How to cook… Prawn Dopiaza


Serves 4 as a main dish

Originally a dish from Persia, Dopiaza means “two onions” and gives it name to this curry because onions are used twice in the recipe (in the Base Curry Sauce and towards the end when the fried onions are added). You’ll need to quickly seal the prawns in butter and brown the onions first, then create the sauce before re-adding the prawns and fried onions again at the end.

What you need…
• small knob of butter
• 800g prawns, shelled and deveined
• 3 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 onion, sliced
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish)
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• salt to taste

Spice Mix 1
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon vinegar

How to make it…
1. Heat the butter to a medium heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
2. Add the prawns to the butter and stir fry until they are pink. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat 1 Tablespoon ghee to a medium heat and stir fry the onions until they are starting to brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
4, Heat the rest of the ghee to a high heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
5. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed.
6. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat initially to stop the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
7. Add the Spice Mix paste and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
8. Add the Base Curry Sauce and the tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
9. Add the prawns, mix well and cook for five minutes.
10. Add the garam masala, salt, coriander stems and prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
11. Add the fried onions and continue cooking until the prawns are fully cooked.
12. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.

Caramelising the onions creates a sweet and slightly sticky dish so it’s complemented nicely with a spicy chilli pickle or tart lime pickle on the side.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken Bhoona

Last time I was in a fruit and veg shop the owner told me that his onions could sing a Bee Gees song. I had to stay a bit longer to listen but then I noticed it was just the chives talking.