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Dopiaza curry in an Indian copper bowl with parathas.
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4.6 from 10 votes

indian restaurant dopiaza curry

Indian restaurant dopiaza curry is a medium hot curry with a hint of sweetness. If you want to keep things milder, roll back on the kashmiri chili powder or leave out the green chili. You can make this with chicken, lamb or beef. For vegan alternatives, simply substitute tofu or pre-cooked potatoes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2
Calories: 282kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The spice mix

  • 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix or curry powder - recipe link below
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder or 1/8 tsp cayenne mixed with 3/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch of coarse black pepper

The curry ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic/ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1 green chili seeded and minced
  • 1 green chili coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasatta
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro stems - finely chopped
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 10-12 oz pre-cooked chicken or lamb


  • Make the spice mix.
  • Pre-cook the coarsely chopped onion. Heat your skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp 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 (don't use non-stick) 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  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 (so it cooks one minute).
  • 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 the 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 (the oil will likely separate). 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. Don't add water.
  • Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.


The recipe for curry base is here.
The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here
The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.
If you haven't read about Indian restaurant technique yet, do that before you start cooking.
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
If you are making multiple curries, have your curry base warming in a pot on the stove. If you are just making one, microwave it to warm it up right before you start cooking.
Indian restaurants pre-cook their meat so it's ready for service. This recipe assumes the same. To pre-cook chicken, simply simmer it with a bit of curry powder and salt in chicken stock for about 10-15 minutes - until it's barely cooked.
To pre-cook lamb or beef, do the same but plan for 1 to 1/2 hours for lamb and 2 hours or more for beef. You are making stew meat so you are braising until tender. You will need to keep an eye on the level of the stock. For beef use beef stock.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1017mg | Potassium: 362mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 12.1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.1mg