Dopiaza is a South Asian curry dish. The literal meaning of dopiaza is double onions or two onions.
As the name suggest, please expect two onions in this curry. For a non onion lover, this may sound like an overkill. But fret not, because each onion is prepared somewhat differently, it did not feel like “in your face” amount of onions. At least, this was how I felt about the dish.
There is the caramelised and crisp onion as garnish and the other one is to be cooked in the sauce. With the varying methods of preparation of onions, they brought the curry to a whole new level, effortlessly.
Whilst you can buy pre-made crispy onions, I recommend that you make them at home. The French shallots (or small red onions) are perfect for crispy onions as you can crisp them quite easily but brown onions can work also (case in point the following). The tricks are to slice the onions thinly and use one or two kitchen towels to dab the onion slices to remove as much moisture as possible. Then try to cook on fairly high heat at first until they are sizzling and then lower the heat to low and let them fry until golden brown (also avoid tossing the onions too much). When you first remove them from the pan, they will appear soft but as they are cooled, they will crisp up.
Pumpkin, Swiss Chard and Black Bean Dopiaza
(recipe from BBC Good Food, tweaked)
What you’ll need for 4 servings with rice:-
- 2 brown onions, (about 100g/ 3.5 ounces each), peeled & thinly sliced – Note: 1 onion to make crispy onions and 1 onion to cook in the sauce
- 3 tbsps cooking oil (I used canola oil)
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp curry powder (I used Clive of India – Hot Madras Curry Powder bought in Woolworths)
- Some chilli powder to taste
- 400g/ 14 ounces (peeled weight) pumpkin, cut into chunks
- 400g/ 14 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 can of water (use the empty canned tomatoes)
- 100g / 3.5 ounces swiss chard, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 430g / 15.5 ounces (net weight) canned black beans, rinsed & drained
- Salt to taste (I added about 1 tsp)
- A handful of fresh coriander as garnish (optional)
- In a large pan (or a pot), add 2 tbsps cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add 1 onion worth of sliced onions and cook until crisp and golden over low-medium flame (see Note 1). Remove from the pan and spread the crispy onions onto a paper towel lined flat plate. Set aside.
- Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil into the same pan, fry the remaining onion until lightly golden. Add the garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, curry powder, chilli powder (if using) and cook for 1 minute over low heat.
- The add the pumpkin and canned tomatoes and 1 can of water and return to the boil. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin chunks are softened (add more water if necessary).
- Stir in black beans and swiss chard and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the swiss chard is wilted. Taste the sauce for seasonings.
- To serve: scatter the crispy onions and chopped coriander leaves. Best serve with rice.