In Hindi, do (pronounced like the English though) means two and pyaza means onions. The term describes a dish using twice the normal amount of onions. The resulting dish is bursting with flavour and a bit of sweetness. This dish is popular in Bengal and has Muslim origins. Bengal had its share of Muslim influences in art, architecture and cuisine because of Muslim rulers and Mughal governors. Please don’t be alarmed by the amount of onions or spices – you can’t expect anything less in a chicken and onion dish. This is a yummy and likeable dish.

A great alternative to butter chicken or chicken tikka masala, this could be your go to as far as Indian curries go.

Murg dopyaza


1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs

8-9 shallots, peeled

6 medium sized onions

8 small baby potatoes

2 teaspoons chilli powder

½ cup Greek style yoghurt

5 tablespoons of canola or other vegetable oil



This is a super quick and easy stir fry recipe that is delicious. When I am short of time and can’t think of what to prepare for dinner, I choose this recipe as it is one of our family favourite.

Stir-fry chicken Hyderabad style


400g chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

4 tablespoons lemon juice

200g onions

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 centimetre piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

½ teaspoon chilli powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 green pepper, remove core and cut into chunks

Salt to taste


Place the cut chicken pieces in a glass bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Mix well, cover and allow to marinate for one hour.

Quarter the onions and separate the layers.

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger and garlic to a paste.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a deep frying pan (kadai) or a wok. Remove chicken pieces from marinade, discard the lemon juice and fry the chicken pieces on one side for 2-3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add remaining oil and fry the onions, ginger and garlic paste. Stir frequently over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes until the onions are a pale golden colour. Put the cumin and coriander powders along with turmeric, garam masala, and chilli powder. Season with salt and if the spices are sticking to the bottom of the pan, sprinkle a spoonful of water. Fry the spice powders for a minute.

Toss in the green pepper pieces and increase heat to a high. Fry for a minute and add the chicken. Fry continuously for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is well cooked.

Serve immediately with roti or wraps.

Serves 3-4


I’ve seen this dish on the menu at several Indian restaurants. Ever since the potato was introduced by the Portuguese in early seventeenth century, Indians love for this vegetable has also grown. It is often added to most North Indian style vegetable dishes. What I find interesting is that the South was kind of far removed from foreign influences so much so that it took a long time for the so called “Western” vegetables to be incorporated into mainstream South Indian cooking. Sorry for my digression.

More to the point of aloo baingan – this is a lovely vegetarian dish that is not too chilli hot, yet very flavourful.

I roasted the eggplants for a bit so they retain their shape and don’t fall apart.

Aloo Baingan


300g eggplant

250g potatoes

250g tomatoes

250g red onion, finely diced

4 plump cloves of garlic

2 green chillies, finely chopped



I know there are several variations of this dish but I tried to create a creamy one without using cream. In some variations, I notice that the spinach loses its vibrancy and can be gritty so I created the dish where part of the spinach is pureed and the rest is added in the end.  In India, Saag will often be made from mustard greens, silverbeet or other greens but I’ve used spinach. You can adjust the number of green chillies based on how hot they are and also your heat tolerance. The curry is not meant to be hot – kind of flavourful and spicy with a touch of chilli heat.

Murg Saagwala


400g chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

200g fresh spinach

200g onions, finely chopped

2 medium sized tomatoes

3 tablespoons oil

2 cardamom pods

5-6 cm piece of cinnamon

1 teaspoon fennel seeds



This was a dish I used to make on a regular basis when the kids were younger. It’s a mild and creamy curry popular with adults and kids alike. My good friend Mini, asked if I could send her the recipe – I realized I hadn’t prepared this in over ten years! It was my concoction, so I recreated the recipe and my son vouched that it tastes like what it used to.

Please do try as I am sure it will become one of your favourites too.

Creamy Mushroom masala


500g mushrooms

250g onion, divided

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 tablespoons ghee

½ teaspoon caraway seeds or shah jeera

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

½ teaspoon chilli powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

60ml cream

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves to garnish

1 teaspoon liquid honey

1 tablespoon oil

1 clove

1 fresh red chilli, slit in half, optional

2 tomatoes (I used tinned tomatoes)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3-4 roots and stalks of fresh coriander, finely chopped


Chop 100g of the onion and finely dice the remaining and set aside. To make the sauce, heat oil in a saucepan, add the clove and let it fry gently. Toss in the red chilli and chopped onion and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and half cup water. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. Blitz using a stick blender and when cool enough sieve the sauce through a fine sieve and set aside.

Wipe the mushrooms and if too large, cut in halves or quarters. Heat the ghee in a kadai and add the caraway seeds. When they splutter, toss the garlic and then the finely chopped onion. After frying for two minutes, add the mushrooms. Mix well so mushrooms are coated in the onion mix. Cover with a lid and let sizzle on medium high heat for a couple of minutes. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder along with salt. Cover and cook for a few more minutes. When you see water in the kadai, remove the lid and evaporate most of the water.

Stir in the prepared tomato sauce along with the honey. Let it simmer gently for 4 or 5 minutes. Pour in the cream. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook for a further minute and turn off the heat.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice and roti.

Serves 4


When I was growing up in India, most of the dried fruit and nuts used to come from Afghanistan or Pakistan. They were mobile vendors on bicycles, who would do door to door selling. They were referred to as Kabuliwala, meaning a person from Kabul.

I am writing about this, because this korma dish uses pistachios. They are referred to as pista for short and generally reserved for ice-creams and halwas but pistachios along with cardamom add an interesting flavour to this chicken dish.

Pistachio Chicken


1 kilo of boneless, skinless chicken thighs

100g shelled pistachio nuts, unsalted

6 green chillies

2 onions (100g each approximately)

3 centimetre piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

6 plump garlic cloves

¾ teaspoon garam masala powder

2 bay leaves

¾ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds

12 cardamom pods

3 tablespoons chopped coriander stems, leaves and roots

1 teaspoon tamarind puree

200ml chicken stock

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt to taste


Cut the chicken thighs into half or a third depending on the size. Set aside.

Place pistachios in a microwave safe bowl that is fairly large. Pour enough water to submerge the nuts from a freshly boiled kettle. Let soak for a couple of minutes and then microwave on high for three minutes. Let cool. Once cool, rub the nuts with your fingers and remove the skin. Set aside.

Quarter one of the onions and finely dice the other onion. Place the onion quarters in a microwave safe bowl and pour enough water to drown the onions from a freshly boiled kettle. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Discard the cooking water by fishing out the onions.

Put the pistachio nuts, the onion quarters, ginger, garlic, 4 of the green chillies, coriander leaves in a food processor along with 50mls water and process to a fine paste.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and fry the onions on medium high for five minutes until lightly coloured. Add the garam masala, white pepper, bay leaves and fennel seeds and fry another minute. Mix in the spice paste and stir continuously for a further two minutes.

Add the chicken and sauté for five minutes. Add the tamarind puree, remaining chillies, chicken stock and salt. Cook for another 15 -20 minutes until done.

Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and using a rolling pin or mortar and pestle powder the seeds. Just before serving, sprinkle the freshly ground cardamom powder. Serves 4-6.