Chicken dopiaza

Chicken dopiaza

The Curry Guy
4 or more as part of a multi-course meal

Dopiaza curries are big on flavour and can be mild or quite spicy, depending on the restaurant. Broken down, the word ‘do’ means two and ‘piaza’ means onions. So the authentic Indian version of this dish is a curry with onions cooked in two different ways. If you count the base curry sauce, and fried onion petals, this recipe is made with onions cooked in four different ways so the name doesn’t quite fit. That’s just being technical, though.


Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
or seasoned oil
1 small onion, quartered and divided into petals
6 green cardamom pods, bashed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons Garlic and ginger paste
125ml Tomato purée
500ml Base curry sauce (large batch), heated
600g Pre-cooked stewed chicken, plus 250ml of its cooking stock, or more base curry sauce
2 tablespoons Mixed powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons mild or hot chilli powder, to taste
7 tablespoons Onion bhajis, see recipe note
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek (methi) leaves
small bunch coriander, chopped
2 handfuls fried onions, see recipe note
1 teaspoon Garam masala


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large pan over a high heat. When good and hot, toss in the onion petals and sear them until they are nicely charred but still quite crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-high and pour in the rest of the oil. When bubbles start to appear, add the whole spices. Stir the spices around in the oil for about 30 seconds and enjoy the aroma of that awesome meal you’re making.
  3. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and let it sizzle until fragrant then add the mixed powder, ground cumin, chilli powder and tomato purée. Give this all a good stir and then add 250ml of the base curry sauce. The curry sauce will begin to bubble rapidly and, when it does, add the rest of the sauce and the stock or extra sauce. Turn up the heat and simmer; some of the sauce may begin to caramelize on the side of the pan, so just stir this in from time to time for more flavour.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and simmer, without stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the chicken is warmed through. The sauce will cook down and become thicker, but if it becomes too thick for your liking, add a little more chicken or spice stock or base curry sauce. Stir in the onion paste 1 tbsp at a time then the dried fenugreek leaves and charred onion petals. Add salt to taste then sprinkle with the fresh coriander, fried onions and garam masala to serve.

Fried onions and onion paste

  • Heat enough rapeseed oil for deep-frying in a large, heavy-based pan over a high heat. Test to see if it is hot enough by dropping a piece of onion in the oil; if it sizzles immediately and floats to the top, the oil is ready. Add the sliced onions and fry until they turn light brown, about 5 minutes. They will continue to cook once out of the oil so be sure to get them out when they are still light brown in colour. Using a wire mesh spoon, remove the fried onions to a plate lined with kitchen paper, to soak up the excess fat. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container until ready to use. These will keep for up to a week. You can blend the onions with a little water to form a paste that can be added to the curry.
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