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Chicken Pathia Sweet & Sour Curry

Chicken pathia or patia is a spicy, sweet & sour curry that has origins in Persia but it is now a favourite in British Indian restaurants.

This delicious curry is pretty quick too, it will go from your fridge to your table in around 40 minutes and it is definitely on the spicier end of the “scale”.

Close-up hot, sweet and sour Indian chicken pathia curry with rice and coriander.

A Sweet and Sour Indian Curry

When I lived in the UK there was a phase when a chicken pathia or patia curry was the only thing I ordered from an Indian menu.

Not because I didn’t like or understand the other stuff. But purely and simply because it was my favourite thing on any menu!

As a result, it was only going to be so long before it ended up joining my long list of Indian Curry Recipes here on Krumpli!

As with all phases, they pass but a pathia curry remains one of my favourite dishes. Fabulously spicy and with a distinct sweet and sour vibe.

If you would prefer to avoid the sweet thing then you must check out my Acahri Chicken recipe!

The usual habitat for a pathia curry seems to be a British curry house. Although it is far less well known than the likes of Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Rogan Josh or a Vindaloo.

This fiery sweet and sour number with Gujarati leanings should be shown a lot more love.

As with all of my recipes, this dish is a reflection of me and my love of food. It is not an attempt at smoothing out the wild differences in pathia curries from around the British Indian food scene.

It is rare for food bloggers to declare favourites, but this is hands down my favourite recipe on my website, I love this dish!

Overhead hot, sweet and sour Indian chicken pathia curry with rice and coriander.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use tamarind concentrate?

You can but you will need to use your judgement as to the amount used.

I never use concentrate because I think it can be tricky to judge the amounts and adding too much leads to an almost “metallic” taste to a recipe.

Most concentrates sit between 4 and 10 times concentrated so you will need to add anywhere between 5-15g.

What mango chutney do you use?

Mango chutney is not usually an ingredient in a traditional pathia curry, but I find that it adds a wonderful complexity and the right level of sweetness.

I got the idea from a British Indian curry called chicken chasni, a dish that hails from Glasgow with a similar sweet vibe.

I used to make homemade mango chutney when I lived outside of the UK. Now that I have returned I usually use Geeta Premium Mango Chutney (Mild).

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, this dish is awesome made in advance, it will freeze for up to 6 months and will be fine in the fridge for 2-3 days if stored correctly.

Gently reheat in a covered pan, with an extra splash of water until the chicken is piping hot.

I will quite often make the sauce in bulk (2-4 times the size), portion it into freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. Then all you need to do is fry off some chicken and onions and add the defrosted sauce.

Hot, sweet and sour Indian chicken pathia curry with rice and coriander.

Serving Suggestions

I almost always sprinkle my chicken pathia with some extra chopped chilli peppers and some fresh coriander leaves.

I like that raw chilli heat alongside the thick sweet and sour sauce. It also means you can increase or decrease the heat for those less in love with chilli heat!

Then of course there is rice, I usually opt for plain white rice, but a good pilau rice is always a nice option

Flatbread is an essential side for a curry and I usually serve this fantastic sweet and sour curry with a tandoori style naan bread.

However, the thick almost sticky sauce lends itself to a thinner flatbread like chapati or roti.

I’ll also round out the experience by serving a pile of poppadoms, kachumber salad and some mint raita to kick off the meal.

Indian sweet and sour chicken pathia curry served with white rice, chilli and coriander.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob or stovetop.
  • 15cm or 6″ saucepan.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Kettle to boil the water for soaking the tamarind.
  • Small mixing bowl.
  • Small fine mesh sieve.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Mini Blender
  • A combination of weighing scales, a measuring jug and or measuring cups and spoons.
Indian sweet and sour chicken pathia curry served with white rice, chilli and coriander.
Yield: 2 Servings

Chicken Pathia Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

The usual habitat for a chicken pathia seems to be a British curry house, I think this fiery sweet and sour number with Gujarati leanings should be shown a lot more love.


  • 350g (12oz) Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Large Onion (around 250g or 8-9oz)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee
  • ½ Tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 65g (1.5" cube) Tamarind Pulp
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Mango Chutney
  • 6 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Water
  • ½-¾ Tsp Salt


  1. Soak the tamarind cube in 60ml or ¼ cup boiling water, mash occasionally.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves.
  3. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Roughly chop half of the onion, place it in a mini blender with the garlic cloves and blend to form a smooth paste. Take the second half of the onion, slice into 8 wedges and set aside.
  4. Push the tamarind through a fine mesh sieve you should end up with around 50-60ml or ¼ cup of paste.
  5. Cut the chicken into a 2-3cm (¾-1¼") dice.
  6. Heat two tablespoons of the ghee over a medium-high heat in a 15cm or 6" saucepan and when it is hot add the asafoetida and chilli flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Add in the onion and garlic paste, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, then onions should begin to colour and be fairly dry.
  8. Stir in the turmeric and cumin, then add the tomato paste, mango chutney and tamarind.
  9. Throw in the bay leaf, cardamom pods and the juice of the lime. Check the seasoning and add salt as required and allow to sauce to simmer for 15 minutes over a low heat.
  10. Heat the remaining ghee in a 20cm or 12" frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  11. Add the chicken and onion wedges, then cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  12. Add the sauce to the chicken and crush in the dried fenugreek leaves.
  13. Pour in the remaining water, stir to form a sauce and cover with a lid.
  14. Cook until the chicken is cooked through which will take a final 7-12 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 702Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 6gSugar: 26gProtein: 48g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Paul Pennington

Monday 4th of March 2024

Hi Brian For info I live in the UK but travel and live world wide through my work , currently in China. I have been eating Indian and Pakistani food since I was 18 ,now 61. I have been a fan of your recipes for quite some time. Just thought I would share , like you my fav dish for ages was a Chicken Patia. Also like you phases pass but then I was introduced to a Chicken Tikka Patia a whole new level. Still my fav dish to date you might wish to try this 😀 Cheers Paul Pennington

Brian Jones

Sunday 17th of March 2024

Hey Paul, I'll keep my eyes open next time I am out for a curry :)


Saturday 27th of May 2023

This is a great recipe. I'm trying chicken saag next. I'm am ex pat from the midlands too living in Spain and have been trying to replicate our local curry house for over 15 years. One curry they used to do, it was out of this world good and so unique that I can't find any recipe for it. It was CHICKEN TIKKA JAIPURI. Have you ever tried this or tried to replicate. It's very spicy but sweet aswell. Would hugely appreciate a recipe for this if you could muster one up🤭 as everything else of yours is very close to what we are used too at "home" 😁 many thanks

Brian Jones

Sunday 28th of May 2023

Hi Faye, glad you are enjoying my curry selection, they are born of me wanting a taste of "home" when I spent 13 years living in Central Europe.

I've never heard of Chicken tikka Jaipuri, it seems like a curious creation the Jaipuri chicken that I am aware of/have memories of has a base of blended onions and had lots of fennel which the chicken is marinated in, then the marinade is fried until the oil splits and the chicken is cooked in that... The tikka would make that a but odd.

What are your memories of the sauce, texture, colour flavour etc, I'd be happy to give it a shot and do some research, there are a couple of local takeaway places that offer a Jaipuri, although none of them tikka Jaipuri, and I'd gladly give them a try, just for research purposes of course ;)




Tuesday 5th of April 2022

Yes, this is very clever. The mango chutney versus the tamarind and lime works brilliantly. The portion I ate the day after making it was even better.

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of April 2022

Glad you enjoyed it Paul, the flavours do play so well nicely together, especially on ay 2... Sadly I rarely have leftovers ;)


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

this was so nice, I had to substitute the tamarind paste as I could not find any (UK is having some supply issues right now). I used a lemon and Worcestershire sauce mix substitute I found online. I can't wait to make it with actual tamarind paste and taste the difference. Halfway through the cooking, I was thinking I had made a grave mistake as there was no way my kids were going to eat it, but we have clean plates all around. For anybody who is cooking for children and needs to be heat aware, without the added chillies on top I would say this hit at about the heat of a rogan josh, me and the teen were fine, the younger two needed to stretch it slightly further with the sides but weren't overwhelmed by it. It has gone on the list of our regular meals by unanimous vote.


Thursday 2nd of March 2023

@Brian Jones, 2023 and if you think the supply problems were bad back then !!

Brian Jones

Saturday 5th of February 2022

Glad you enjoyed it Marie... The Worcestershire sauce and lemon mix is an interesting one. I moved back to the UK at the end of last year and I feel your pain on supply issues, it's all very frustrating/.


Thursday 6th of January 2022

Brilliant. Used a lot of other Pathia recipes that involve fewer ingredients but this was worth the extra effort. Only difference was I didn't add bay leaves and chucked in some coriander at the end. Just to be awkward, I used more tamarind than Raven down there and I loved it.

Brian Jones

Friday 14th of January 2022

Glad you enjoyed it Paul, I love this recipe, it is my favourite curry. I took all of the aspects of pathia that I loved and made it my own, I love seeing other people take that on and make their own dish!

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