Dogra Ambal Recipe: Jammu’s Traditional Dish

Make a full-flavored, tasty Dogra Ambal with this easy recipe. Tender and delicious pieces of Kaddu (pumpkin) swimming in a super flavorful curry are the ultimate comfort food for a chutney lover. This simple pumpkin chutney is usually served as a side dish with dal and rice in Jammu during special occasions like weddings or any kind of get-together.

About The Dogra Ambal Recipe

Ambal is a very popular recipe from the Dogra cuisine of the Jammu region. It is a simple, tangy curry made with minimal ingredients that are easily available at home. Ambal is essentially a sweet and sour curry made with jaggery and tamarind. While Ambal can be made with different vegetables, the most popular version is Kaddu ka Ambal.


How to Make Dogra Ambal

Ingredients (Serves 4-6, Prep Time: 15-20 min)

  1. 2 spoons oil
  2. 1 spoon methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
  3. 1 Kaddu (pumpkin)
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 spoon haldi (turmeric) powder
  6. 1 spoon red chili powder (Kashmiri Red chilli)
  7. 1 spoon garam masala
  8. 1-2 chopped green chilies
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 3 spoons water from soaked imli (tamarind)
  11. 2 spoons shakkar or gudd (jaggery)
cutting kaddu pumpkin
Cutting Kaddu for making Ambal

Cooking Instructions

  1. Take the skin & seed off the pumpkin, and cut it in medium sized block pieces.
  2. Prepare the Tamarind paste by soaking the tamarind in warm to hot water for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes of soaking the tamarind, squeeze the seeds out and collect the extract in a bowl. It should form a thick tamarind extract paste.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan.
  5. Set the flame on low. Add ½ tbsp of methi dana in oil. Let it splutter.
  6. Now add the ½ tbsp of each Kashmiri red chilly Powder and turmeric powder into the pan. Mix it well.
  7. Add the diced pumpkin into the pan and mix it well.
  8. Cover the pan, and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add only a little water too. Steam would help in making the pumpkin pieces soft. And cook it for 5 minutes.
  9. Now add the tamarind paste into half cooked pumpkin along with jaggery and salt. And mix well.
  10. Let it cook for 2 minutes. And add a little more water.
  11. You might need to keep adding more water, little by little, till the pumpkin becomes soft enough to be smashed by slight pressure of the spoon.
  12. Garnish it if you like. But not really needed. Serve it with Chana Dal or Rajma and Rice. Enjoy your tangy Ambal.

Read also: Kaladi Kulcha best Street Food in Jammu that you must try

Watch Below video: Preparation of Dogra Style Ambal:

Pro Tips

  • You can use chopped or pureed imli (tamarind)for added flavor.
  • The specialty of this Dogra Ambal is to slow-cook it on low heat. Do not rush the process. A slow-cooked dish stands out in taste and flavor.

Give the good old pumpkin an upgrade with this Dogra Recipe, sweet and sour Ambal. This Dish best goes with Chana Dal (or rarely, Rajma) & Rice (Locally called Chowl) and popularly Dal-Chowl-Ambal.

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