I heartily enjoy a good dopiaza curry – in fact, a lamb dopiaza was amongst my first ‘successful’ curries I cooked after marriage! I usually cook this when I’m low on ingredients and am feeling too lazy to pop out and buy some vegetables or tomatoes. It’s definitely a handy recipe to have in mind for those days. Bonus – the most important thing, actually – is that it tastes brilliant! This Chicken Dopiaza consists of an alluring aroma – mildly sweet with a distinctness of caramelised onions, fresh and aromatic coriander, heavenly cinnamon and tender, juicy chicken
‘Dopiaza’ literally means ‘two onions’ in Urdu/Hindi. Now, what this means is debated as it can be interpreted as many things. Does it mean you use two onions in the curry? (This isn’t logical since the amount of onions in dependent on how much you’re cooking). You use two different kinds of onions? You add onions twice? What is one to do?
Most dopiazas use onions twice in the recipe; once at the initial browning stage of the curry where the onions are fried, and then again towards the end so that the onions remain distinguished and don’t break down into the masala of the curry.
I like using white onions at the browning stage and then red onions towards the end, but this particular day I didn’t have any red onions on hand. Red onions don’t break down as quick as white onions and have a delicious and mildly sweet taste to compliment the heat of the spices. This Chicken Dopiaza has a slight sweet undertone to it due to the quantity onions and lack of tomatoes to counter it.
Serve alongside a zesty salad and a chutney or raita. This curry goes best with chapatti, or even better – fresh naan! You could also serve this alongside a traditional daal chawal meal to add a meaty element to the menu.
Enjoy, with love x