Here we are with another Okra dish, this time from the Parsi cuisine. It is a Patia, or Patio, dish, which cooks the okra in a thick tomato and spice base. In this recipe, we saute the okra before adding to the tomato base towards the end of cooking. You can also saute the okra quickly and add earlier in the cooking for a more traditional approach.
We took the outline of the Patia recipe from My Bombay Kitchen, and adjusted the recipe, substituting okra for the non-vegetarian items. You could also use eggplant with this recipe.
Okra Patia | Parsi Okra with Tomatoes
spice paste | masala paste
6 Indian dried red chillies
4 cloves garlic
2 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn coriander seeds
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
2.5 Tblspn ghee
2 green chillies, split but keeping the stem end in tact
1.5 onions, chopped finely
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped
2 Tblspn jaggery
1.5 Tblspn prepared tamarind pulp
salt, to taste
Grind the spice paste ingredients in a spice grinder to form a paste. Add a little water as necessary.
Heat the ghee in a kadhai or other heavy pan and add the green chillies. Sizzle for a moment, and then add the onions. Saute until the onions are golden.
Add the masala paste and stir over a moderate heat until the aroma arises.
Add the tomatoes and the fresh coriander. Cook slowly over low heat until it is the consistency of marmalade.
Season with salt, and add the jaggery and tamarind to get a good sweet-sour balance. Adjust the salt, jaggery and tamarind to suit your own taste.
While the tomato base is cooking, prepare the okra. Rinse them and dry each one individually. Trim the top and tail without cutting into the seed case.
Heat some ghee in a kadhai or pan over medium heat, and add the okra. Saute without stirring too much, until tender and a little charred but still crisp.
Add to the tomato base and simmer gently for 5 – 10 minutes.
recipe notes and alternatives
Replace the okra with eggplant.
Okra Patia can also be served by placing a dollop of rice and one of patia in the middle of a large, shallow soup bowl, and surround by dal.