Dopiazeh Aloo is a flavorful and mildly spicy potato curry from Southern Iran. A versatile and satisfying vegetarian side dish, this potato curry recipe goes well with a variety of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean mains.
This potato curry is oniony, super aromatic, and comforting. Like Persian-style rice or barbari bread, it’s typically served as a side dish to meat. But you can also serve it with a fresh salad, like a simple Shirazi salad, for a vegetarian meal.
I love this potato curry recipe as a nice change to the usual side dish. It’s a great weekday addition to your family’s meals! With fresh aromatics like ginger and garlic and fragrant warming spices, I am certain this boldly flavored, colorful, and easy recipe will be on the regular rotation in your home.
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What are Dopiazeh Dishes?
Dopiazeh, also spelled Dopiaza, means “two onions.” The name refers to the generous use of onions in these types of dishes. They are akin to a South Asian curry and mildly spicy due to the use of warming spices.
You may have encountered or be more familiar with the concept of dopiazeh dishes from eating them at a restaurant specializing in South Asian cuisine. But, dopiazeh actually originates from Khorasan, the region that covers both Iran and Afghanistan.
This dish was introduced to South Asia by the Mughals where regional variations evolved in India and Pakistan. South Asian varieties are often spicier and contain more gravy than the Iranian varieties.
Dopiazeh dishes can be made with prawns, chicken, lamb and beef replacing or adding to the potatoes used in this recipe. These dishes are traditional to Shiraz in the South of Iran where the cuisine tends to be spicier than other regions. In Shirazi Persian ‘Aloo’ means potatoes.
Ingredients for this Potato Curry Recipe
This potato curry features ingredients that are readily available at your local supermarket. Make sure you use fresh produce to ensure maximum quality and flavor.
- Potatoes: The potato needs to keep its structure while absorbing the flavorful sauce during the cooking process. Yukon Gold potatoes are a great variety in the US and Maris Piper for those based in the UK.
- Extra virgin olive oil: High-quality extra virgin olive oil is used to cook the vegetables.
- Yellow onions: Go for medium or large-sized onions. You can also use one red and one yellow onion should you like a little extra color to the dish. Red onions will add a mildly sweeter finish to the dish.
- Green bell pepper: Adds color and texture.
- Fresh ginger and garlic: These fresh aromatics give a bold kick of flavor, marrying with the spices to bring about a lovely warming feel to this recipe.
- Red chili: Provides a little heat. I deseed mine to avoid overpowering the other flavors and make this dish child-friendly.
- Spices: Turmeric powder, ground cumin and ground coriander add woody, nutty, citrusy notes while salt and pepper enhance the flavor.
- Tomatoes and tomato paste: Form the basis of the light sauce.
- Fresh lime juice: Lifts the flavor with a hit of citrus.
- Fresh cilantro: Adds a lemony and peppery tone to the final dish and as a garnish.
How to Make this Persian-Style Curry Recipe
This flavor-packed potato curry recipe comes together in an hour and keeps well for up to 5 days. Here’s how you make it:
Prep the Vegetables
- Prepare and boil the potatoes. Peel and chop 2 pounds of potatoes into 2 to 3-inch square chunks and place in a large saucepan. Cover with water, season generously with salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander or sieve and set aside while you cook the other ingredients.
- Cook the onions and green bell pepper. Place a large saucepan on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil glistens, add 2 thinly sliced yellow onions and saute until they have softened and started to caramelize. Add one thinly sliced green bell pepper and cook until it has softened slightly. Stir the mixture regularly to ensure the onions and pepper cook evenly.
- Add the fresh aromatics. Add 4 crushed or minced garlic cloves, 1 (2-inch) piece of grated fresh ginger, and 1 finely minced red chili. Stir until fragrant.
- Add the spices. Add 1 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander and stir to coat.
- Add the tomatoes. Add 2 chopped fresh tomatoes and stir gently until they soften and break down.
- Add the tomato paste and water. Add 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and stir into the mixture, then add 1 cup of water to create a light sauce.
Stew and Serve
- Add potatoes, lime juice and seasoning. Add the cooked potatoes, stir into the mixture and turn the heat to medium-low. Add one tablespoon of fresh lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture gently until evenly mixed. Place a lid on the saucepan and gently cook for approximately 15 minutes for the flavors to marry. Stir now and again and lower heat further, if necessary.
- Garnish and serve the dish. Turn the heat off and add ¾ bunch of finely chopped fresh cilantro. Stir into the dopiazeh gently. Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with more cilantro if desired.
Storage, Reheating, and Ways to Mix it Up
Store Dopiazeh Aloo in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can either reheat in a microwave or on low heat in a saucepan. Add a little water to the saucepan to help generate some steam if you’re reheating on your stove. Other ways to mix this recipe up:
- Mash up the leftovers and add beaten eggs. Fry with some oil to make an omelet.
- Reduce the amount of potatoes and supplement with other vegetables such as mushrooms or cauliflower.
- Adjust the spice by adding more or leaving out the chili to your taste.
What to Serve with Potato Curry
This potato curry recipe is so versatile and will complement many dishes. Add cooked prawns to make a prawn and potato dopiazeh dish. Enjoy with a side of rice and/or flatbread.
Persian potato curry can also be served as an accompaniment to any meat dish from Easy Oven Roasted Whole Chicken to this Grilled Skirt Steak. It also pairs well with Chicken Schnitzel or serve it alongside Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Leg with Mint Pesto.
Alternatively, add it to the menu for a vegetarian dinner party with Whole Roasted Cauliflower as the centerpiece.
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Dopiazeh Aloo (Persian Potato Curry)
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 2-3-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
- 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 red chili, deseeded and finely minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
- Black pepper
- 1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- Prepare and boil the potatoes. In a large saucepan, add the potatoes and cover with water. Salt the water generously and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the onions and green bell pepper. In the same pan used to boil the potatoes, add the olive oil and set the pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and saute, stirring until they have softened and started to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Then add the bell pepper and cook, stirring until it has softened slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Add the fresh aromatics. Add the garlic, ginger, and red chili. Stir until the aromatics are released, about 1 minute.
- Add the spices. Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander. Stir to coat the onion and pepper mixture.
- Add the tomatoes. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and stir gently until they soften and break down, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and water. Add the tomato paste and stir into the mixture, then add 1 cup of water to create a light sauce.
- Add potatoes, lime juice and seasoning. Stir in the drained potatoes and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the fresh lime juice (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture gently until evenly mixed. Cover and gently cook for approximately 15 minutes for the flavors to marry. Stir now and again and lower heat further, if necessary.
- Garnish and serve. Turn the heat off. Gently stir in ¾ of the cilantro. Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro if you’d like. Serve immediately.
- To store, allow the curry to cool, then transfer to a sealable container. Store sealed in your refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop on low heat with a splash of water. Alternatively, you can mash the leftovers, whisk with 2 eggs, and cook like a scramble.
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