"Nizami Rolls" at Thelewala, West Village
Joining the Kati Roll Company on the MacDougal Street food strip is Thelewala, a smart-looking takeout shop selling "The Famous Nizami Rolls," essentially kati rolls, made to order. Crisp, flaky parathas are tossed on the griddle, topped with various fillings, and rolled up for slim and portable snacks. The shop is the work of Shiva Natarajan, owner of New York restaurants Chola, Dhaba, Bhojan, Tadka, and Little Thai Kitchen.
Of the rolls we've tried, we loved the Chapli roll ($4.50), minced lamb with onion, lime, and a thin layer of fried egg laid atop the paratha. The lamb, griddled to order, gets a gorgeous crust and stays juicy inside; it's only made better by the condiments, a exciting interplay of tart and pungent and spicy that leaves a pleasant tingle on the lips, nicely abated by the mild pair of dough and egg.
We also enjoyed the lime paneer roll ($4.50), the soft cheese getting a little crisp from the griddle and flavor from lime and coriander, and the Thelewala chicken roll, as juicy as the lamb was. Ordering a roll "spicy" gets you a dose of finely chopped hot peppers; we'd recommend it. While they're of that slightly awkward "almost a meal" size, they're tasty enough that you'll probably want another.