The next destination in our on-going culinary journey is Jammu in the northern part of India. Today we will explore a dish that originated in the Jammu region when it was ruled by the Dogra kings, who were Rajputs from the Shivalik region of the Himalayas.
The Dogra royal families ruled Jammu during the period from 1846 to 1947 and the traditional dishes prepared by the chefs in the royal kitchens are known as Dogri cuisine. This culinary style has a rich oeuvre of both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes and is famed for its artful use of spices to create flavours that range from the gentle to the dominant.
But it wasn’t just the royal chefs who did all the cooking – the Dogra women too were famed for their culinary skills, their subtle tempering methods, their use of Mustard Oil and mustard seeds, and their ability to combine locally available spices to create a dazzling canvas of flavours.
Food was an integral part of Dogra life spanning festivals, wedding celebrations and special family occasions. These were simple, rustic, hardworking people who used their traditional recipes to commemorate the joys of everyday living.
The Dogri dish that we will be making today is called Auria – a tangy preparation of potatoes in yogurt and mustard gravy. The essence of the flavour of this dish comes from careful fermentation of the yogurt before using it in the cooking process.
So let’s get started. Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Potatoes: 3, medium-sized
Yogurt (Dahi): 150 grams
Mustard Oil: 4 tablespoons
Mustard Seeds (Rai): 1 teaspoon
Mustard Powder: 1 tablespoon
Fennel (Saunf) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Half a teaspoon
Salt: to taste
The quantities mentioned above are for serving four persons. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.
In a mixing bowl, add the yogurt along with the mustard powder and mix well. Keep the bowl aside for around 9 to 10 hours to allow the yogurt to ferment. Since this is a lengthy process, it is best to start doing it the night before you make this dish.
Wash, peel and boil the potatoes. When they are done (use a fork to check), cut them into small cubes.
In a bowl, mix the potato cubes with red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well to ensure that all the potato pieces are evenly coated in the spices. Keep aside.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a High flame. After a while the oil will reach its smoking point and wisps of aromatic white smoke will rise from its surface. Reduce the flame to Medium.
Temper the hot Mustard Oil with the mustard seeds and fennel seeds.
When the seeds begin to splutter add the potato and spices mixture. Fry till the potatoes turn crisp and take on a medium brown colour.
Remove the pan from the flame and add the fermented yogurt. Stir to mix all the contents of the pan well.
Now put the pan back on the flame. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the contents to simmer and cook slowly for around two minutes. Then turn the flame off.
Your traditional Dogri Auria is now ready. Serve it hot. This dish is traditionally eaten with rice, Roti or Puri.
You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/