Meat and seafood is integral to Parsi cooking, so much so that we consider eggs as vegetarian. If you’re a Parsi or know one closely, you’ve grown up eating Mora Dal Chawal with Prawn Patio. Roughly translated to yellow dal rice with a sweet-spicy tomato based prawn dish. The patio serves as a pickle and provides heat, to the staple dal rice combo.
Each family has their own version of a Prawn Patio, some more complicated than the other. I belong to a family of lazy cooks, and this patio version that my granny came up with is really the easiest to make. It may not be as authentic or complicated as a lot of the other Patio recipes but to me it tastes just as good as any other.
I recently ordered some beautiful prawns from The Seafood and Meat Co., a frozen food delivery webstore. (You can read about my experience with them here). These babies were so beautifully de-shelled and de-veined, only a prawn patio would do justice.
What you’ll need:
- 500 gms of frozen prawns
- 2 tsp of turmeric and red chilli powder
- 2 chopped green chilli
- 3-4 small tomatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste (because this is the lazy version)
- 3 small chopped and diced onions
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- coriander to garnish
What you’ll have to do:
- Soak the prawns in vinegar and keep aside. (Parsi cuisine uses vinegar in a lot of dishes.)
Add chopped onions to oil, and fry until golden brown. To this add your ginger garlic paste and cumin seeds. Sautee for a while, and top with chopped tomatoes. Then add your red chilli powder, turmeric and chopped chillis.
Add the vinegar soaked prawns to this mixture and let them cook. Add water occasionally, so that the prawns simmer. The amount of water you add will determine the consistency of your gravy. You can liquefy it, or make it slightly thickened, which is how its traditionally eaten.
The amount of time you need to cook your dish will depend on the size of your prawns. I cooked them for 2-3 minutes. Overcooking the prawns will make them really rubbery, so avoid doing that. My dish got done in roughly 15 minutes and is really easy to make.
Add salt and a wee bit of sugar to taste. And serve with chopped coriander on top.
Easy, hai na? Give it a shot and let me know how it works out. Best had with plain dal rice. Or do what I do and eat with fresh Irani brun pav.