The Parsi prawn patio is a sweet, sour and spicy prawn dish infused with all goodness from coriander, cumin, garlic, jaggery and cane vinegar. This delish prawn patio is a prominent evidence of the richness of Parsi cuisine!
Since childhood I have been very fond of prawns or shrimps and when I started cooking for my own living and beginning to fall in love with food making, I have always been on the lookout for new prawn recipes. Today’s prawn patio is one such recipe which I tried for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. Prawn patio is a delicacy from Parsi cuisine which has a prominent place of its own in the culinary map of India. I am very new to this cuisine and after trying this prawn patio, I am sure I will be hooked to it for good. Parsi foods are quite rich and high in spices which appealed me from the very beginning as we Indians are known spice-lovers. Since I am already in love with this prawn patio, I am sure I’m gonna try more of their delicacies pretty soon!
Prawn patio is a unique prawn recipe which has the perfect balance of sweetness, tartness and spiciness. Spices like coriander and cumin infuse the prawns beautifully with sweet quotient being added via jaggery and the tartly kick by vinegar. Cane vinegar is traditionally used in prawn patio, but I had to substitute it with tamarind pulp as I didn’t have cane vinegar in my pantry, plus tamarind adds more depth of flavor to the dish as compared to white vinegar. All these flavors are bind together by the aroma of garlic and creates this amazing dish called prawn patio. You may be wondering why it’s called prawn patio and not prawn curry as most of the ingredients used here are common in curries too; that’s because this prawn patio or any Parsi patio dish for that matter was historically made in the ‘patio tapeli’ – a unique utensil that is wide and flat at the bottom with bulging round sides (Source). Such unique anecdotes make me fall in love with cuisines, food and cooking as a whole over and over again! So, don’t waste more time and make this prawn patio as soon as possible! Enjoy!
- Cloves – 9
- Dried red chilli – 4
- Turmeric powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Coriander seed – ¾ tsp
- Cumin seed – ¾ tsp
- Medium prawns – 500 gms
- Onion – 4, medium
- Tamarind pulp – ¼ cup
- Jaggery – 1 tbsp, grated
- Fresh coriander leaves – 1 cup
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Combine all the ingredients of the spice paste together in a grinder and make a smooth paste using 2 tablespoon of water. Set aside.
- Clean and de-vein the prawns. Shell them keeping the tails intact. I do it this way because for me it looks better for presentation than the fully shelled prawns. You can do away with the shell fully.
- Out of the 4 onions, slice one thinly and finely chop the remaining three.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and put on medium heat. When hot, add the one sliced onion and sauté till golden.
- Stir in the ground spice paste with a splash of water and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Now add prawns stirring well till they are thoroughly coated with the gravy.
- After 4 to 5 minutes, tip in the three finely chopped onions, finely chopped coriander leaves and salt. Add half a cup of water.
- When the water comes to boil, cover and simmer till the prawns are just cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in tamarind pulp and jaggery and cook till the jaggery dissolves and the gravy turns thick.
- Remove from heat and serve your warm prawn patio with rice.