Persian Prawn Patia

This curry recipe is a winner – simple to make, totally delicious and guaranteed to impress your friends!

Its a recipe I have memorised from my time working on a cookery partworks (those tedious collectible magazines so trendy in the late 80s – that no one ever completely collected!!)

Out of hundreds of dishes this was my favourite and has a regular spot in my dinner party diary. It originates from Persia and its a hot, sweet and sour tasting curry and at least one guest always asks for the recipe…

2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
half teaspoon of ginger powder (or about an inch of grated fresh ginger)
half a teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground coriander
half a teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper
1 dessert spoon white wine vinegar
4 – 6 small red dried chillis (this will make your curry hot – if you aren’t that keen you can use fresh chilli or powder to taste but I love a bit of a kick)
tin of coconut milk (I often use the half fat coconut and it still tastes as good)
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
220g bag of cooked peeled prawns (smaller ones are better in curry) thoroughly defrosted if frozen
1 tablespoon lemon juice
fresh coriander to garnish
plain boiled rice to serve


Chop the onion thinly and fry in sunflower oil until just about to turn brown. Then add the chopped garlic and fry for a few more seconds. Mix the dry spices together and the ginger with the vinegar and add to the pan and fry to release the aromas for about 3 minutes.

Pour in the tin of coconut milk and stir until all the spices and milk are mixed together well and then simmer for about 20 mins for the flavours to develop and the  sauce thickens slightly.

Stir in the tomato puree (this will thicken the sauce more) and add the prawns – fold into the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns are heated through but not over cooked or they go a bit rubbery.

Just before serving add the lemon juice and the salt and pepper. Check the seasoning – it should have a hot, sweet and slighty tangy taste. If you prefer it sweeter add a little more tomato puree. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with plain boiled rice.

By Alison Christie
Alison Christie

Alison Christie

Alison’s love of food developed when she started cooking at about 12 years old. Her mum would get her to make the roast dinner for the family (all five of them!). As a child she spent time living in Germany so was exposed to a huge range of different foods and ingredients. Alison cooks with fresh, seasonal ingredients as much as possible.

3 people like this post.