India is a diverse country with varied languages, cultures, and food. Indian cuisine is so huge and is a combined taste of different delicacies from across the country. Every state has its own typical cuisine with interesting spices and cooking methods. Cuisine differences derive from various local cultures, geographical locations (whether a region is close to the sea, desert, or mountains), and economics.

Also Read: Nuances Of Lesser Know Dogri Cuisine And Dishes To Try

There are some dishes that hold great prominence in a particular state but others hardly know about it. One such dish is Ambal from the Dogri cuisine of the Jammu and Kashmir region. Often made with pumpkin, this dish is absolutely delicious and is a must-have specialty in local weddings. This simple yet scrumptious tangy is made up of minimal ingredients that could be available in every other household. It has both jaggery and tamarind which gives the curry a sweet and sour taste. Though one can use any vegetable in ambal, the most popular version is kaddu ka ambal.

If you have ever been to a wedding in Jammu, you know what we are talking about. Kaddu ka ambal is quite similar to the khatta meeta kaddu dish made in North India but instead of raw mango and sugar, it has jaggery and tamarind. Also, dhooni is often given to the dish to give it a smoky flavour. This pumpkin and jaggery combination make for an amazing dish that we should try at least once! So, here is the recipe of this lip-smacking dish that we have been dying to try. Follow the steps and have a taste of the rich Dogri cuisine. 

Ingredients

  • 250 gm orange coloured pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp powdered jaggery
  • ½ tsp methi seeds
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • ½ cup tamarind paste
  • 5 red chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp tamarind powder
  • Pinch of red chili powder
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of coriander leaves

Method

  • Cut the pumpkin into medium cubes and keep it aside.
  • Take a bowl and soak tamarind in warm water.
  • After 10 minutes, squeeze out the tamarind pulp and make a paste.
  • Heat a pan and add oil.
  • Add methi seeds, cumin seeds, and ginger. Let them splutter.
  • Add tamarind powder, red chili powder, red chilies, and salt.
  • Saute everything for 1 minute. 
  • Add the cubed pumpkin and mix well.
  • Now add tamarind paste and jaggery.
  • Mix well and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add water and cover the lid.
  • Let it cook until the pumpkin gets soft. (Make sure that the consistency is not too dry)
  • When done, garnish with coriander leaves
  • Enjoy with hot pipping rice.

Enjoy!!