai nigiri at ICHI Sushi
48: Fish with explosive chiles from Spices! 
49: Baker & Banker Bakery's blueberry cream cheese muffin
50: Kufta tajine from Cafe Zitouna

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Kasa Indian Truck

San Francisco, San Francisco / Bay Area, CA

Category: Restaurant

Kasa Indian Restaurant

4001 18th St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

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