Chicken Dopiaza

Chicken Dopiaza
Bob Peters / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serve 4 to 6
Ratings (24)

The word Dopiaza literally means two onions, which is a fitting name since this recipe calls for a large quantity of onion to be used in two batches. The first batch of onion is fried in oil; after the chicken and spices are added to the pan, it is the second batch of onion's turn. Although it is really easy to cook, it tastes like you spent hours lovingly preparing it. 

Legend has it, the dish was created when a courtier of a South-Asian emperor added a very large quantity of onions to a dish by accident. The dish evolved further in Hyderabad, India, and is now a staple of their cuisine. Dopiaza can not only be made with chicken, but is also delicious with meat or shrimp, or with vegetables to become a satisfying vegetarian dish. Serve Chicken Dopiaza with hot Chapatis and a green salad for a complete meal.

What You'll Need

  • 3 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable, canola or sunflower cooking oil
  • 2 1/4 lb. (1 kg.) chicken pieces (with bones)
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

How to Make It

  1. Heat a griddle or small, flat pan on a medium flame and gently roast the coriander and cumin seeds until aromatic. Remove from heat and grind into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder or spice grinder. Set aside for later.
  2. Separate the chopped onions into 2 portions, roughly 2/3 and 1/3.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and add the 2/3 portion of onions. Fry until golden.
  4. Add the chicken and fry until browned.
  1. Add the ground spices, garam masala, turmeric powder, ginger and garlic pastes and tomatoes and fry until the oil begins to separate from the mixture. Add salt to taste.
  2. Add the remaining 1/3 portion of chopped onion and mix well with other ingredients. Sauté until this batch of onions is soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is tender. This dish, when cooked, requires that the gravy be enough to just coat the chicken thickly--if there is too much, cook to reduce the gravy to required consistency.
  5. Garnish with coriander and serve with hot Chapatis and a green salad.