Aubergine Patia

A patia or pathia is a hot, sweet and sour curry made with chillies and vinegar. There are quite a lot of chillis in this recipe but the heat is offset by the sour tamarind and the sweetness of the sauce. The recipe is adapted from 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi. The directions are quite precise but try and follow it to the letter if you can and it will come out great!

Serves 4

  •  10 small aubergines (~4-5 inches long)
  • 1½ teaspoons tamarind  paste
  • 3-5 green chillies, chopped (depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¾ tsp coriander powder
  • ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery
  • 10 curry leaves
  • a small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • pinch of salt


  1. Cut the aubergines in half, sprinkle with salt and set aside in a bowl for 30 mins.
  2. Rinse the salt off the aubergines, pat dry and griddle on a medium heat until soft and slightly charred with a criss-cross pattern, set aside.
  3. Grind the green chillies, 2 of the garlic cloves and the cumin seeds into a paste.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium cooking pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the ground paste and fry for 2 minutes, stirring well.
  5. Add the cumin, coriander, red chilli, garam masala and turmeric. Stir constantly for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. Add the tamarind, the jaggery, curry and cilantro leaves and salt. Taste and adjust the sour, sweet, and salt flavours to your liking. Add 200ml of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Lay the aubergines out flat in an oven dish and spoon the sauce over them. Leave some bits peeping out!
  8. Bake in a warm oven (150°C) for an hour until the sauce becomes sticky and starts to burn slightly at the edges.
  9. Serves with naan bread. 
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One Response to Aubergine Patia

  1. I would make this but leave out the tamarind – that stuff is weird x

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