The Parsees fled from Persia about 1300 years ago and settled on the Coast of Gujarat. Others who in recent centuries arrived from Persia formed a distinct community in Mumbai and Dahanu, just to the north, where they are known as Iranis. The Parsees / Iranis have their distinct cuisine with sweet, hot and sour flavours equally balanced. Traditionally pathia or patia is served with yellow rice.
Prawns can be prepared in the same way. Just replace the fish with 400 grams prawns.
600 grams firm, white fish fillets
2 teaspoons tamarind puree
5 green chillies, chopped
3 plump garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
500 grams of onions, peeled and finely chopped
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
2 teaspoons jaggery or brown sugar
¼ cup coriander leaves
2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
Salt to taste
Slice the fish into3 centimetre wide pieces.
Blitz or grind the 5 green chillies, garlic cloves and cumin seeds to a paste.
Heat oil in a cooking pot and fry the onions on low heat until they are soft and pale brown. (This could take about 15-20 minutes)
Add the ground paste and fry for a further two minutes.
Add the coriander, cumin, red chilli, and turmeric powders. Stir constantly for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the tamarind puree, jaggery, curry and coriander leaves and salt. Taste and adjust the sour, sweet and salt flavours to your liking. Add1/2 cup of water and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Put the fish pieces and cook for three minutes.
This dish has very little sauce. Serve immediately with steamed rice.