Nuances Of Lesser Know Dogri Cuisine And Dishes To Try
Image Credit: Dogri Rutti (Dogri Khaana) ,Daal, Rajma, Ambal, Makhana and Paneer with Chawal/ Instagram-foodprooftravellers

The Dogras or Dogra people happen to me Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic people who have been living in India and Pakistan and are known to speak a dialect called the Dogri language. These indigenous group have been living in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, and in adjoining areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh along with North Eastern Pakistan.

And this ethnic group sees live a simple and hard life.  As most live around  Duggar region it’s not an easy life for them. Interestingly that doesn’t make them stay away from good and nutritious food. With their meal mostly focussing on wholesome grains and vegetables and milk that they get from their petted cattles the clan takes delight in milk and milk products such as curd (dahi or matha), shash or lassi, cheese, butter, ghee etc. The pahadi or the Jammu rajma (red kidney beans) as we known them along with the anardana (pomegranate seeds), long-grained basmati makes for an integral part of Dogri food. The Dogri fare is mostly Dogri missed in the humdrum of Kashmiri cuisine but this one is much simple and rustic and is today mostly restricted to a homely cuisine. Though the cuisine is predominant in Jammu but it also crosses the border and goes up to  Kangra belt of Himachal Pradesh too. During festivities they would dig’ daan’ and place the saglas to cook rice,rajmash (red kidney beans), pulses. A big iron pan is also there to prepare ambal using pumpkin, tamarind and jaggery. 

The Dogri’s sees the unique Dhungar, or smoking technique which is way to give smokey flavour to the dishes. It’s an age old ancient technique that sees smoking and infusing the flavor of burnt charcoal in the dish. This technique is done both during and even after the cooking process, but also make sure that the smoke doesn’t overpower the flavour of the main dish.

Don’t miss on the fact that the Dogri community is also high on street food with dishes like Kalari (this is a cheese from Jammu) kulcha , roasted kachalu, that is served sharp and tangy tamarind chutney, rock salt, carom seeds, green chillies. You can mix this with boiled rongi (black-eyed peas) too and this makes for an healthy hearty snacking delight. The Dogri plate surely lentil heavy. Even their .Daal da madra and Shuaron ka madra, Dal Patt, Maa da Madra, and Auriya happen to be all time favourite. 

Let’s see three 3 Popular Dishes From Dogri Cuisine:

Khatta Meat

This dish is a Dogri speciality. This ethnic group is mostly found in Jammu and Kashmir adjoining areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh. The dish is called Khatta meat as it gets its distinct sour taste to the meat curry due to the use of 'aamchoor”. This dish sees a spicy and sour taste and goes best with some hot hot roti’s. A well blend and amalgamation of several spices this Himachali dish sees a nice mild rustic smokey flavour due to the dungar technique that is used with the help of hot charcoal. This semi dry dish is perfect for dinner.


Ambal is a sweet and sour dish made with pumpkin and tamarind as main ingredients. This curry is light and goes great with a plate of rice. A must during weddings, this dish is always prepared the traditional way. 


Pronounced as 'kh-you-r', this one look something similar to appam. This happens to be the welcome dish for brides when she first comes to her in-law home. Made with desi ghee, this one is served with some potato curry,