Recipe contributed by: Zaver Sepoy
Though I am a strict vegetarian, cooking is my passion. I believe that cooking with love and care can make any simple dish taste delicious. I love to keep the authenticity of the traditional dishes alive, while also experimenting with a few dishes now and then.
We Parsis adore our ever famous sali per eedu, marghi and gosht. But there is a special kind of smile that sits on our faces when we gobble up a fresh plate of “Jhinga (Prawn) Patio”. Our home made Dhandar and “Jhinga no Patio” is always a must have dish on any happy occasion. But have we ever stopped to wonder, why this delicious prawn gravy accompanying the Dhandar is called Patio?
This intriguing story takes us back to when our mamaijis and bapaijis, cooked delicious meals in a unique vessel called “Patio”. This vessel was wide and flat at the base, with projecting sides, and it eased the stress of cooking. In fact our legendary caterer, ‘Godiwala’ still cooks our mouth watering wedding feasts in ‘Patio’ tapelas as it allows for even cooking of the food. Today, even though hardly any of us cook in this vessel, the name has stuck.
The two most common Patio’s are the Tatrelo Patio which is made with prawns and is more of a quick fix and the longer Lagan no Patio which features another popular Parsi ingredient, coconuts and is usually made with pomfret.
This recipe takes elements from both these dishes and is made with fresh coconut water, coconut cream and the magic ingredient, a touch of white wine. Moreover, by creating a stock of the prawn shells, this Patio gets an intense seafood flavour that is not present in other versions.
I hope you enjoy eating it as much as I enjoyed creating (and eating) this unique patio.
Jhinga, Papeta & Eeda no Patio
- 30 large prawns, peeled and deveined (keep shells for the stock)
- 0.5 cup white wine
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dhanajeera (coriander & cumin) powder
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 0.5 ginger, chopped
- 4 green chillies (2 finely chopped and 2 slit)
- 0.5 bunch coriander
- 2 tomatoes, pureed
- 0.5 tsp saffron
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup coconut water
- 200 gm coconut cream
- 2 boiled eggs
- 2 potatoes (cubed and deep fried)
- 2 tsp ghee
- Small piece of jaggery
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Marinate the prawns with salt, pepper, lemon juice, slit chillies and 1/4 of the white wine. Let it rest for half an hour.
- To make stock, take the coconut water, prawn shells, 1/4 of white wine and bay leaf in a pan. Allow this to reduce on slow gas to half. Drain and allow to cool.
- In a pan, heat ghee. Add chopped ginger, garlic, onion, green chilles, dhana jeera and sauté till translucent.
- Add marinated prawns to this and cook on high flame for five mins. Once the prawns curl up, lower the flame.
- Add tomato puree, prawn stock, saffron and jaggery, cover with a lid and cook on slow flame.
- Uncover after 10 mins. The aroma of the patio cooking will engulf your tastebuds. Add coconut cream and cook for further five mins.
- Just before taking it off the fire, add the fried potato cubes and allow them to seep into the patio. Garnish with coriander and boiled eggs.
This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.