A Royal Recipe for Vegetarian Dumpokta

A Royal Recipe for Vegetarian Dumpokta

A vegetarian dum pukht, or slow-cooked, recipe featuring tiny onions, eggplants and potatoes in a complex curry, dating back to the royal court of Belgaum in north Karnataka.

The Koknastha dumpokta technique and recipe were most likely gleaned from the royal kitchens at the court in Belgaum. Its Persian roots are evident in ingredients like mace, nutmeg and saffron. But the recipe features a distinctive north Karnataka influence — the use of dry coconut in the gravy. The original recipe probably featured meat, but our Koknastha Brahmin family adapted it to their vegetarian diet, featuring eggplants, tiny onions and potatoes. Read the full story of Dumpokta.

Vegetarian dumpokta recipe with onion, potato and eggplant

Dumpokta Recipe
1 kg small sized potatoes, peeled whole
1 kg small sized onions, peeled whole
1 kg baby eggplant, scored
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tsp shahijeera
5 cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp mace powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
3 tbsp grated ginger
1/4 cup garlic cloves
1.5 cups dried coconut, grated
1.5 cups onoin paste
3-4 green cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp saffron strands
1 cup yogurt
3 cups thick ghee
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste

Blend all the spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, shahijeera, cloves, cardamom, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, red chilli powder) with ginger, garlic, onion paste and grated coconut until smooth.
Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot and tip in the ground masalas. Saute over medium heat until raw smell disappears, the fat separates out along the sides, and the masala begins to look dry.
Add the yogurt, salt and sugar, and saute again until the fat from the yogurt begins to separate.
Add in the vegetables and adjust seasoning as required. Coat the vegetables well in the masala. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. 
Cook over low heat for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are all tender, stirring occasionally. 
Serve hot with a pot-shrikhand meal.
**Dumpokta usually tastes better as it matures, especially if made with meat. Prepare ahead and refrigerate for best results.

This recipe is a #1000Kitchens feature!