To make the perfect prawn pathia, you need to get the combination of sweet and sour flavours just right for your own personal tastes.
In this recipe, the sweetness comes from sugar and smooth mango chutney and the sour flavours are the lemon juice and tamarind.
I have developed this popular prawn pathia to suit my own preferences but you can easily add more sweetness or sourness at the end.
Taste it before serving and then add sugar, mango chutney, lemon juice and/or tamarind as required.
About my prawn pathia…
Prawn pathia is a curry house favourite. This recipe is very similar to the chicken pathia recipe in my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Bible’ but with prawns and a couple other small changes.
When making seafood curries like this prawn pathia, I like to add mustard seeds and fresh or frozen curry leaves. These flavours go so well with seafood.
What makes a good prawn pathia?
Pathia curries are sweet and sour.
The idea behind the curry house pathia was to come up with a curry that could compete with the hugely popular sweet and sour curries at Chinese takeaways.
Although there are many variations of prawn pathia, these sour and sweet flavours are essential and can be accomplished in different ways.
This is my version with the sweet flavours coming from the sugar and mango chutney and sour flavours from the tamarind and lemon juice.
How spicy should a prawn pathia be?
This is really up to you. You will see in the recipe that I only use a little chilli powder as this is one that my kids loved growing up.
I have had a few prawn pathias that were quite spicy and love them though.
So feel free to add more chilli powder if that is the curry you are going for.
You could also add fresh, finely chopped green chillies to taste.
In this prawn pathia recipe I cook the prawns from raw.
Many people, including myself at time like to add tandoori prawns. This takes some forward planning but adds another layer of deliciousness.
You will also need to prepare the curry house style base sauce. Here is my recipe.
Once you’ve got that made, you can prepare this prawn pathia curry in less than 10 minutes.
Should I use oil or ghee?
This again is down to you. If you prefer a buttery flavour, go for the ghee. It tastes amazing.
If not, go for the oil. This too is incredible.
Do you like to cook with photos?
I have photographed the recipe step by step for you.
All you need to do is get your ingredients together and follow the photo instructions. That or read the method at the bottom of this page.
Here are more curry house curry favourites you might like to try!
Lamb Rogan Josh
Chicken Chilli Garlic
Prawn Pathia Restaurant Style
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil or ghee
- ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 1/2 medium onion - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tbsp mixed powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 tsp to 1 tbsp sugar
- 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree
- 300ml (1 1/4 cups) base sauce
- 450g (1 lb.) raw peeled tiger prawns
- 1 tbsp mango chutney
- 1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
- 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- Coriander (Cilantro) to garnish\
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Heat the oil/ghee over medium high heat in a frying pan. When visibly hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, stir in the curry leaves and let them infuse their flavour into the oil for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the chopped onion and fry for about 3 minutes to soften and then stir in the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for 30 seconds to cook out the rawness and then add the mixed powder, chilli powder and sugar. Stir well to combine.
- Add the tomato puree and bring to a simmer. Then add a ladle or two of the base sauce.
- Bring this sauce to a simmer. Stir in the tiger prawns.
Simmer the prawns in the sauce to cook through adding a little more base sauce from time to time to make cooking easier.
- To finish, add the mango chutney, tamarind concentrate. Give it all a good stir and then add the dried fenugreek (methi) leaves by rubbing them between your fingers above the sauce.
- Garnish with coriander and season with salt to taste. For a more sour flavour, squeeze the lemon juice over the top and serve with plain white Basmati rice.
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Sunday 22nd of November 2020
Did this recipe use to have an anchovy in it, or was I dreaming ?
Thursday 26th of November 2020
My recipe has never had anchovies in it but you may have seen one somewhere else that does. Dan
Friday 21st of February 2020
Just ordered the original curry guy recipe book after creating some great dishes from this website, thank you for sharing your knowledge!
Quick question - is this prawn patia recipe in any of your cook books - I see the chicken and prawn patia dishes have different sauce ingredients and want to try both to compare?
Friday 21st of February 2020
Thank you very much. You could just add raw prawns or tandoori style prawns to the patia recipe in my book. That patia is perfect with lots of different main ingredients. Prawns work really well.
Saturday 26th of May 2018
Great recipe... Have tried with the anchovy, but prefer adding 1 tbsp of Thai Fish sauce (Nam Pla) and (if I have it) 1 piece of 'Bombay Duck) (dried Bummalo fish - difficult to get in the UK now because of legislation...) This really compliments the prawns. I agree, the methi leaves take it to another level! Keep up the good work!
Monday 21st of January 2019
Thanks for getting in touch. I love Bombay Duck and get it every time I'm in India. Like your idea about the thai fish sauce. It's a bit fusion but I think I might give it a try.
Saturday 3rd of February 2018
I have your book.... I love it! Today I have followed your recipe for the Prawn Pathia and it tastes fantastic.... since buying your book - we have not had a take away curry!
Monday 5th of February 2018
Thank you very much for picking up my book. Much appreciated and I'm really happy you are enjoying it.
Thank you, Dan
Thursday 22nd of June 2017
Dan I have been cooking curries for well over 30 years and your recipe for this dish is spot on from the base sauce and the pathos recipe. I tweaked the curry by not adding any tamarind or jaggery or lemon juice. What I did was add Aldi lime pickle chutney but any will do as we had no mango chutney left but I mixed it in a bowl with orange and mango fresh juice which imo was the perfect combo. Keep on cooking Dan mate as you are defo the man hats off to you 5stars.
Sunday 25th of June 2017
Thank you so much for that Bob! Much appreciated. Really glad you liked the recipe and that you were able to tweak it!