This is our reproduction of the chicken pathia that we got at our local Indian takeaway in Edinburgh. It is a sweet/sour/hot curry. If you already have our curry base sauce on hand, this dish is very quick and easy to make - so easy that we've even made it while camping.
The striking red color is actually a powdered food dye, traditional in other British-Indian dishes such as tandoori. Ours is from a company in the UK called Preema. We still have some from Scotland (a little goes a long way!) and so haven't tried to find it here yet.
Starting with our curry base sauce, stirring just a little bit of the food coloring...
...changes the dish from a rusty orange color into a cherry red, almost matching our dutch oven's enamel.
Pathia has a cinnamon note that may seem overly sweet when it's first added to the dish, but is tempered into a flavorful mellowness by the twang of vinegar and the aggressive use of fresh cilantro. This curry is a good one for winning over those eaters somewhat leery of unfamiliar foods.
For other curries be sure to check out our Indian Takeaway Recipes page.
Serves four generously.
4 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1-2 teaspoons indian chilli powder
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (coriander)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon red coloring
Approx. 1/3 recipe Ubiquitous Curry Base Sauce
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 pound total), cut into 1 inch pieces
Chicken stock concentrate or cube (enough for 1 cup)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cumin, ground coriander, garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook while stirring until onions are wilted.
Add “Base Sauce,” chicken stock concentrate, cinnamon, vinegar, sugar and red coloring. Stir to mix. Add salt to taste, and chilli powder to get the spice level you want.
Add the chicken and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add a large handful of the cilantro to the pot and mix it in. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
Add another small handful of cilantro a few minutes before serving.
Serve with rice (plain Basmati or Pulao Rice) and flat-bread or tortillas.