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Dhingri Dulma (an Awadhi recipe from the Nawab’s Kitchen)

Dhingri Dulma (an Awadhi recipe from the Nawab’s Kitchen)

The Ruler of Awadh Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who ruled from 30 July 1822 to 1 September 1887 was a lover of food!The region of Awadh in India then comprised of the combined States of Uttar Pradesh,Uttaranchal and Uttarakhand.Some say that parts of Bihar were also included.The Nawab could be well judged that he was a food connoisseur seeing his health as well as his employing the best cooks of the region for his meals.Together the cooks concocted elaborate recipes which took large amounts of time,intricate preparation,exotic ingredients and last but not the least – fabulous tastes which made everyone known to the fact that cooking was an art and coupled with ingenious thinking and an open minded attitude,inventions would form the basis of cult recipes which would gain international eminence in the centuries to come!

The British Rule bought about an amalgamation of cultures but they cultivated a taste for Awadhi food which did not make the recipes extinct but gave them more importance to be passed on in the families of royal cooks from generation to generation.Almost all of the recipes in the category of Appetisers,Main Course and snacks consisted of meat in some form or the other.The main forms of meat were goat/lamb (called gosht) and chicken (the famous murgh) apart from fish,game and venison (the very prized and valued deer meat).Beef was used for Nihari which developed both in Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine while they employed every part of the Goat which was consumed more like the Pork in the Western World.Pork was abstained from and huge platters heaped with a whole lamb/chicken and rice (what is made today as Biryani) was the favourite of royal feasts and occasions.

The cooks invented mouth watering desserts like Gulab Jamun,Shahi Peosi,Shahi Tukda and Phirni to name a few.The Nawab also preferred “vegetarian” or a meatless diet on some days and recipes consisting of crispy vegetables,mushrooms and paneer with rice or their tandoori rotis were invented which were delicious enough to make a man swallow his tongue. Mushrooms were cooked before the historical day when the East Indian Company landed on the shores of India.They were popular in the rainy season and the Nawab’s cooks experimented with them checking if they were poisonous or if they tasted good.The best Mushrooms were selected and made during the season which delighted the Nawab immensely!

Dhingra Dulma is one such lovely recipe which includes Mushrooms and Paneer in a delightful spicy masala.Mushrooms were called Dhingri and a vegetable preparation like this recipe was called Dulma or Dolma!There is no gravy in the recipe but a subtle flavoured thick amalgamation of Onion,Mushroom and Tomato sticks to the Paneer which is had with hot and soft Phulka/Roti!Lets check out the very easy and quick to make recipe now!

This recipe was entered for the 115th FoodieMonday Bloghop where the theme was Awadhi Recipes!

Inspired from Chef Jiggs Kalra’s bestseller edition!

The box as well as the pen holder are Awadhi art masterpieces!

Preparation Time : 30 minutes

Makes : 2 servings


200 gms button Mushrooms

150 gms Paneer – cubed

2 tbsp ghee

1 tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)

2 medium Onions – sliced

2 Tomatoes – sliced

2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

1 tsp Garam Masala

1 tsp white pepper powder

1 inch piece Ginger juliennes

2 tbsp Coriander leaves – chopped finely


Separate the stems from the Mushrooms and wash the caps well.Halve the Mushroom caps and keep aside.You can utilise the Mushroom stalks to make soup stock or use it in other vegetable preparations or pizzas,pastas and gravies!

Heat ghee and oil in a pan and add the sliced Onions.Fry till translucent and add the ginger garlic paste and red chilli powder.Fry till the paste loses its rawness and add tomatoes.Cover the lid and cook till tomatoes are soft and pulpy.

Add the white pepper powder and mix well.Add cubed Paneer and mix gently.Cook on low heat for 4 – 5 minutes and take off heat.

Remove to a bowl and sprinkle with Ginger Juliennes and Coriander Leaves. Cover the bowl for 10 – 15 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate.Serve warm with Phulka/Roti or any rice recipe like Tehri or Pulao!

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