Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dubke ( Thick gravy of dal paste with pakodas )

Dubke are special dish made in Kumaon, Uttarakhand, India. At is a wonderful variation of dal dish, as main course and accompaniment to rice. In the chill of morning when steaming hot Dubke are placed before me with steaming hot rice and a dollop of Ghee I feel that I am eating the best meal of my life. Because not only dubke is my favorite dis but also it is cooked and served by my mother. Mothers love makes everything super tasty. So make it instead of regular dal-chawal. Your family will love this dal dish

Preparation Time: 10min. (Dal soaking time not included)
Cooking Time: 30 min. (approximately)
Servings: 4 large helpings

Ingredients Required for Making Dubke:
  • 100 gm. Tur Dal (Arhar dal)
  • 2 Medium size Tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2Tea spoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2Tea spoon Cumin seeds
  • 2Tea spoon Mustard seeds
  • 1-2 Whole Red Chilies
Spices for Dubke
  •  1/2 Tea spoon Jambu (A herb found in Kumaon region of India)
Jambu (A herb grown in higher altitude of Kumaon (India) and Nepal
  • 1 Tea spoon Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • Few sprigs of coriander leaves
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Water

Directions for Making Dubke:
  • Wash and soak dal in water for 3-4 hrs.
  • Drain all water from the soaked dal and grind it to thick fine paste.
  • Take half of the dal paste and add salt and 1/2 tea spoon of cumin seeds to it.
  • Take oil in wok and heat it to smoking hot.
  • Lower the flame and make pakodas of the dal paste with salt and cumin seeds.
  • Put the pakodas of dal in water and allow them to soak.
Soaked Pakodas
  • Make paste of tomatoes.
  • Slit the green chilies and deseed them and cut to small pieces.
  • Take 5ml. oil in the wok and heat it on high flame.
  • When the oil is smoking hot put 1/2tea spoon cumin seeds, 1/2teaspoon mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add green chili pieces and asafoetida and immediately put the remaining paste of dal and cook it with vigorous stirring for a min.
  • Add 200 ml. water and cook on low flame with continuous mixing till all paste and water make a homogenous mixture.
Paste of dal cooked with spices and made to lump less mixture
  • Add Turmeric powder and salt.
  • Add 250 ml. water and cook on high flame high flame till it starts boiling.
  • Lower the flame and cook for 15-20min. with occasional stirring.
Dal paste being cooked with spices
  • Add paste of tomato and 100ml. water and cook for another 10min.
  • Add the soaked pakodas and nd cook for another 5 min.
Tomato paste and Pakodas being cooked in Dubke
  • Remove the wok from gas.
  • Dubke with pakodas is ready.
Dubke ready for Seasoning
  • Take out dubke in a serving bowl.
  • In a pan take ghee heat it.
  • When the oil becomes smoking hot add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, whole red chili and in the last Jambu.
  • Wonderful smell of Jambu along with cumin and mustard seeds will come.
  • Immediately pour the ghee with all ingredients on the dubke.
  • Garnish with Coriander leaves or just enjoy it without garnishing with hot rice, Palak ka kappa ( A kumauni preparation of spinach) and mango pickle
  • Do not add too much water while grinding else paste will become thin and you will not be able to make pakodas.
  • While cooking the paste for dubke if in the starting small lumps are formed do not worry but press them to the wall of wok with the spoon and dissolve in the water present in the wok.
  • Jambu is an herb grown in higher altitude of Kumaon hill and Nepal. It is daily used for seasoning dal, dubke and vegetables in Kumaon. Its flavor comes best when ghee is used. So do not replace ghee with oil if you can get Jambu.
  • Do not worry if you do not have Jambu, you can yet make and enjoy this authentic Kumauni dish.
Suggested Variations:

  • Tur dal can be replaced by green moong dal, yellow moong dal, Masoor dal.
  • Tomato paste can be replaced by raw mango pieces or amchur powder, but do not add tamarind or tamarind paste the original color and taste of dubke will change.


  1. Hi Jyotsana,

    I was writing a blog on cuisine of Uttarakhand and while researching I happened to find lot of fabulous pictures taken by you (btw I have used some on my blog as well, ofcourse with the credit given to you). I want to tell you that you are doing a great job! Wish you all the very best for the future :)

    1. Dear Nidhi
      hi. It is great that my pivs are being used in cuisine of kumaon blog by you. Thanks for informing me and using the pics with credit.
      Could you please send the link to your blog. I would love to go through it.
      I love and miss my kumaon. My daughter in law and son in law who are non-kumaoni are big fan of Ras-Bhatt and gude.

  2. Hi Jyotsana,

    Here is the link to my blog: https://www.tourmyindia.com/blog/famous-garhwali-and-kumaoni-recipes/

    I hope you like the blog, please feel free to comment there. I miss home too, however, I try to make it to my hometown Nainital whenever I get an opportunity :)

  3. Hi Jyotsana, thanks for posting this. I remember my Mom making dubka's with kala chana as well. I loved the dish but never bothered to learn how to prepare it. I am in Bangalore and have noticed that kumaoni cuisine have certain similarities with the food of North Karnatak, especially the konkan region. i am hoping I can find Jambu here.

    1. Ho Neetu. You can enjoy Dubke even without jambu.
      Yes Dubke can be made from chana dal also apart from moong, tur, masoor.
      I evenake it with green split moong.



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