Chicken Pathia Curry is a British Curry house dish.
Chicken is cooked and prepared in a hot sweet and sour sauce, creating a perfect balance of aroma for all those who like to indulge in deep intense flavors.
In this Pathia Curry with Chicken, further below, you can adjust the heat to your liking and feel free to add this one-pot wonder to your meal prep menu.
What is Chicken Pathia?
Chicken Pathia is a popular British Curry house dish, with characteristic balanced hot sweet and sour flavors.
Pathia has apparently an ancient Persian origin.
Red Chili Pepper lends the Chicken curry the heat we love!
Tamarind pulp gives the chicken pathia curry an addictive sour touch.
Lime Juice added, can enhance it all the more!
Brown Sugar (or even better Palm Sugar such as Jaggery!) balances the heat and sour touch of the curry.
Eventually, the Pathia Sauce can be used as a base curry with other ingredients besides chicken.
For example, one can make a lamb pathia (use green Papaya paste to tenderize the meat), vegetable pathia or even a prawn (shrimp) pathia.
This Chicken Pathia Curry is a cross between a British friend's Pathia dish, who prepared it for us back in Manali India, inspired originally by a hot sweet and sour duck curry from the complete Indian Cooking cookbook, and my attempts over the past year to perfect this aromatic curry.
I took a while to perfect the recipe, simply because I find it to be an essential step to balance the 3 flavor profiles in this chicken pathia curry, namely, hot sweet and sour.
At the same time, the aim was to achieve that without too many ingredients as well as with common Asian pantry ingredients.
- Oil - a Tablespoon is more than enough. I tend to use olive oil.
- Chicken - boneless A grade or if you want more flavor then chicken curry cuts with bone
- Onion - An essential in this curry and therefore reminds me of Dopiaza Curry
- Tomato - Because Chicken Pathia is a Tomato based Curry
- Ginger and Garlic to create the base of the curry flavors the meat and helps in thickening the curry.
- Tomato Paste - To create more sauce
- Tamarind Paste - Our main flavoring agent to add the sour fruity touch. Adds thickness as well.
- Brown Sugar - Preferred to White Sugar for the balanced sweetness of the curry. Best is to use Palm Sugar such as Jaggery if possible!
- Red Chili Pepper Powder - Adds the Heat. You can adjust the heat by putting more or less or by picking Cayenne to increase the heat or Paprika to prepare this dish without heat
- Black Pepper
- Turmeric - For color and the minimal flavor
- Coriander (cumin and coriander go hand in hand and create extra flavor but not heat)
- Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasthuri Methi) optional
- Water to build up the Curry
- fresh Cilantro to flavor
- Lime juice (optional)
Curries always look daunting because of the number of Ingredients listed however this is misleading because most of the ingredients are spices, which are just added to the cooking process.
You can skip the dried fenugreek leaves, the cilantro and lime juice at the end.
This is an easy to prepare one-pot curry, which is ready within 30 mins.
Perfect Weeknight Dinner Dish
🔪 How to make it?
To make Chicken Pathia you should use a shallow Asian style pan such as a Balti dish, kadai or a deep wok will do the trick too.
You can use a PFOA-free non-stick pan, that way you don't need to add that much oil to your pan.
(see below in kitchen tool suggestions).
Keep all your ingredients ready so that you can stir cook on a medium to high heat setting.
That way you will have your dinner ready too within 30 minutes.
Organisation is the key!
I keep my spice jars ready at the side too so that I can pick up each one by one without forgetting a spice in my dish.
This comes handy when you have multiple spices in a curry, for example.
In my video below I used a pan in which I stir cooked lemon rice earlier.
That, by the way, is an excellent side dish for this pathia dish with chicken!
(see below for serving suggestions)
This Chicken Pathia Curry can be served on its own with bread or cooked or steamed white rice such as Basmati Rice.
I also enjoy this curry with homemade Chapati/roti flatbread.
Usually, this is not a dish that I would serve with nan but if you feel like it, go ahead and do that.
Both rice variations compliment the flavor profile of the curry.
- A pan such as a Balti Pan or an Indian Kadai
- Spice Jar set made of glass (easy see-through) and with a tight lid to store your spices properly
- Wooden Bamboo Spatula - my favorite spatula to stir-fry and cook curries, light and easy to wash.
Dear Reader, how did you get to know about Chicken Pathia?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
Chicken Pathia Curry Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 medium Onion
- 1 medium Tomato
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger + Garlic or store-bought paste or chop fresh ingredients
- 1 Tablespoon Tamarind Paste
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ Teaspoon Cumin ground
- ½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds ground
- ½ Teaspoon Turmeric Ground
- ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper ground or Red Pepper Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar or Palm Sugar
- 8.8 ounces Boneless Chicken
- Salt to taste, optional
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
- ½ cup Water
- 1 Teaspoon dried Fenugreek leaves aka Kasoori Methi, optional
- Juice of one lime optional
- Cilantro aka Coriander leaves, garnish
- Keep all your ingredients ready, slice your onion, dice the tomato, cut your chicken into bite-sized cubes. Keep everything aside.
- Heat up a pan with the oil and stir fry your onions soft. Add your diced tomato and fry for a minute or two soft.
- Add Ginger Garlic paste and stir-fry for a few seconds (careful it splatters!) before adding in the Tamarind Paste. Stir cook as well for a minute.
- Next, you can add in one by one the spices and stir cook them so that they release the aroma. Throw in the Black Pepper, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder and Chili Powder. Also, add the brown sugar at this point and mix well.
- At this point, you can add your chicken pieces and stir-fry the chicken while mixing everything well. The chicken should be coated with the spices and get cooked for less than a minute on all sides on medium to high heat.
- Sprinkle in some salt if you want, I usually skip the salt as it's not necessary. Taste again at the end if you need any salt.
- Next, add your tomato paste and water and mix the content well. You may want to add dried fenugreek leaves to flavor your curry.
- Let the chicken pathia simmer on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes or less or until the chicken is cooked but not overcooked (shouldn't get rubber!).
- You have the option to mix in some lime juice and garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves just before serving.
- Enjoy hot over plain rice or with a flatbread. (see serving suggestions in the post).