Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kolmi no Tatrelo Patio - A Lesser Known Parsi Classic

The Parsis have a rich and varied cuisine with a predominance of eggs, meats, fish and sea food. One of my favourite dishes is Kolmi no tatrelo patio. A simple preparation that can be put together in half an hour, the best way to eat it is with ladi pav that is abundantly available in Mumbai. You can also have it with rotis or regular sliced bread.

Kolmi no Tatrelo Patio

20 medium sized prawns
6 spring onions, finely chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
20 curry leaves
8 green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
chilli powder
mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp fresh Parsi garam masala* powder made with pepper, cloves, cassia bark, cardamom, black cardamom, star anise, shah jeera, nutmeg and mace.

Clean the prawns - shell and devein. Wash well, drain and then marinate in salt and turmeric.

Take a flat thick bottomed tava and heat oil on it. Crackle the mustard seeds once the oil is hot, reduce the heat and add the curry leaves, garlic, onions and spring onions. Cook slowly, stirring as you go.

Once the onions turn pink add the green chillies and cook for another couple of minutes. Now add the dry powdered spices and the sugar. Stir well and mix properly. Cook this for another four to five minutes stirring the mix continuously. Now add half the fresh coriander leaves and blend well. After a minute or so add the vinegar. Lower the heat and let it cook for another minute or so, stirring all the time. Add a little salt keeping in mind that the prawns have been salted already.

Now add the marinated prawns and mix them into the onion and spice mixture. Once the prawns are cooked sprinkle the remaining coriander on the top and serve it hot with pav or with dhan daar - plain yellow daal and steaming hot rice.

The word patio evokes a dish that has a thick red gravy that is sweet, sour and spicy, made from a masala paste, and served with dhan daar. That's one version. The tatrelo patio is a dry dish with similar flavours but from different ingredients. In this version the heat comes from green chillies and there is no ground masala paste used. The word patio actually denotes the vessel it is cooked in - a flat, squat, thick bottomed vessel, which looks like a flattened pot. A thick iron tava also serves the purpose for this dish.

*Parsi Garam Masala can be used in a variety of preparations like you would use any other garam masala blend. Make a batch and give a new flavour to your daily curries and side dishes.

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