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Chicken Patia


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My favorite dish at the local Indian takeout place was Chicken Patia. It was quite sour, and the color was an extremely vibrant reddish-purple.

At some point the ownership of the store changed, and although the menu remained the same, the Chicken Patia quickly became less distinct and less tasty. It was less sour and the interesting color was completely gone ... basically the dish had slid into a sort of generic, boring curry.

I'd like to try and make the dish I ate before. I assume you use a good amount of vinegar. But where does the purple come from?

Edited by RossyW (log)
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Patio is acutally a Parsee dish, coming to you from the Parsi community in India. Here is my simple recipe for Shrimp Patio.

Shrimp Patio (Kolmino Patio)

Serves 4

If you thought one dish could not marry sweet, sour, hot, salty, tangy, spicy and tarty; you have not tried this dish yet. This comes to you from the Parsee community of India, the Parsee’s have an Iranian ancestry. I cannot encourage you enough to try this. It really has an amazing taste. Serve with INDIAN BASMATI RICE It is worth a trip to the store to get Jaggery for this recipe ( you can substitute brown sugar. )

3 dried red chilies

2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

4 fresh garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 1-inch cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1/4 cup white vinegar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large red onion, minced

1 ½ lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon jaggery or brown sugar

Table salt to taste

1. In a spice grinder, grind together the red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon, as finely as possible. Place in a glass bowl and add the turmeric, red chilies and vinegar and mix well. If you need more liquid, use water. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions and sauté for about 7 –8 minutes or until the onions are well browned. Add the spice paste (from Step 1.) and cook for another minute. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 –3 minutes.

3. Add the jaggery and salt to taste. Add about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes.

4. Serve hot.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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(Kolmino Patio)

Serves 4

If you thought one dish could not marry sweet, sour, hot, salty, tangy, spicy and tarty; you have not tried this dish yet.


Thanks for reminding me of this flavorful Kolmino Patio. It use to be on my menu a couple of years ago. Now that its fresh in my mind and I am going to try your recipe and re-introduce as a special. Do you use small shrimp or large Prawns?

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  • 2 months later...

I was serving Kolmino Patio as a special. Thanks to Monica's recipe.

I had one of the guests (Christopher Plummer and company) for dinner this weekend at the restaurant ask me for a chutney / paste which they thought had it in London with Patio as an accompaniment. He said it had flavors of coconut and mint but looked pink.

Is anybody aware of this accompaniment.


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Sorry, don't have even a speculative answer to Plummer et al.'s query. Why would it be pink?

However, getting back to RossyW's original question, presumably the previous owners of the restaurant prepared their patio with kokum (a fruit related to mangosteen) or (more likely) tamarind concentrate. Both would give a kind of purplish color.

Sun-Ki Chai

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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My favorite dish at the local Indian takeout place was Chicken Patia. It was quite sour, and the color was an extremely vibrant reddish-purple.

I wonder if the recipe here could have used kokam, a dried berry that's used on the Konkan (Western Indian) coast as a souring agent. Kokam does give a lurid pink-purple hue to things, unless mixed with other strongly coloured ingredients, so that could have resulted in the colour you mention.

Its true that I don't immediately associate kokam with patia or Parsi cooking in general, but there's no reason why not. Parsis are very much a part of the Konkan (mostly in the Bombay area, or north to Gujarat) and they would have access to the ingredient. They are also great synthesisers and users of different ingredients. I'll check Bhicoo Maneckshaw's book at home tonight about this.

Its another matter how the restaurant would have got hold of kokam. I'm assuming its not easily available abroad, right?


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I have not yet seen a parsee recipe for this dish with kokum in it. Learn something new each day

Hey Gals / Guys

Let's not reinvent the recipe with kokum or some other substitute. The dish actually came the way it is supposed to be and may be better with that special touch of recipe from Monica.

Let's not get mixed up either. Mr.Plummer was only looking for an accompaniment as the pink paste/chutney.

This is what I did a new thing... I think .....

Fresh coconut, apricots, tomato rind, fresh mint, raisins, sugar, salt and a squeeze of fresh lime and blended to a paste. He thought it was quite good and close enough but not the same he had in London. I thought some one on the gullet would know, so next time I am well equipped !!



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My Parsi friends often serve a Raita accompaniment that has shredded beetroot and mint. Probably that's what it is. But that still doesnt explain the purplish Patia.

I have had this with their Kharu Ghosht and Prawn Patia. Goes well with Prawn kawabs also. Please note, they call it kawab and not kabab.

Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja


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