This easy homemade chicken dopiaza curry is just as good as the one you can get from a takeaway and far healthier too! Perfect if you love curries with lots of onion and no tomato.
Chicken dopiaza is a very special curry for me. I only started eating curries as an adult and I have to admit there was a time when I was afraid of too much spice!
I used to stick to a safe korma whenever I ended up a in a curry house with my friends. Luckily, times have changed since then and the curry that started that journey up the spice ladder was chicken dopiaza.
What is chicken dopiaza?
'Dopiaza' actually means 'double onions' so it's a curry with onions cooked in two ways. What that often means is that there are onions in the curry paste plus extra onions in the sauce. Sometimes they are just add in slices to the sauce and sometimes they are fried and then added.
It's usually a mild-medium spiced curry and is perfect for anyone who likes a little heat but not too much!
Of course, if you make it at home you can adjust the heat to suit your taste!
Ingredients for chicken dopiaza
To make this curry you'll need:
- chicken - You can use breast or thigh meat or even chicken on the bone. I tend to use breast as my family like it best but in an ideal world I'd use chicken thighs!
- Onions - I usually use brown onions in the curry paste and in the curry but red ones work too.
- Garlic - I usually use garlic cloves but you can substitute them for garlic puree.
- Ginger - I also prefer to use fresh root ginger but you can use a paste instead.
- Cardamom pods - When fried whole at the beginning they release a lot of flavour
- Cinnamon stick - I like to fry this whole at the beginning with the cardamom pods but if you don't have a cinnamon stick, add a little ground cinnamon with the ground spices instead.
- Gound spices - Cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala
- Green chilli peppers - I often add some green finger chillies, pricked a few times. They add a little extra heat but if you are making this for people who can't handle heat then just miss them out. Serve some pickles on the side instead.
- Fresh coriander - I love to sprinkle some on top when serving but it is delicious without it too.
How to make chicken dopiaza
There is a full recipe card further down the post but basically you need to make a paste with onion, garlic and ginger. You fry this before adding spices and then the chicken. You add more onions and stock and then simmer it until the chicken is cooked.
It's a fairly simple curry but really tasty too!
What to serve with chicken dopiaza
I love to eat it with rice or flatbreads, such as these nigella seed ones. I also sometimes like to make some quick pickled onions as you can see in the picture. Bascially I soak onion slices in vinegar and little salt for 30 minutes before serving.
If you want to make it a bit more indulgent then why not fry some onions to go with it. They might not be so healthy but they are tasty and work well as a garnish.
If you want to make extra side dishes to go with the chicken dopiaza then why not try my dry curried okra or some onion bhajis?
How can you adapt chicken dopiaza?
You can adapt the levels of heat in this curry by omitting the chilli peppers or even by adding a few more!
If you want to make a vegetarian version then you can make it with paneer instead of chicken. Sometimes I even add a little paneer as my son loves it so much!
If you would prefer to make a lamb dopiaza then you can replace the chicken with lamb. Depending on what cut you use, you may need to simmer it for a bit longer so the lamb is tender.
Storing and reheating
If you have any leftover chicken dopiaza you can store it in the fridge for up to three days. Just reheat it till piping hot in the microwave or in a saucepan. You may need to add a splash of water if you reheat it in a saucepan. Don't worry about it making the curry watery. It will help the curry to reheat and will evaporate as it does.
You can also store leftovers in the freezer for up to three months. I usually freeze curries in individual portions so they are easy to defrost and then reheat.
More curry recipes
I love making curries and have lots more recipes that I'm sure you'll love, including a whole recipe collection of curries. Why not try one of these:
- 1½ tbsp oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamon pods
- 3 onions
- 5 garlic cloves diced
- 20 g root ginger peeled and diced
- 500 g chicken breast diced into approx 2cm cubes
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 300 ml chicken stock Can be replaced with vegetable stock or water
- coriander (cilantro) leaves Optional, to garnish
- Make the onion paste by putting one of the onions, the ginger and garlic into a food processor and blitz till smooth. Set aside.
- Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and add the cinnamon stick and lightly crushed cardamom pods.
- After about a minute add the onion paste to the saucepan and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground spices and stir in. If the pan is too dry then add a couple of tablespoons of water.
- Add the chicken and cook stirring for about three minutes till the chicken is slightly cooked on the outside.
- Add the other two onions, cut into slices and the stock.
- Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
- If using, stir in some coriander at the end and sprinkle some on top to serve.
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