Prawn, pepper & onion curry
You may be familiar with dopiaza dishes from South Indian cuisine where this curry-style dish made with lots of onions commonly features. This dish actually originates from Khorasan (in present-day covering the East of Iran and the West of Afghanistan). It was apparently introduced to South Asia by the Mughals and accordingly spread to countries with a South Asian diaspora. Regional variants have evolved in locales such as Hyderabad, India and several regions of Pakistan. The name Dopiyazeh translates into two onions (do meaning two in Persian; and piyaz meaning onion) which makes reference to the amount of onions used in this dish.
Dopiayzeh is now firmly established as a traditional dish from Shiraz and it can be made with cubed or ground lamb/beef, chicken, shrimp, potatoes, and a copious amount of sliced onions. My recipe is made with prawns (meygoo) and takes both the Persian origins and the South Asian development of this dish with a few extra additions of my own. There is a slight heat to my recipe, which you can leave out if you prefer.
This dish pairs well with my Sambuseh-e Sabzijaat (vegetable samosas) recipe, rice and some delicious pickles and chutneys such as mango chutney and turmeric pickle as pictured above. The rice I have made is Persian-style rice with naan tahdig but I have flavored it with turmeric, cardamom pods, some cloves and cinnamon to make it a pilau-style rice.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 large brown onion (finely sliced)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
- 1 thumb size fresh ginger (grated)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 red pepper (finely sliced)
- 1 red onion (finely sliced)
- 800 ml water mixed with 1/8 tsp of ground saffron
- Juice 1 fresh lemon
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 800 g frozen shelled tiger prawns (defrosted)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- A small bunch of fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- Place a large casserole pan or skillet on medium / high heat and add oil. Add cumin seeds, coriander seeds and mustard seeds and heat until they sizzle. Then add finely sliced brown onion and cook until they start to caramelise.
- Add garlic, then ginger and stir into the onions mixture. Follow with turmeric, red chilli flakes, ground coriander and stir until evenly distributed into the mixture.
- Add tomato purée and stir into the mixture. Then add sliced red peppers and red onion and stir until softened. Add water and saffron, lemon juice and garam masala and stir. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to allow the sauce to simmer gently for 30 mins.
- Add prawns to the sauce and stir. Add chopped fresh coriander and cook for a further 10 mins. Turn the heat off and serve the Meygoo Dopiyazeh with fresh chopped coriander sprinkled on top accompanied with rice and / or naan.