Gosht dopiaza translates to “meat in twice as many onions”. In India, traditional gosht dishes were made with goat or mutton, but chicken and lamb have become more common. Gosht or ghosht refers to tender meat, cooked for a long time, and used as an ingredient in a number of cuisines from the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
This dish is a beautiful contrast between the chewy beef, gentle spices, and abundance of sweet onions. To recreate the depth of onion flavors, instead of the addition of caramelized onions, raw onions are added in the final 5 minutes of cooking. This technique, adapted from Julie Sahni’s 1980 masterpiece Classic Indian Cooking, produces onions without any sharp taste that become sweet and glazed without losing their crispness.
Gosht Dopiaza – Beef Smothered in Onions
- Food Processor or blender
- Large heavy-bottomed pot with lid, or a wok
- Large skillet
- Instant Pot, optional
- 2 medium Red onions, peeled and cut in half lengthways
- 6 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 2 inch Ginger root, sliced and slices crushed
- 3 small Red chili pepper, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 4 pods Cardamom
- 1 tsp Each: red pepper powder and turmeric
- 2 tsp Each: ground coriander and cumin
- 2 lb Beef chuck steak or stew meat already cubed
- 1 tsp Ground fenugreek
- 4 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Brown sugar
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 cups Boiling water
- 1 tbsp Garam Masala for garnish (optional)
- Roughly chop 1 onion and place in the food processor along with the red chilis, garlic and ginger. Process until a paste forms. Cut the other onion into ¼ slices and rinse, drain, and put in a bowl for later.Cut meat into 1½ chunks, if not already cubed. Dry on paper towels. Put water on burner to boil if cooking using the traditional method.
- Heat ghee in the large skillet or wok over medium. Add onion mixture and fry 3 minutes. Add cardamom pods, chili pepper, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Stir to form a paste.
- Add beef and stir to coat. Stir in the fenugreek, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and boiling water. Cook, covered, on low for 1 hour. After an hour, check to see if the meat is done. The sauce should be reduced and the meat very tender. If not, put the lid back on and cook another 15-25 minutes.
Finish and Serve
- When Dopiaza is done cooking, remove the lid and quickly mix in the raw sliced onions. Return the lid and turn the heat way up to high for exactly 15 seconds. Turn heat off and don't touch the cover for 5 minutes. This will steam the onions. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and let it rest for a few minutes. Scoop Dopiaza into a serving bowl, sprinkle garam masa over the top, and serve with plain white rice, Indian bread, and a salad.
Instant Pot Beef Dopiaza Recipe
- All the ingredient list remains exactly the same. Follow instructions above for creating an onion paste.Set Instant Pot to SAUTE. When HOT, melt 1 tbsp ghee and then add onion paste. Fry for 3 minutes. Add cardamom pods, chili powder, cumin, and turmeric for 30 seconds.
- Add beef cubes and stir to thoroughly coat. Stir in fenugreek, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Attach lid and set to PRESSURE COOK on High for 35 minutes with a 10 minute natural release. After 10 minutes, turn valve to manual if it hasn't fully released yet.
- While the dopiaza is cooking, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a wide pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced and separated onions and cook for 40+ minutes until a dark brown. Stir often to ensure the don't stick or burn.
- When cover can off, remove it and set to SAUTE again. Scoop beef chunks out to a bowl and then reduce sauce by half, about 5 minutes. Stir onion slices in and cover. After 10 seconds, turn SAUTE off and leave covered for 5 minutes. Remove cover return beef to pot to warm again. Scoop everything into a serving bowl and sprinkle garam masala over the top. Serve with white rice and roti.
- Gosht dopiaza can be made well in advance of serving and freezes beautifully.