Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Dhun Dar nay Patio( lentils, rice and curry)

Dhun Dar nay Machi Patio
Golden Lentils and Fish Patia

The basic meal of a typical Parsi household on any festive occasion is a trio of rice, lentil and thick curry called Patio; pronounced Pa-tea-O and not a patio. 

Combined at least about 2 centuries ago to make it simple, quick and yet something quite special.  It continues to be a healthy, ageless and timeless. A favourite option to serve on any occasion at home; birthdays, anniversaries and Navroze`~ new year. Or even on auspicious days like a Navjote and Jashan ceremonies.
Here I have shared my family recipe of a delightful fish patio with drumsticks ~ sekta ni singh also known as Moringa. These are now available in most Indian stores across North America and can be ordered online. It is an option to omit the drumsticks and enjoy the fish patio on its own.
Optionally there is a choice of a prawn patio or jhinga no patio if you prefer.

The Parsi Patio/Patia is a choice of fish or prawn/shrimp and not of any poultry or meat. But vegetarian versions are  made up of eggplant or pumpkin ~kohru/kadu. 

A perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice makes it just right. 

Presented at Le Cordon Bleu London on 11th May 2017

Boiled rice topped with lentil that have a 'tarka' on it. Served with a patio of fish  and drumsticks.

Often served as a vegetarian/vegan dish

The Dar/Lentils
8 oz  tuar dal/pigeon peas(not oily)
8 oz red split  masoor dal
¾ tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
4 oz salted butter

Wash  the lentils and place in a stock pot with 4 cups of water. Add the turmeric and salt to it. Bring to a boil and cook the dal on a medium fire for 40 minutes. The water can be topped if necessary. Add the butter and pulse the lentils to a thick but liquid mash.

The Fish Patia
3 tbsp oil
2 large onions finely chopped
¾ th cup of dried dessicated coconut ground to a paste
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground garlic
2 finely chopped green chillies
2 whole green chillies
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric powder
¾ cup tomato pureed
2 large tomatoes cut into 3 pieces each
2 raw green mangoes peeled and finely chopped or ground
¾ th cup of fresh coriander, finely chopped
10 scraped drumsticks cut into 4 inch pieces
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tbsp jaggery
½ kilo of fresh firm fish like Salmon, Surmai, Kingfish or Cod, Haddock or Halibut

Heat the oil and fry the onions till golden brown, add the ground coconut stirring constantly till the coconut is a very light pink. Immediately add in the ginger garlic continuing to cook for a minute. Add to this the chillies, cumin, turmeric and salt. Cook for another minute and add the tomatoes, raw peeled mangoes as well as the finely chopped fresh coriander. Finally add Moringa drumsticks. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 1 hour on a medium flame. Check the drumsticks are cooked through. Add the jaggery and mix well. Finally add the fish for the last 15 minutes. Cook till just done.
The patia should be slightly thick, and finely balanced to be perfectly tikhu-mithu-khatu which is spicy-sweet-sour the trinity of Parsi Food.

Add more jaggery or lemon juice if required. 
Jaggery is a raw sugar found in all Indian super markets. Palm sugar is an alternate to jiggery as is brown sugar.

Serve this with white boiled rice, the dhun dar lentils, and the fish patia as one dish.


The Patia or Patio is also used in reference to a particular kind of pot used as a cooking utensil. It is the actual shape of the vessel that denotes the name. Wide and flat but with bulging rounded sides is the best way I can describe it. 

The Greek language also refers to a very accomplished woman as a Patia!! It is a girl’s name which literally translates to highly intelligent and is derived from the word hypatia. Sounds rather interesting?

For more Parsi recipes and its origins click on
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.


 Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy

Photo credit Sheriar Hirjikaka

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