Hakka Bakka Kati Rolls – Fast and Fresh Indian Food
Written By: Caroline Culbertson
Photos By: Ryan Haber
Imagine the Lovechild of your favorite burrito place and a fresh Indian restaurant. That attractive mix is Hakka Bakka Kati Rolls. A Kati Roll is a paper-thin fresh Indian flatbread. Packed with meat, vegetables, and sauces, Kati Rolls are a hungry-hippo’s dream. Deeply rooted in traditions of authentic Indian cuisine, the rolls are made fresh daily.
Richly-spiced Lamb, Chicken, and Shrimp are popular fillings for the Kati Rolls. Flavorful substitutes for all you non-carnivores include Potatoes, Chickpeas, and fresh Indian Cheese called Paneer. Avoiding gluten? Make it a rice bowl with all the same delicious toppings piled on fragrant basmati rice. You can customize your roll or bowl and make it as spicy, mild, or saucy as your slutty palate desires!
Traditional Kati Rolls contain a thin coat of egg-wash inside of the flatbread, similar to a savory Crepe. It’s the favorite delivery vessel of protein for many frugal college students in the area. Passionate owner, Kaushik, encouraged us to try the traditional Kati Roll. Once you try it you’ll be hooked on Kati Rolls forever.
Hakka Bakka loves to use fresh herbs such as Mint or Cilantro. Mint adds a wonderful verdant freshness. I’m not a Cilantro-girl but I couldn’t stop dipping my Masala Fries in the Creamy Cilantro Aioli! Mint, Cilantro, and Lemon create a finger-licking blend which mellows out the Masala Spice topping of the Hot Steak-Cut Fries.
Although generally considered Fall flavors, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cumin, Allspice, and Cloves are staples in fresh Indian cuisine. The four unique, house-made Chutneys: Cilantro, Savory Yogurt, Sweet Tamarind, and Spicy Chili, add a complex level flavor to any dish. The Samosas are deep fried hand-pies filled with Potatoes and Peas. When I dipped them in the Spicy-Sweet Tamarind Sauce, I could see the path to Nirvana.
Standard fountain drinks are available, but if you want to know what liquid gold tastes like, order a Mango Lassi. This blend of perfection consists of Mango, Sugar, and Yogurt, resulting in a creamy smoothie which is refreshing and tangy. Upon sipping, any residual burn from your spicy Kati will be soothed without killing the flavors of your delicious meal.
Ingredient purity is a top priority of Hakka Bakka’s owner, Kaushik. He chooses to only use vendors that specialize in products with natural ingredients. “The best ingredients make the best food” Kaushik claims, we couldn’t agree more. It’s always been important to him to make quality product. “I wouldn’t serve anything here that I wouldn’t serve at my home, at my dinner table.”
Hakka Bakka is a perfect place to get your feet wet in the flavors of India. If you shy away from exotic flavors, then this is the place to broaden your horizons. Trekking outside of your culinary comfort zone is easy at Hakka Bakka. Fresh Indian flavors and quality make every roll a hit. I am still dreaming about everything I tasted.
Hakka Bakka is located at 1251 W. Fullerton Avenue in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. This great place is open 11:00am to 9:00pm and 11:00am to 9:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. They also offer delivery through GrubHub, Groupon, Caviar and a variety of other services. Be sure to stop in or grab some delivery for some tasty new eats.