This Chicken Dopiaza consists of an alluring aroma – mildly sweet with a distinctness of caramelized onions, fresh and aromatic coriander, heavenly cinnamon and tender, juicy chicken. Finish off this easy curry recipe with a helping of crisp onions and perfectly cooked rice for a satisfying supper. Pre-cook the coarsely chopped onion. Heat your skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable oil and fry the onions until the edges just start to turn brown. Remove onions but leave the oil in the pan.

Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata. Heat your frying pan briefly over medium heat. Add the rest of the oil. Use all the oil specified. It’s important. When the oil starts to shimmer add the finely diced onion and stir every few seconds until the onion is soft and starts to brown, about 3 minutes. If you are using the optional coarsely chopped green chili add it in after 2 minutes. Next comes the garlic ginger paste. Add it into the pan and cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.

Stir in the green chili and minced cilantro stems and stir. Cook for another 15-20 seconds. Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is a critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form.

This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat. Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here. Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.

Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked lamb, beef or chicken, the pre-cooked onions and the sugar. Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.


  • Chicken legs 1 Kg
  • Ghee/Oil 1/4 cup
  • Onions chopped 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Ginger paste 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste 1 tsp
  • Tomato cubed 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Yogurt 1 cup
  • Water 1 cup
  • Garam masala 1 tsp
  • Green chili 4-6 pcs


  1. Wash and clean chicken leg pieces.
  2. In a bowl, marinate chicken pieces with 1/2 tsp of red chili powder, 1/2 tsp of ginger paste and 1/2 tsp garlic paste. Set aside for 15 mins.
  3. In a pan, heat oil and add chopped onions, garlic and ginger paste. Sauté over high heat until it browns. Add cubed tomatoes, stir and mix well.
  4. Add turmeric, red chili, coriander, cumin powder and sauté over high heat for couple minutes. Add plain yogurt and continue to sauté, add water as required.
  5. Add marinated chicken and stir everything together. Cook chicken over high heat for 5 minutes, continuously stirring.
  6. Reduce heat and cook for another 20 minutes. Add cubed onions, garam masala, green chili and 1 cup of water and mix well.
  7. Close the lid and let it cook for another 10 minutes, occasionally stirring in between. Check if the chicken is cooked well-through and remove from heat.