Dopiaza literally means ‘Onions, two times’ – what makes a Dopiaza stand out from other dishes is that you add onions into the dish at (wait for it) two different times. The first time to reduce and saute, allowing for their sweetness to come through, then later in the dish to allow their texture and slight bite to make it a little more interesting. It’s is a really simple curry that’s bound to impress. It’s easy to remember the quantities and doesn’t require too many spices – you can also add in a few left over vegetables to bulk it out. You can use any meat (Gosht is a Persian word to mean ‘flesh’) – my personal favourite meats for this are goat or mutton, but barring that, lamb or beef work great, too.
500gms of red meat, cubed – I’m using some rump steak, but any red meat works really well
1 cup of plain, unsweetened yoghurt
2 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (we’re still at the end of winter here, so I’m adding about 5 small tomatoes, quartered)
1 cm ginger, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp red chilli powder (or smoked paprika, for a milder flavour)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp group cumin
1 cup of water
A little oil for frying
Start by finely chopping your onions. You don’t want any pieces to be too large, or it might be too strong a taste – equally, you don’t want it to be a paste.
Gently fry your 2/3rds of your onions, garlic and ginger in a little oil and add in your ground spices. Stir to combine and let your onions go translucent. If you fry them on too high a heat, they’ll burn and go bitter. Best to throw it out, rather than salvage, at this point! Save 1/3rd of your onions to add in later.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to a mild simmer and put in the rest of your chopped onions and stir through. Cover and allow to simmer till the meat is tender. The length of cooking time will depend on the cut of meat you’re using – my rump steak took about 10 mins. If you’re using lamb, then about 10-15 mins would be needed. If you’re using stewing steak, mutton, or goat, then I really recommend pressure cooking for 10 mins, followed by simmering for 15 mins to let the gravy thicken. Without a pressure cooker, then add in a little more water and slowly simmer for an hour or so. Keep checking the moisture levels to make sure it doesn’t dry out! BUT, if you’re cooking for longer, then add in your second batch of onions about 15 mins before the end (otherwise you kinda defeat the purpose of a dopiaza!)