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Pathia Sauce

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You can add the main ingredient/s of your choice to this pathia sauce. 

Pathia sauce is one of the most popular curry house style curries at Indian restaurants. It’s sweet, sour and delicious. 

In my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy’, I featured a pathia sauce recipe which served four. Here I would like to give it to you as a curry house portion which serves 1 – 2 people. 

pathia sauce

You can add your main ingredient of choice to this BIR pathia sauce.

Although I used chicken in the sauce, feel free to use the main ingredient of your choice or just make the sauce to serve at a later date with whatever you want in it. 

Lamb, paneer and prawns are all popular options.

Working ahead…

You can make this pathia sauce up to two days ahead of time.

If you do this, the flavours will develop and your pathia curry will be even better. You can also freeze the sauce. 

Pre-cooked ingredients

When cooking British Indian restaurant (BIR) style curries, pre-cooked ingredients like chicken, lamb and prawns are added. The reason for this is simple. You want the meat to be tender and ready to serve.


Marinating and then cooking meat and seafood also adds flavour to the curry.

The Base Sauce

To make curry house style curries like this pathia sauce, a base sauce or gravy is used. This base sauce speeds up cooking and also gives the curry its famous texture and flavour. 

My ‘go to’ recipe is right here.

Yes, you do need to make this sauce if you want to get BIR cooking right but it’s so convenient to have on hand. Once you’re prepped your base sauce, you can literally make a pathia sauce in minutes. 

Pathia curry sauce

If you can use a stainless steel or aluminium pan, you will get authentic results.

If you like this BIR pathia sauce recipe, you might like to try some of these curry house favourites too…

Tikka masala sauce
Korma sauce
Pasanda sauce
Chasni sauce
Chilli garlic sauce
Ceylon sauce
Jalfrezi sauce
Keema sauce
Bhuna sauce
Methi sauce
Madras sauce
Vindaloo sauce
Phaal sauce

Pathia finished sauce

Dig it!

Yield: 1 - 2

Pathia Sauce

pathia sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1/2 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp mixed powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree
  • 300ml (1 1/4 cups) base sauce
  • 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


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan. When hot, stir in the chopped onion and fry for about three minutes until soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds and then add mango chutney and tamarind, followed by the mixed powder, chilli powder and sugar.
  3. Give this all a good stir and then add the tomato puree. Bring this all to a simmer and then add half of the base sauce. Bring to a simmer, only stirring if the sauce is sticking to the pan.
  4. Around the edges, the sauce will begin to caramelise to the sides. Scrape this into the sauce.
  5. Now is a good time to add the main ingredient of your choice. Or you could just carry on and make the sauce so that you can add the main ingredient later.
  6. Add the remaining base sauce and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for a few minutes until you are happy with the consistency.
  7. Add the dried fenugreek leaves (methi) by rubbing the leaves between your fingers. Garnish with the coriander (cilantro) and add salt to taste. Give it all a good squeeze of lemon to finish.

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Saturday 9th of December 2023

How do I make this for 4 people, do I double the recipe,

Dan Toombs

Monday 11th of December 2023

yes, just scale up accordingly but be a bit careful with any hot spices, maybe add those to taste. Thanks Dan


Monday 7th of November 2022

Hi Dan, these BIR curry sauces, how do I go about upscaling? Is it best to cook two curries or can you do a double amount but only 1.5 x the spices instead of double ? If its for two people I usually want to make enough for four, freeze two….

Dan Toombs

Sunday 13th of November 2022

You can more or less upscale accordingly but be a bit careful with any hot spices. Maybe add those gradually to taste. Thanks very much. Dan


Saturday 5th of November 2022

hey Dan when your recipe calls for . 1tbsp of garlic and ginger paste is that 1tbsp of each garlic and ginger or combined 1/2 tbsp each = 1tbsp

Dan Toombs

Sunday 13th of November 2022

Yes, 1 tbsp of combined garlic and ginger paste. Thanks very much. Dan


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

This is the first one of the curries that I've tried after making a big batch of the base sauce. I really wasn't sure if the results would be what I was looking for (but really hoping they would be as I had 22 portions of frozen base sauce!).

But wow - this pathia is AMAZING! It's genuinely better than 90% of the takeaway pathias I've had over the years. I've now made it 4 times to tweak and perfect it (to my liking) which has involved adding a tablespoon of tamarind (love the stuff) and a bit of extra lemon. Every time I make it I can't help saying, 'My God that's good'.

Now that I've found a local Indian Supermarket I'll be trying the Ceylon next - thank you very much! I'm going to get one of your books soon...!

Dan Toombs

Friday 24th of September 2021

So good to hear and your tweaks sound great. Thanks Dan


Monday 26th of July 2021

Hi Dan,

I've made quite a few of your recipes over the years and they have been fantastic! I noticed that this recipe is similar to the original posted quite a few years back, but states it only serves 1-2 portions as opposed to 4, is this a conscious decision or just a little glitch?

many thanks, Trev

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Thanks for your e-mail. I purposely made a section on my blog recipes for just 2 people as there seemed to be a demand for this. The recipes in my cook books are generally for 4 people. Dan

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