A Dogra Culinary Detour

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The Dogra people live mostly in what today is the state of Jammu in India. They are mostly Hindu, though some have converted to Islam or Sikhism along the centuries. Hindu Dogra are divided into the same social groups as other Hindu, following similar dietary restrictions. While Dogra cuisine falls within the greater spectrum of Indian cuisine, the Dogra seem to be particularly fond of sour flavors. They use toasted and ground pomegranate seeds, dry mango powder and lime juice to add those sour notes to their dishes and curries.

For my quick sojourn into Dogra cuisine, this is the recipe I made:

Khatta Gosht

Khatta Meat

Khatta Meat

As much as I love Indian food, I've been never particularly successful in making it, until now. This Dogri dish for lamb in a sour curry was easy to make, made my home smell like an Indian restaurant, and it was delicious. So much so that I made it twice. The first time, to be honest, I didn't realize until too late that I didn't have any dry mango powder (amchoor) at home. I thus left it for the next day, but my husband had it for lunch before I had a chance to go buy some and add it (along with the green chilies and fennel seeds). It was really good even without the addition of the other ingredients, but, of course, as what gives this dish its name is the sour flavor introduced by the dry mango powder, it wasn't at all what the dish was meant to be. So I had to make it again.

I'm not sure if the completed version is better than the incomplete one - it's definitely spicier - but it's also very good. I don't know if what makes it work is the use of whole seeds, rather than ground ones, the presence of fenugreek leaves or the Kashmiri masala, but whatever it is, it works to make a very authentic, delicious curry.


Khatta Meat


  • 1/4 cup mustard oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 black cardamon pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kashmiri masala
  • 1 dried red pepper, seeded
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 2 lbs lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dry mango powder (amchoor)
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 green chilies, seeded
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)


Heat oil over medium-high heat in a heavy cooking pot. Add the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cardamon pods and cloves and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook, stirring, until they start to brown. Add the fenugreek leaves, followed by the turmeric, the salt, the Kashmiri masala and the red pepper and stir. And 1 cup of water, stir and cook for a few minutes. Add the lamb and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 cups of water, cover, bring temperature down to low and simmer for one hour. Stir in the mango powder, fennel seeds, green chilies and cilantro (if using) and cook for a couple more minutes.

Adapted from Gopal's recipe at GoodTimes

Other Indian cuisines I've cooked: Indian, Anglo-Indian, Assamese, Awadhi, Balti, Bangladeshi, Bengali, Bene Israel, Bodo, Chettinad, Cochin Jewish, Dogra, Dum Pukht,Garo, Goan, Gujarati, Haryanvi, Hyderabadi, Indo-Chinese

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