As many of you know I love travelling, especially culinary based travel. The idea of exploring a new place through its food sends butterflies buzzing in my tummy.
But, after a few weeks of said gluttony the Bawi me starts craving for her plate of Dhandar – plain yellow toor dal served in a simple tadka of ghee, garlic and jeera. The thought of this creamy dal served on a bed of steamed white rice alongside some E.F. Kolah’s spicy Methiu (mango) Achaar generally has me salivating for most of my return journey home.
However, there are days when you want something a bit fancy with your Dhandar. For those days we have Patio.
The Parsi Patio at its very basic is a sweet, sour and slightly spicy seafood accompaniment featuring coriander seeds, jeera, garlic, jaggery and cane vinegar. Why is the dish called Patio and not a curry or masala? Well, that’s because this dish was historically made in the ‘patio tapeli’ – a unique utensil that is wide and flat at the bottom with bulging round sides.
There are heaps of different Patio dishes like this Lagan no Patio I’ve written about before. We also have a Pumpkin Patio for the vegetarians as well as a Tarapori Patio for the fish lovers. But, the Tatrelo Kolmi (Prawn) Patio is the easiest to make of all and can be ready to serve in under 10 minutes. Here’s how you can make it – ingredients at the bottom as always.
Marinate the prawns in turmeric, red chilli powder and salt; keep aside. While this marinates, finely chop the onion.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic paste and chopped onion; let it brown
Add the chopped chilles and dhana-jeera powder and mix until well combined
Tip in the pureed tomatoes and jaggery mixing everything well. Don’t add any water to the pan, and let it cook uncovered so that the moisture released from the tomatoes dries out. After about 3 – 4 minutes, add in the chopped tomatoes as well and let everything cook.
When the tomato has reduced – you want a thick consistency with very little gravy – add in half the coriander, vinegar and the prawns. Cover the pot and let it cook for five minutes.
Take off the heat and add in the rest of the coriander as garnish. Serve hot with Dhandar or by itself with some yellow Khichdi and Far-Far Sariya or if you’re not a rice lover then just atop a bowl full of the dar.
To make enough for four you will need:
500 gm prawns (about 20) shelled and de-veined but with the tail on
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhana jeera powder
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tbsp oil
2 green chillies finely chopped
6 tomatoes (4 pureed and 2 finely chopped)
1 inch knob of jaggery
2 tbsp cane vinegar (can replace with white vinegar if unavailable)
Big handful of chopped coriander