Chicken Dopiaza
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Posted by Pramila Fernando

With lashing of onions, Dopiaza's popularity is timeless. The origin of the word is rather unclear. In the Hindi language "Do" means two and "Piaz" is onion. Hence the popular belief that the word refers to the use of twice the amount or two different types of onions. However, dopiaza is essentially a Mogul dish and history has it that it was named after Emperor Akbar's courtier, Mullah Dopiaza.

Serves 4

3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 small onions/ shallots halved
2 bay leaves
8 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
3 dried red chillies
8 black peppercorns
2 big onions(Bombay Onion) finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5cm/1 in piece fresh root ginger finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
4 tomatoes skinned and finely chopped
1/2 cup water
8 chicken pieces, skinned
plain rice or chapatis, to serve

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok, karahi or large pan and fry the halved small onions/shallots until soft. Remove and set aside.
Add the remaining oil and fry the bay leaves, cardamoms, cloves, chillies and peppercorns for 2 minutes.
Add the Big onions (Bombay onions), garlic, ginger and fry for 5 minutes.
Add the spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder) and salt and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and water to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
Add the chicken pieces and cook for 15 minutes more.
Add reserved small onions, then cover and cook for further 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Serve with plain rice or chapattis.

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