Sweet and sour is such a fine flavour combination, Whether it's a Thai soup balancing sugar and lime, an English pancake with lemon and sugar or, and I'm not ashamed to admit this, the dayglo orange English Chinese sauce poured over thick batter covered chicken or king prawns we're on to a winner.
There's a time and place for dayglo sweet and sour chicken though and it's not now, it's when you're tired and hungover on a Sunday and fancy some trash. Here we deal with far more classy dishes and today's offering is the sweet sour curry called prawn patia. I'm a fan of Mamta's website and one recipe from there I've heard many a person rave about is the prawn patia and this weekend it made the rare journey from to do list to belly. For its sweet and sour element the patia balances palm sugar or jaggary against tamarind and depth is added with cumin, coriander, chili and turmeric. It was amazing, tart and complex - the compliments I'd heard previously well deserved.
I had some toor dal that needed using up so went with a tarka dal recipe from her site too, tempered with some onions fried crisp (they're not burnt, honest) and poured over, oil and all. It was tasty, although I've had nicer dals - I prefer a bit more texture - so whilst the patia will definitely be made again I'll move onto another dal.