Monday, August 31, 2009

Prawn Patia -- straight from Persia

Today was not a day in my dysfunctional "to do list" to write a post. No, today was a day for me to wallow in self pity for the simple reason that my child has grown up and is no longer a Kindergartner and is going to Grade 1 tomorrow.

Not my fault, solely nature's, I mean the "growing up" part. But as a Mom it is my birth right to put my hormones to full use and make a big senti deal of the whole growing up thing. The way Moms pine about the baby growing up you would think they are happiest cleaning poop and staying awake through the night. But all that sentimental mush would have done nicely for a post and with a balanced dose of nostalgia, melodrama and some pre-school rhymes it could have soared my blog hits.

I had even thought up choice phrases to write a teary post about how the little baby who looked into my eyes 5 year 8 months 3hours and 45 minutes back is no longer little and entering the big bad world (actually a school only fifteen mins away from home) .But all that will have to wait, for there is a fishy situation.

A Bong Mom or (maybe a true Bong Dad but not the resident one) will abandon fisrt born's milestones for the love of fish and that is exactly what happened here. Indrani sent me a reminder about the Fish event at her blog and luck had it that there was a brand new, still smelling fresh ,fish recipe sitting in my draft which was only waiting to be posted for a fishy event.

It is called Prawn Patia or Prawn Paatia or something similar. I had no clue that this dish existed, I am pretty clueless you might think but that is the truth. So I was clueless until I saw this name in Kalyan's blog. He is a clever Bong guy whose best half is a Parsi, a very intelligent thing to do, i.e. to marry into another culture, that way you get to sample lots of variety in food at home itself. Now though I have hardly ever had Parsi food, I have this fascination for Parsi food. So when I saw that Prawn Patia was a Parsi dish, I simply had to make it.

Kalyan had no recipe in his blog or maybe I wasn't able to find one, so the recipe I thought would be most fitting for such a dish is from RecipeZaar. I adapted the recipe and the result was delicious. All those whole coriander, cumin and fennel used for tempering added a lovely new flavor to the dish. I also dry roasted and ground a part of the above spices to make a powder which was not called for but I used in the recipe. I gave the tamarind a miss, the vinegar provided the tartness that suited our taste.The only thing I wasn't too sure of was the consistency of the gravy, any verdict ?

Going to the event @ Appayan with Prawn Patia is Doi Maach, a bengali preparation of fish in yogurt sauce and Bhapa Ilish, steamed Hilsa in mustard sauce.


Prawn Patia

My adaptation of this recipe


Dry Roast 1 tsp Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp Corriander Seeds and 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds. Cool and grind to a powder in a spice mill

Squeeze some lime juice and salt on the shrimp and set it aside. I had about 15-20 frozen shrimp which I defrosted.

Make a wet paste of 2 cups of chopped red onion + 4 green chili + 2" ginger + 2-4 cloves of garlic + 3 tbsp yogurt + very little water

Start Cooking

Heat a Frying Pan/Kadhai

Toast 1/2 tsp of Cumin seed, 1/2 tsp of Coriander seed and 1/4 tsp of Fennel seeds

Add Oil

Add 1/2 tsp of Mustard seed, 1/4 tsp of Paprika, 1/4 tsp of Red Chili Powder

When the spices start popping lower the heat and add the wet onion paste. Fry this for 20-25 minutes at medium heat till you see it turning golden and there is no raw smell. This will need some time, don't try to hasten the process.

Add the dry roasted spice powder,1 tbsp of tomato puree, 1 tsp of white vinegar, salt and sugar to taste. Fry for 5 more minutes

Add about 1/2 cup of water and let the gravy come to a simmer. Add the shrimp but do not over cook it.

To finish off I added about 1/4 cup of fat free half and half but this is not in the original recipes

When the shrimp is done garnish with some finely chopped coriander and serve with hot rice


  1. Indranir event er jonne amio taratari duto post kore fellam. :-)
    Prawn bhalo kore ranna kora hoye othe na amar ... eta doable mone hocche. :-) Baccha school e chole gele eto mon kharap hoye? Porei amar e mon kharap lagche.

  2. ooh looks yum. very similar to a coconut based gravy my amma makes for prawns and other white fish

  3. I think ami sabaike jor kore post karachchi amar event-er jonno...kintu ekta great recipe to pelam...sounds just yummm with prawn..try kartei habe, thanks Bong mom for this recipe..I know, how it feels when your 1st kid goes to school for the 1st day, I was so nervous and happy at the same time and my that kid is on 6th gd. now

  4. I had something smart to say about your post besides 'very funny and nice' but suddenly forgot - will come back and comment if I remember. I wish I'd known about this event - I have frozen prawns waiting in the fridge.

  5. i've been craving prawns for a while so this is calling me!!

  6. mmm,,,pawns with anything I can eat even in the midnight. This combo looks very new. I am also fascinated for Parsi food and its a good recipe to start with.

  7. BTW I have updated my how to cook snake guard with step by step pics as per your request.

  8. Amar Baba amai sab samai bolten je "R toke baro hote debona", ajke tomar post ta pore mane hache Babar mane ki cholto.
    Prwn bishan bhalolage amar, eta bananor chesta korbo :). Thanks for sharing.

  9. hi! have been lurking for some time now- i love ur blog, the recipes and the stories. anyway, just wanted to say, i'm maharashtrian and have grown up eating prawn patiya but it was very interesting to read about the parsi legacy which i was completely unaware of!! of course, the patiya we make is completely different (more tomato puree based, no cream etc) but the recipe has been in the family for generations and am sure that each person added their own twists to it ...

  10. I totally understand what u r saying... they grow up so fast.. you will feel more with the little one. ekhon monay hoye physically chepe dhore thaki... jodi boro hotay na di..

    all of a sudden my kids are in so much love with chingri maach that they have started stealing my share. ei recipe ta try korte hobe.

  11. Kainaz' granny would have loved reading the post. Prawn patio was one of here favourite dishes. Here's more on her

    Pran patio has to be on the thicker side. It's almost like a pickle.

    It's a "parsi" dish, made by Parsis who migrated to India from Persia. This could explain the Couch papaya's confusion. Parsi's drew from Gaujarati and Maharashtrian cultures after settling in Western India. Hence the similarities.

    You will hardly find any Parsi recipes in my blog. My wife doesn't make any in the rare occasions when she enters the kitchen! This was the only one I could find

    Coincidentally I had a lovely Parsi lunch at a place called By The Way in Mumbai where the food is cooked by elderly parsi ladies and the money goes to charities for drstitute girls.

    And you are right, marrying my wife was the smartest thing I ever did :)

  12. Oh and I was telling a friend who was upset about her baby who has to go into a minor surgery ... one day he'll grow up and have a girl friend

  13. Patio is how I think this is pronounced - memories from another life - growing up in Mumbai near Five Gardens....sigh...

    I have made this a couple of times and love it!


  14. I liked your blog very much. I appreciate for the wonderful presentation of Prawn patia with mouth watering and yummy pictures.
    You are welcome in my blogs.

  15. Love Prawn Patia (also called Kolmino Patio by the Parsis). Reading your post made me feel a bit nostalgic about my little one... already 5.5. months can you believe??? Big hugs to your little big girl

  16. Hmm a recipe that is a cross between Bengali and Parsi - I suspect nothing could be more delicious! Will try for sure. Have eaten much Parsi food in BOmbay - one word YUM. Try dhansaak as well, though there are so many recipes on the net, it is hard to know what is authentic. Will see if ti exists on Kalyan's blog...

  17. CouchPapaya

    I have no clue about the origin of this recipe. Read Kalyan's comments. Maybe there is a overlap of the two cultures given that there are a lot of Parsis in Mumbai ?
    But the cream that I added was purely my contribution, the RECIPE did NOT call for it

  18. Sandeepa, sent you an email at the desimomzclub address.

  19. Hi, I book marked your blog a long time back ( ok, so I'm a lurker) but commenting for the first time today. The prawn dish sounds delicious - gotta try it ASAP - may be tomorrow! Thanks :)

  20. Hi,

    You have excellent blog here. I dont have Bengali food in my blog roll, I am adding you up, I am sincerely going to try few of them and let you know. Thanks for recipes.

  21. Creamy, spcicy and the yogurt based gravy.....

  22. Your dish looks so yummy!

    Congrats on the foodie blogroll!

  23. Lovely post! Dropping by...

    p/s: We would like to invite all of you to join our blogging community which helps you to get more visitors to your blogs. It's totally free and you get the chance to meet other celebrity bloggers. Visit us at IMCurtain

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Congrats to the first grader... so is she enjoying the new school?
    And a parsi prawn dish, never heard of this one before, looks great and the recipe sounds simple enough too :)


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.