Chicken Dopiaza

Chicken dopiaza, a favourite indian cuisine in indian restaurants. best eaten with naan bread.
Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

The chicken dopiaza or dupiaza is one of the favourites of the Indian restaurant. It’s not as famous as the Chicken Tikka Masala but nonetheless vies for attention. A really tasty treat. The dopiaza means it is a style of curry of mild to moderate heat that makes great use of onions, cooked in two different ways. It is usual to have tomato in the dish along with distinctive spices including one of my favourites, black onion seeds.  The onions give it a distinct flavour and is usually served with basmati rice and some naan bread.

Serves 4


  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tbsp hot curry powder
  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks
  • 100ml natural yogurt plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
  • steamed rice, to serve


  1. Mix the ground spices and curry powder in a small bowl. Put the chicken, yogurt, ½ the lime juice, ½ the garlic and ginger paste and ⅓ of the spice mix in a bowl and toss to coat. Leave to marinate while you make the curry sauce.
  2. Heat ½ the oil in a deep frying pan and add ½ the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are really soft and start to caramelise. If they start to stick, add a splash of chicken stock.
  3. Add the rest of the ginger and garlic puree and ¾ of the remaining spices, along with the cardamom and honey. Stir well and cook for 1 min, then add the tomatoes, chicken stock, a good grind of pepper and a little salt. Simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, then blend until smooth with a hand blender and tip into a bowl or jug for later.
  4. Clean the pan and return to the hob with the rest of the oil. Once hot, add the rest of the sliced onions and remaining spices, and fry until golden and crispy. This should take about 10-15 mins, stirring frequently. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Return the pan to the heat and add the chicken along with any marinade and cook on a high heat to seal for about 5 mins until golden. Pour in the curry sauce. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 10-12 mins, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the rest of the lime and coriander. Serve the curry topped with the golden onions and steamed rice, and extra yogurt if you like.
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