Spinach and Sweet Potato Patia

MoFo 2014A patia or pathia is a hot, sweet and sour curry made with chillies and tamarind. The hot chillis in this recipe are balanced by the sour tamarind and the sweetness of the tomatoes. 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

  • 1-3 green chillies, chopped (depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely choppedPatia
  • 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
  • 1½ teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery
  • 10 curry leaves
  • A small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large bunch of spinach
  • A small handful of French beans
  • 1 handful of fresh or frozen peas


  1. Grind the green chillies, garlic cloves and cumin seeds into a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium cooking pan and fry the onions until soft.
  3. Add the ground paste and fry for 2 minutes, stirring well.
  4. Add the cumin, coriander, red chilli, garam masala and turmeric. Stir constantly for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. Add the tamarind, the jaggery, curry and coriander leaves and salt.
  7. Taste and adjust the sour, sweet, and salt flavours to your liking.
  8. Add 200ml of water and bring to a boil.
  9. Add the sweet potato and cook until it begins to soften (around 30 minutes).
  10. Add the beans, peas and spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes (if you like your beans soft, put them in first for 5 mins then add the spinach and peas).
  11. Serve piping hot with rice and mango chutney.
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One Response to Spinach and Sweet Potato Patia

  1. I had to google jaggery! 😉

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