This is chicken dopiaza from scratch, no curry house style base sauce required.
Many readers of my blog and books have asked if you can make British Indian restaurant (BIR) style curries without the ‘essential’ base sauce. That smooth onion based sauce is used at UK curry houses to prepare everything from the mildest chicken korma and tikka masala to the spiciest vindaloo and phaal.
Here I would like to show you how you can make top quality, curry house style chicken dopiaza from scratch without the need to make a base sauce first.
What is chicken dopiaza?
The ‘do’ in dopiaza means two. ‘Piaza’ means onions.
So dopiaza curries are curries cooked with onions in two ways. If you count the crispy fried onions that garnish this chicken dopiaza from scratch, you actually have onions cooked in three ways but who’s counting?
This recipe will get you restaurant quality chicken dopiaza in less than 30 minutes!
Do I have to use tandoori chicken in this recipe?
Absolutely not! I like to add pre-cooked tandoori chicken because it adds another layer of delicious flavour.
You could just add raw chicken pieces and let them cook through in the sauce. If doing this, however you will probably need to add more stock or water to cook the chicken through.
Do I have to use chicken?
Nope. You can use the protein of your choice in this recipe.
The chicken dopiaza style sauce is excellent with lamb, beef, paneer or pulses such as chickpeas.
Step by step photographs…
If you like this chicken dopiaza from scratch recipe, you might like to try these too…
- 4 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 medium onion, quartered and broken up into individual petals
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp picante paprika
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 – 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 200ml chopped tinned (canned) tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, roughy chopped
- 4 cardamom pods, bruised
- 600g (1lb 5oz) cooked tandoori chicken (see page 00), leftover cooked chicken or raw chicken cut into bite sized pieces.
- 2 tbsp plain natural yoghurt
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 6 tbsp coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
- Crispy fried onions to garnish
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan or karahi over medium high heat. Place the onion petals in the pan and fry, turning regularly to char them in places.
- Transfer to a plate and set aside. Now add two tablespoon of the oil to the pan over medium high heat and add the chopped onions. Fry for about 10 minutes, stirring often until soft and a deep golden brown in colour.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for another 30 seconds. Then add the ground spices and stir again to coat the onions before pouring in the chopped tomatoes. Add 125ml (1/2 cup) unsalted chicken stock or water and allow to cool some.
- Transfer the cooled onion mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Wipe your pan clean with a paper towel. No need to make it spotless! Pour in the remaining 1 tbsp oil and stir in the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom pods to infuse for about 30 seconds.
- Now pour in the blended sauce. It will look too thick when you do so add about 250ml (1 cup) unsalted chicken stock or water.
- Bring this to a rolling simmer and then add the cooked or raw chicken. You just need to heat the cooked chicken. If using raw chicken, be sure to cook it through. Only stir if the sauce is sticking to the pan. It will caramelise to the sides as it cooks. Stir this back into the sauce for more flavour.
- Now let’s finish this masterpiece of a curry off. If it is looking too thick, add more water or stock. If it is too thin, just cook it down to your liking.
- Stir in the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time and then add the fried onion petals.
- Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with the garam masala. Serve garnished with the chopped coriander and crispy fried onions.