Chicken Dopiaza-Spicy Chicken Curry With Pearl Onions

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Before my family starts presuming that I have turned vegetarian again,its high time that I post a non vegetarian recipe.I was just checking my archives and realized that I posted a lamb recipe more than a month back.Quite a long time given the fact that I m cooking non vegetarian food per week ,but dont know why I m not posting the recipes.

The best thing about Indian families is that everyone from relatives to neighbours to friends have interest in your life.Wanted or unwanted! What you are studying,what you are cooking to how much did your son score in his exams to when your daughter is getting married to when she will have a baby.Its a fathomless curiosity which indians carry for the people around themselves.It keeps them busy and makes life interesting overall.If you give an indian a choice between a get together with friends & dining at Red Lobster, I think most of the indians will happily choose the former option.We love gathering in big groups at each others houses involving hours of gossip session and discussing about each other’s life.It is the spice of our life.And the way to connect.

I m sitting so far away from my home,but most of my family knows what happens in our life on a daily basis.I may forget to call n tell, but mom will ask me the whole routine without fail.Many of the members will open the blog and read it to find what we are up to.Indians find a way to connect anyhow.However, I m not complaining.These phone calls and minute interferences are the binding threads of life.A nothingness takes over me if I don’t call home for two days and do not get to know the day today activities back there.

Chicken Dopiaza is a popular indian curry with origins in east india.”Do” in Hindi means two and “piyaz/piaz ” is hindi for onions.So it translates to a chicken dish cooked with twice the normal amounts of onions in a curry or a dish where onions are used two times in the preparation.Wiki tells me that in eastern india particularly in the state of West Bengal which had a lot of muslim travelers then,this dish originated and then got popular in the rest of the country.

The good thing about this curry is that it used simple indian spices and herbs and has a yogurt tomato based sauce in addition to onions.I have used red pearl onions in the curry, you can replace with shallots or even chunks of medium-sized onions.The idea is to use onions in the sauce with as well as include them in the curry on their own.Dont be overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients, these are all easy to find things available in your pantry.The recipe is adapted from here.

Ingredients: [Serves 2]

1 lb chicken ,bone in ,skinned [I used chicken thighs]
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 dry red chillies
Salt to taste
1/2 cup red pearl onions [or equivalent quantity of shallots or thick sliced onions]
3 medium onions
2 fat cloves of garlic
4 fresh mint leaves
1″fresh ginger shoot
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 cup chopped tomatoes
5 tbsp oil [mustard/olive /canola]
Chopped cilantro [for garnish]

Whole Spices:

6 cloves
8-10 black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods, cracked open
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick

Dry Ground spices:

1 tbsp red chilli powder[adjust to taste]
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp dry coriander powder
Garam Masala to sprinkle [optional]


Soak the dry chillies in half cup water for about 15 minutes.
Once soaked, coarsely grind them using a mortar & pestle.
Rub chicken pieces with lemon juice,above red chilli paste and 1 tsp salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
Peel the pearl onions and set aside.
Grate one medium onion and squeeze out its juice.Preserve the juice.Discard the pulp.Thinly chop the rest two onions.
Coarsely grind the mint leaves, ginger shoot and garlic cloves.Mix them which beaten yogurt and juice of the onion.Set aside.


In a heavy bottomed pot with lid, add the oil and let it come to a smoking point on high heat.Once smoking, reduce the heat, wait for 1 minute and add the pearl onions.Fry the pearl onions for 2-3 minutes until they turn light brown.Drain on a paper towel.
In the remaining oil,add the sliced onions along with all the whole spices and cook till onions turn golden brown on medium heat.About 5-8 minutes.
Next, add the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder.Cook on medium heat till tomatoes become tender and you see oil separating on sides of the pot.About 5 minutes.
Add the marinated chicken along with marinade,yogurt mix and stir everything to combine properly.Check the salt at this stage.Adjust if required.
Now reduce the heat to low and let the curry cook till the chicken is tender.About 20 minutes for the size of chicken pieces you see in the pictures.
When the chicken is tender, add the fried pearl onions & sugar ,mix well, cover again and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and sprinkle with garam masala if u like.
Serve warm with rice or flatbreads.


You can use lamb, mutton or beef for making this curry.Adjust cooking times accordingly.
I recommend using bone in and dark meat chicken pieces for this curry because the curry cooks for a long time on slow heat.

Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!

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