Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chicken Dopiaza with Mayan Heirloom Squash

Mayan heirloom squash
This popular Northern India chicken curry recipe is adapted from Mridula Bajekar's book "Curry". Dopiaza typically combines two types of onions 'do' (two in Hindi) and 'piaza' (chicken). As I didn't have the chili powder nor the peppercorn called for in the original recipes readily available, I used chili flakes and ground pepper. I'm sure the chili powder would have enhanced the colour of the dopiaza. Although mine might look somewhat anemic, there were no complaints when it came to taste. To make it a more complete dish, I added some mild tasting Mayan squash. It was then served with homemade chapati and basmati rice. 
For all my vegetarian friends out there, this would probably work beautifully with tofu.

3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
1 large Mayan onion (sweet onion) cut into large pieces (about 1")
2 bay leaves
8 cardamom pods
4 cloves
8 black pepper corns or black pepper (1/4 tsp)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
fresh ginger (about a 1"piece) finely chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp salt
4 tomatoes peeled chopped
4 Mayan squash, cut in large pieces
2 chicken breasts cut into 8 pieces

Heat about 2 tsp of oil in a large saucepan. Saute the Mayan sweet onions until soft. Remove and set aside. 

In the same pan, add the remaining oil and fry the bay leaves, the cardamon pods, cloves, chili flakes or powder if using, and pepper or peppercorns for about 2 minutes.
Add the finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger and fry for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining spices and continue cooking for a minute or two

Add the tomatoes, squash and water to the pan. Simmer for 5minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

Add the chicken and continue cooking for 15 minutes more.

Add the reserved onions and cook with the cover on for an additional 10 minutes.


  1. looks nice, I think this is great with rice.

  2. This is chock-full of flavor. Don't have access to Mayan squash or Mayan sweet onions - but I certainly will make do. Love all the colors and textures.

  3. The squash looks so cute! This looks like loaded with flavours.

  4. Raquel,Thanks for visiting and getting on board as a new follower.I think rice is always a nice side with curry,it tends to balance the heat of the spices.

    Thanks Sarah.

    Thanks Claudia. How unfortunate that you can't readily get your hands on some of ingredients. It must be quite frustrating for you. In all honesty, plain zucchini would work just as well. The original recipe does not call for vegetables but I like the idea of not having to cook them separately to accompany the meal.

    Angie, that was one of the reasons I couldn't resist buying them, plus they sounded so exotic.

  5. Hi Anna, what a lovely blog you have! And I am thrilled to see you are cooking such an elaborate Indian meal. Being an Indian I cannot make chapatis at home, or basically too lazy to try.

    Just one are right when you say do is two, piaza is not chicken but it means onion in Hindi....

    I loved your photos of Montreal...been there ages ago...some of your photos bought back those memories...