Chicken Dopiaza

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Chicken Dopiaza is a popular Anglo-Indian dish which finds its origins in the early-settlement of the British in India. Dopiaza means ‘two onions’ / ‘double onion’, made (unsurprisingly) with double the number of onions compared with typical meat curries. The onions are prepared in two different forms: half (chopped/purified) cooked as the base of the curry and half (sliced and fried/raw) added later in the cooking process. There are many versions of Dopiaza available and this is my take, based upon a few versions I have tried in the past. Cooking is an art not a science – experiment and enjoy 🙂

From this you could feed four people.

Prep time approx. 10 minutes

Cooking time approx. 35-40 minutes


4 medium onions, 2 chopped and 2 sliced

600g chicken fillet, cut into large pieces

1.5cm (approx.) ginger, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Olive oil for cooking

2 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder

0.5 tsp ground turmeric

0.5 tsp chilli powder

4 tbsp plain yoghurt

300ml water

4 tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped


1. Fry the sliced onion in olive oil until they are slightly crispy. Remove and set aside for later.

2. In the same pan, add the chopped onion and fry until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the ground coriander, ground cuminturmeric and chilli powder and stir. Fry for about a minute, coating the onion well.WP_20150502_002

4. Add 1 tbsp of yogurt and stir for approximately 30 seconds. Repeat this process 3 more times (total: 4 tbsps, 2 mins) of yogurt.

5. Add the chicken and stir, coating the chicken well with the mixture.

6. Add the waterchopped tomatoes and salt. Stir well, cover and simmer (on low heat) for about 20 mins.

7. Add garam masala and sliced onions (previously fried). Mix well and cook WP_20150502_004uncovered for about 8 minutes. The sauce will begin to reduce and thicken – adjust cooking time to suit.

8. Add fresh coriander and serve with rice and/or flat bread.

Hints and Tips

1. There are variations on this: try blending the chopped onion, garlic and ginger to make a paste (I prefer them chopped finely, but blending the three may enhance the sauce).

2. Some Dopiaza recipes call for 1kg+ of meat and extra water – I find this can make the curry quite bland and ‘watery’, hence I reduce these, which I think enhances the taste.

3. With all ingredients, the fresher the better.

4. Don’t overdo the fresh corriander – as beautiful as it is – too much, overwhelms the more beautiful fusion of the spices.

5. Making this dish in advance and serving the next day is incredible. The fusion of the spices is divine (if making for 2 people, save half – of the 4 portions – for the following day).

Happy cooking 🙂

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