3.7/5 rating (83 votes)

Chicken Pathia

Gujarati Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 30 mins
Chicken Pathia

A traditional Parsi dish from the Gujarat region with a hot, sweet and sour sauce.

Hari says

This unique dish brings together the sweetness of the jaggery (Indian sugar made with sugar cane), the heat from the dried red chillies and the sharp, fresh sourness of vinegar to create a wonderful combination of flavours. I've heard this described as a gentle, Chinese-flavoured dish lifted with classic Indian spices. Which is about right.

For this version, I'm adding star anise (which isn't typically Indian, I know) to add a gentle aniseed nuance to help make a great dish even better. You are putting your apron on now, aren't you...?!?

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets, skinned, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces


  • 125ml malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp jaggery, or brown sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dried red chillies (use more if you like it hot)
  • 2 cloves garlic


  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Handful coriander, chopped


  1. Soak the dried chillies in boiling water to soften for 10 minutes.
  2. Dissolve jaggery or brown sugar in half the vinegar and set to one side.
  3. Pound the cumin seeds and soaked chillies in a pestle and mortar, then add the garlic to create a spice paste. Stir in one tablespoon of vinegar. You can blitz in a blender is you have one.
  4. In a pan heat the oil and add the star anise. After a minute add the chopped onion and sauté until brown.
  5. Add in the spice paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Place the chicken pieces into the pan and stir fry in the paste for a few minutes.
  7. Sprinkle in salt to taste and pour in the remaining vinegar. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the jaggery and vinegar mixture and reduce the heat. Half cover the pan and stir occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes until the sauce is thick and sticky. The chicken should be cooked through and deliciously tender. You can add a little water if you wish.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh coriander to serve.

Served with

This is a dry sticky sauce that works really well with some plain rice.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)2.4
of which saturates (g)0.5
Carbohydrates (g)5.1
of which sugars (g)4.3
Fibre (g)0.5
Protein (g)12
Salt (mg)1.1
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

Useful equipment

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“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Chicken Pathia ”


Comments (6)

  • Darren


    10 August 2018 at 22:07 |
    Fantastic recipe. I cooked this with you at my house and couldn't find the recipe anywhere. So happy you've put it online. Thank you x


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      13 August 2018 at 12:50 |
      Hi Darren That's fab - my pleasure!


  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    09 June 2015 at 20:14 |
    Hi Nigel You are so right, regional Indian food is so diverse. Pathia is very different in flavour but as you said so very good. Glad you enjoyed this one and thanks for trying it. Hari


  • Nigel


    09 June 2015 at 07:23 |
    Hello Hari,

    Thank you for your help on the ingredients. I cooked the dish last night and enjoyed the sweet, sour and hot taste. It is quite different from "normal" curries and it showcases the diversity of Indian cooking. I would recommend this dish to anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge - and it tastes good too!


  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    05 June 2015 at 09:07 |
    Hi Nigel Many thanks for getting in touch and thank you for the feedback (this is always welcome). I have jigged the recipe around a bit. Cider vinegar is very versatile and can be used as a good substitute for other vinegars. Palm sugar isn't the same a jaggery but it is a good substitute. Let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari


  • Nigel


    05 June 2015 at 07:44 |
    Hello Hari,

    I was going to cook this tonight but have some questions first if you can help me.

    Vinegar: I have cider, sherry, red and white wine and balsamic, but no malt vinegar which I have feeling is the sort that would be true to this recipe. Can I use any of those I have on hand or should I get some malt for better authenticity?

    I have palm sugar, would that be a suitable alternative to jaggery or should I buy some brown sugar? Neither acquisition will break the bank and I want to stay true to your recipe.

    I know I am a little pedantic so please forgive me, but your reference to 2 cloves of garlic needs to be under Paste rather than Sauce.

    Pending your reply I am going to cook the Chettinad Chicken tonight, which looks a really tasty recipe.




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