Dig Into Jammu’s Famous Khatta Meat For Lunch Today
Image Credit: Unsplash, Do you know the secret ingredient behind the sourness of khatta meat?

Did you know that Jammu and Kashmir enjoy two separate kinds of cuisines? We bet a lot of you were unaware about this fact. The Kashmiri delicacies are known world over and their tastes are widely replicated in and outside the country. However, Jammu’s regional fare is still in hiding. The Dogra cuisine, as it popularly called, is the traditional fare of Jammu area of J&K. The emphasis on local produce and indulging in rich curries is common among the community. They have a plethora of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights to nibble on. 

The region of Jammu and Kashmir was under the rule of a predominantly Hindu community till the 19th century. The heritage of Aryan ancestors brought a simple and humble vegetarian fare to light. Contrary to the meat-intensive Kashmiri cuisine, the Dogras boast of a largely rustic vegetable spread. However, there are a few hidden non-vegetarian delights that are yet be tasted by the world.  

One such gem from the Dogra cuisine is their khatta meat. Khatta means sour and meat refers to mutton or lamb. The rich and vibrant red curry is dunked with tender pieces of mutton that lends the dish a distinct flavour. The extensive use of souring agents is quite prominent in Dogra cuisine. From their vegetables to curries and pickles, you’ll find large-scale use of lime juice and tamarind in their preparation. The punchy taste is what makes the cuisine so flavourful and memorable. 

Khatta meat is a result of just that. The lamb curry is seasoned with pomegranate seeds or dry mango powder to add the sourness to it. You would often find additions like dry mango powder or aamchoor finding a place in this tangy mutton curry. This is the highlight of this dish and that’s what makes it so intrinsic to Jammu’s fare. The khatta-meetha flavours of such curries pair really well with steamed rice and are relished the most during cold, winter months. 

To prepare khatta meat, the whole spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon along with kasoori methi, Kashmiri red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste and other masalas are added to a pan of ghee. The succulent pieces of mutton are deeply covered in this combination and cooked in water. The star of the dish comes at the end when pomegranate seeds or dry mango powder are added to the meat for sourness. This is finally cooked for some more time before being served hot on a bed of rice or with a side of gheur or ghyoor i.e. a flatbread from Jammu. 

Tempted enough to make a mutton curry? Here’s another one you can try at home.