Dubke: This Winter Special From Uttarakhand Is All Things Nice
Image Credit: This heavenly bowl of dubke can be a treat in winters.

The diversity in India is not only visible in terms of the plethora of languages and cultures but also on the plate. Each region has certain special delicacies that they are known for. For instance, when you think of Rajasthani cuisine, the first few things that come to mind are dal baati churma, gatte ki subzi and laal maas. Similarly, fafda and jalebi is an iconic food combination associated with Gujarati food. While these areas are well-connected to the rest of country, there are certain remote places in the Indian sub-continent which we may be oblivious to. 

Increasingly, there has been an upsurge in reviving and preserving traditional cuisines of tribal communities. Along the same lines, there are several authentic delicacies from the hilly regions that might have been missed by our taste buds. To take an example, have you ever heard of Siddu? It is a special type of bread from Himachal that is essentially consumed during winters. What makes this bread so unique is the fact that while it looks like the sweet Gujiya, it is actually a savoury. Stuffed with a host of lentils and spices, this bread is a staple in the region. 

The hilly terrains of Uttarakhand speak a different story with their own set of specials. If you haven’t heard of Jhangora ki kheer or Bhang chutney from the Kumaoni platter, we understand. While the former is a Garhwali specialty that is creamy and milky, the tangy chutney is made from the bhang seeds and relished with most of the meals there. 

In addition to this, there is one quirky-named dish called Dubke that originates from the region. Why are we talking about it now? That’s because the winter season has commenced. In the Kumaoni households, you would find the aroma of dubke tempting your appetites all day long. Also known as dubuk, dubke is a lentil dish that is a quintessential winter soup of the season. At first, it may seem like an ordinary dal to you but the USP of the dish lies in the combination of lentils that are used in its preparation. 

The curry-like dish consists of a variety of pahadi lentils, ranging from bhatt to gahat and even urad and chana. When made with black soyabean or bhatt, it is often referred to as Ginjadu. The richness of this dal preparation comes from the overnight soaking of the lentils. These are then coarsely ground the next day and used for making pakoras as well as the base of the curry along with tomato puree. 

Dubke is not only a delicious dish but extremely nutritious too. Usually cooked in an iron wok, the nutrient-profile of the lentils is retained along with the colour and texture. It is considered to be a great meal idea for women and children, as it helps in strengthening bones in the former and sharpening memory in the latter.