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Venison Pathia

Well, if we're out for an Indian meal then I always order lamb pathia and this dreary wet weather meant that I finally got around to working up a venison version at home based off Nicky Corbishley's chicken pathia with some top variation tips from Robin at Create Terroir.

An enticing blend of British, Indian, and Persian flavors, Venison Pathia is a zesty curry with a

tantalizing tang. Playing on the concept of sweet and sour, this dish boasts a luxurious, thick sauce that packs a flavorful punch in every mouthful; the wonderful velvety sauce even looks dark and meaningful.

Hot Curry, Sweet and Sour Curry

Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes


• 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, peeled

• 2 tsp minced ginger

• 3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil

• 500g venison haunch, diced into bite-sized chunks

• ½ tsp ground cinnamon (or use a stick of the bark and remove before serving)

• 2 tbsp medium curry powder (opt for hot if you prefer intense heat)

• ½ tsp hot chilli powder

• 1 tsp paprika

• ¼ tsp ground fenugreek

• ½ tsp tamarind paste (Robin writes: A more local alternative to tamarind could be quince paste. We’re in December- almost the end of British quince season so people may have loads of home-made paste kicking about wanting new ways to use it. This would also provide a little savory sweetness if people don’t have jaggery or palm sugar.)

• 1 tbsp lemon juice

• 2 tbsp sugar (palm or dark brown recommended)

• ¾ tsp salt

• 400 ml (14 oz) passata

• 2 tbsp tomato paste

• 2 mild red chillies (fresh or dried), roughly chopped

• 60 ml venison or beef stock

To Serve:

• Fresh chopped coriander

• Lemon slices

• Boiled rice


1. In a mini food processor, blend the onion, garlic, and ginger into a paste.

2. Heat ghee (or oil) in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the onion mixture and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown at the edges. Avoid burning.

3. Add the venison and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until sealed.

4. Reduce heat to medium, then add cinnamon, curry powder, chilli powder, paprika, ground fenugreek, tomato puree, and tamarind paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

5. Introduce sugar, salt, passata, chopped chillies, and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Add lemon juice at the end since cooking lemon juice reveals an almost musty flavor.

7. Serve with Indian vegetable dishes, such as Madhur Jaffray’s Okra creations. Garnish with fresh coriander, a slice of lemon, and serve alongside boiled rice or a Peshwari naan, as the coconut beautifully complements the Pathia. It has been a terrible season for cauliflower, but these will be around now and would make a great accompaniment. Simply cutting into small florets and either roasting under foil or frying in a little ghee with garam masala or just cumin seeds. (Kale would also be great cooked in the same way.)

Other tips from Robin:

I would always add cinnamon as a quill or bark and then remove at the end. Prolonged cooking of the powder loses its aromatic qualities. Same with chilli powder. Whole dried chillies then remove.

The sugar is a good one to play with. Dark brown with venison would intensify the caramel richness. Palm sugar would be ideal as it has a real savoury sweetness. Caster is just plain sweet which dominates and masks rather than contributes.

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