My instant pot chicken dopiaza is a unique curry that's bursting with taste. Pot in pot rice makes it into a really great any day meal.
This one is probably my all-time best curry recipe and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Dopiaza comes from the Persian word meaning 2 onions. In this dish, there are 3 onions but cooked 2 different ways. You will end up with a beautiful, fragrant curry topped with delicious crispy, spiced onions - a real treat!
How to make instant pot chicken dopiaza
Although it does take a little more time than some recipes, dopiaza is still a relatively easy dish to make and it's really worth the effort.
If your doing pot in pot rice, you need to rinse the rice under cold water until it runs clear. this should take around 2 minutes. Put the rice in a bowl which will fit in the instant pot and set aside.
Now make the spice mixture by adding curry powder, coriander, turmeric, cumin and paprika to a small bowl.
Set the instant pot to saute and when it's hot add the ghee. When the ghee has heated through, add around half of the onions with about a third of the spice mixture. Mix well together and fry until the onions are going crispy. You will need to stir regularly. This should take around 15 minutes. When the onions are done, remove them and set aside.
Now put the remaining ghee into the pot and when it's hot add the rest of the onions with a pinch of salt. Fry using the pots saute low setting for around 20 minutes until the onions are nicely caramelised. Again you will need to stir. Any burnt on bits from frying the first batch of onions should come off with the second batch.
Add the garlic, ginger and chili and fry for another minute. Now add all of the remaining spice mixture, followed by the chicken. Mix well together and fry until the chicken is roughly browned.
Put a high trivet into the pot and add the pre-prepared rice with cold water. Now put the lid on and seal. Set to high pressure for 10 minutes and when the time is up leave it under pressure for another 10 minutes. Do a quick release and when the pin drops remove the lid. Take out the perfectly cooked rice and set aside and remove the trivet.
Stir the lime juice, honey and yoghurt into the curry and then serve over the rice with the crispy fried onions on top and a garnish of coriander - perfect!
What are the ingredients for instant pot dopiaza?
The ingredients should all be readily available and you will probably already have most of the spices in your store cupboard:
- Long grain rice (I used basmati)
- Curry powder (I used mild, but use whatever strength you prefer)
- Coriander powder
- Turmeric powder
- Cumin powder
- Cardamon pods
- Chicken thigh
- Chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Tinned tomatoes
- Natural yoghurt
- Lime juice
- Coriander (cilantro) - to garnish
Although it is quite a large list, please do not let it put you off as the results are really worthwhile.
ARE THERE ANY SUBSTITUTIONS I CAN DO IF I DON’T HAVE ALL THE INGREDIENTS?
There are plenty of substitutions to make the recipe reasonably flexible and you can always play around with the spices to suit your own tastes.
- I used basmati rice, but any long grain rice will work fine. you could use brown rice, but the pot in pot method would not be suitable as the cooking time is not long enough.
- Although I used mild curry powder, feel free to use whichever strength you prefer (my curry was not too spicy and very family-friendly).
- The spices used should work out perfectly, but feel free to change them to your own preferences.
- I used ghee to make an authentic curry, but coconut oil is also very good and healthier. Most vegetable oils which are suitable for high-temperature cooking will also work perfectly well.
- You could use powdered garlic, ginger and chili instead of fresh to make the recipe even easier.
- I used chicken thigh because I find it has more taste than breast and it is less expensive. Chicken breast would still work well or you could use another meat entirely with lamb being a great alternative.
- Vegetable stock could be used instead of chicken stock.
As you can see, quite a lot of the ingredients have good alternatives to add to the flexibility of the recipe.
What to serve with instant pot chicken dopiaza?
I served mine with a garnish of coriander (cilantro) and a side serving of broccoli. I also added some Indian snacks to make the meal even more special (onion bhajees and vegetable pakora's). If you don't want to serve with rice, naan bread or chapatis would be very good alternatives.
Can instant pot chicken dopiaza be made keto-friendly?
Yes, it can. You would have to serve without the rice and not have naan bread or chapatis. I would suggest serving with cauliflower rice instead. You could also leave out the honey to further reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.
If you want me to calculate the exact carbohydrate quantities, please let me know what substitutions you are doing and send me a message. I am always happy to help out.
Can instant pot dopiaza be made vegetarian or vegan?
Again, yes it can. Substitute something like chickpeas for the chicken and use vegetable stock instead of chicken to make it vegetarian. To further make the recipe vegan, use vegetable oil instead of ghee and either leave out the honey or replace with a suitable vegan alternative. In all cases, timings would remain the same.
Is instant pot chicken dopiaza healthy?
Like all of my recipes, the ingredients are all-natural with no added processed sugars. To reduce the saturated fat quantities further you could use coconut or vegetable oil instead of ghee and replace the chicken thighs with breast.
Can the recipe be scaled up or down?
Absolutely. You could easily double the recipe in all pots 6l (6qt) and above and the recipe would half well in all size pots. In either case, all timings should remain exactly the same. Pot in pot rice will not, however fit in the 3l (3qt) pot and so you would have to make it separately.
Instant pot chicken dopiaza
- Instant pot
- 500 g Basmati rice Rinsed and drained.
- 2 tbsp Curry powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 2 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 3 tbsp Ghee Most vegetable oils will also be OK.
- 3 Large Onions (roughly chopped)
- Pinch Salt
- 6 Cloves Garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1 tbsp Ginger (roughly chopped)
- 1 Whole Chili (roughly chopped)
- 5 Whole Cardamon pods
- 908 g Chicken thigh (skinless and boneless)
- 300 ml chicken stock Vegetable stock would also work.
- Season to taste
- 400 g Tinned tomatoes
- 100 ml Natural yoghurt
- 1 Whole Lime (juiced)
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 bunch Coriander (cilantro)
- Rinse and wash the rice under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Set aside.
- Mix together in a small bowl the spice mixture (curry powder, coriander, turmeric, cumin and paprika).
- Set the pot to saute and add half of the ghee. When the ghee is hot add around half of the onions and ⅓ of the spice mixture. Fry until crispy and golden (around 15 minutes). Remove the onions and set aside.
- Now add the remaining half of the ghee. When it's hot add the rest of the onions with a pinch of salt. Fry gently for around 20 minutes until gently caramelised (use the pots saute low setting). Any burnt on bits will come off with the onions.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chili. Fry for around 1 minute and then add the rest of the spice mixture followed by the chicken. Stir well and cook until the chicken is browned.
- Season to taste and then add the stock and tinned tomatoes. Stir well together.
- Put the rice in a container which fits inside the pot and add 700ml of cold water. Put a tall trivet in the pot and add the bowl of prepared rice.
- Now put the lid on the pot and set at high pressure for 10 minutes. When the time is up, leave under pressure for another 10 minutes and then do a quick release.
- Remove the lid followed by the perfectly cooked rice and the trivet.
- Stir everything together and add the lime juice, yoghurt and honey.
- Serve over the boiled rice with a topping of the crispy onions and enjoy.
I made mine using an 8l (8qt) instant pot and I have also made it in the 6l (6qt) pot. I haven’t made it in the 3l (3qt) pot, but I’m sure it would work just as well with the same timings.
The quantities above made 6 portions and there was enough left for my lunch the next day.
Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge and will freeze well for around 6 months. Dopiaza will reheat really well and will almost certainly taste even better when warmed up as the flavours have more time to develop.
If you want to freeze, please use the following instructions: Cook as instructed and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 6 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through.
For some interesting information about dopiaza, please click here.
If you have enjoyed my recipe for instant pot chicken dopiaza, please check out some of my other Indian inspired recipes below:
- Instant pot lamb rogan josh
- Easy instant pot butter chicken
- Instant pot chicken tikka masala recipe
- Instant pot keema
- Instant pot chicken biryani
For any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave them in the box below and I would be delighted to help.