Restaurant style pathia curry is the perfect balance of hot, sweet and sour. It may not be a curry that comes to mind immediately but once you try it you will be hooked.

This is a curry you don’t see in all Indian restaurants. I think it’s big in the UK but don’t see it where I live. If you’ve never tried it the time is now.

Pathia curry is true evolutionary cooking

This is an old dish. Historic really. Pathia has it’s roots in an ancient Persian dish. It’s been adapted to Indian cooking and again to Indian restaurant style cooking.

It is culinary Darwinism. I love how food evolves through time. Centuries in this case.

Like dhansak curry, it came to India as Perisans emigrated to India.

They settled in Gujarat and the dish evolved to use Gujarati spices. Traditionally pathia was reserved for celebrations. When you taste it you will understand why.


Restaurant style pathia curry brings together hot, sweet and sour in a classic Indian dish.


Tamarind adds a nice zing. A bit of sugar adds a hint of sweet. Medium spicy.  Restaurant style pathia curry is not your run of the mill curry. A bit different. But in a really good way.

Restaurant style pathia curry brings together hot, sweet and sour in a classic Indian dish.

This curry can be made with chicken, lamb, shellfish, paneer – anything really.

Do your prep before you get started

Make your curry base and have some heated and ready to go. Pre-cook your meat. Measure out your ingredients.

Have everything ready. Indian restaurant style cooking goes fast. Maybe 10 minutes from start to finish.

And please put on some old clothes. It’s messy cooking. Turmeric stains are impossible to get out. You will not be happy about it if you don’t. But a bit of splatter is part of the fun.


Close up of restaurant style pathia curry


If you haven’t read the guide to Indian restaurant technique yet, do it now. It has pictures to help you understand the recipe and cooking method.

There’s also a guide to Indian ingredients in that post. That should help take the mystery out of this. Once you get it, you’ll be able to make all your favourite restaurant dishes.

Restaurant style pathia curry. It’s for when you want to try something new. Something special. Something delicious.


Restaurant style pathia curry brings together hot, sweet and sour in a classic Indian dish.
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5 from 7 votes

restaurant style pathia curry

Restaurant style pathia curry is a medium spicy, slightly sweet and sour curry that works equally well with chicken, lamb, vegetables or paneer.
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 421kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen


The spice mix

  • 2 tsp indian restaurant spice mix or curry powder - recipe link below
  • 1 tsp hot madras curry powder - or use more Indian restaurant mix powder if you don't have any madras curry powder
  • 2 tsp kashmiri chili powder or 1/2 tsp cayenne mixed with 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

The curry ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic/ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasatta
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 10-12 oz pre-cooked chicken or lamb
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  • Make the spice mix.
  • Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
  • Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil.
  • When the oil starts to shimmer add the garlic ginger paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
  • Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  • Turn the heat up to medium high. This is important. The heat is what caramelizes the onion in the curry base and gives the curry it's Indian restaurant flavour. As you become more comfortable with this technique try pushing it. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  • Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Think lively boil. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here. Sticking is OK. Just scrape it back into the base. Burning is bad.
  • Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form.
  • Mix in the tamarind sauce and sugar.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked lamb, beef or chicken.
  • Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water.
  • Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.


The recipe for curry base is here.
The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here
The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.
If you haven't read about Indian restaurant technique yet, do that before you start cooking.
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
If you are making multiple curries, have your curry base warming in a pot on the stove. If you are just making one, microwave it to warm it up right before you start cooking.
Indian restaurants pre-cook their meat so it's ready for service. This recipe assumes the same. To pre-cook chicken, simply simmer it with a bit of curry powder and salt in chicken stock for about 10-15 minutes - until it's barely cooked.
To pre-cook lamb or beef, do the same but plan for 1 to 1/2 hours for lamb and 2 hours or more for beef. You are making stew meat so you are braising until tender. You will need to keep an eye on the level of the stock. For beef use beef stock.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1033mg | Potassium: 819mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 19.3% | Vitamin C: 4.8% | Calcium: 2.6% | Iron: 11.8%


15 thoughts on “restaurant style pathia curry

  1. Spent two days making this – making the base, buying spices I didn’t have etc… and good lord, the result was bloody fantastic. Literally the best curry I’ve ever cooked at home. And I still have 5 pots of curry base and spice mix and garlic/ginger paste….

  2. Absolutely superb. Really authentic Indian restaurant style curry. Vegetarian so used mushroom and potato. Delicious Can’t wait to try the other recipe soon, thank you Glebe Kitchen

  3. I’ve never tried a Pathia before,so I gave this one a go. What a result again! So far I have made your butter chicken and lamb saag using all the techniques you have very kindly taken time to supply. I even made my own tamarind paste for this.Excellent. Thanks so much. Next challenge chicken tikka masala.

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