The Big Boys Curry Book

Patia Sauce

Discussing his new Sitar, this young man was able pick it up a week later

This is the Indian version of the Chinese sweet and sour sauce, but as you will see is not as sickly as the Chinese version. The balance of sweet, sour and heat is maintained to give a well rounded sauce. Although the recipe appears to use a lot of chilli, you’ll find that it is well balanced by the tamarind and sugar.Traditionally served with Prawns,you could also try it with chicken that has been cooked first, or paneer. The quantities below will give you 4 portions that are good for 2-3 people with 250gr of prawns. The prawns are not meant to be swimming in sauce, merely generously coated. If your prawns are uncooked, they can be cooked in the sauce by adding a little extra water and simmering until reduced and prawns cooked. If using frozen prawns, defrost them and simply warm them and the sauce together before serving. Sprinkle the dish with chopped coriander when putting on the table.


For spice paste

  • 10 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tspn cummin seed
    6 plump garlic cloves (1 icecube of pureed garlic)

For spice powder

  • 1 tspn cummin powder
  • 2 tspn coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tspn red chilli powder
  • 1 tspn turmeric powder
  • 2 tspn Garam Masala - Hot Spice blend powder

Other ingredients

  • 4 large onions pureed
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
    20 curry leaves
  • 2 handfuls of finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tspn puree (Tamicon ) in a cupful or mugfulof hot water.
  • 2 tspn Jaggery (or light brown sugar)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup oil or ghee


  1. Grind ingredients for spice paste together
  2. Mix ingredients for spice powder together
  3. Heat oil and fry onion puree until deep golden, (not brown)
  4. Add spice paste and stir fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add spice powder a stir fry for 1 minute
  6. Add tomatoes and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. Add remaining ingredients and cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for five minutes until sauce thickens again to what it was at the end of stage 6.
  8. Cool, divide into four portions and freeze.

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