Nihari is my ABSOLUTE favorite Pakistani food. I can eat Nihari for breakfast, lunch, dinner and then next breakfast and sooo on. Basically until there is left over Nihari in the fridge, I will not eat anything else!
I was a very fussy eater as a child. Half an hour before the dinner I would ask my mom “What’s for dinner?” and make faces if there was something which had veggies. And then my dad would walk to a nearby resturant and bring Nihari – only for me.. (Yes, I was a spoilt brat.. my dad was the best dad EVER! ). And this used to happen at least twice or thrice a week 🙂
When I moved to Doha, I didn’t find ANY place that served good (or even acceptable) Nihari, so I had no choice but to master the art of making my favorite dish.
I use Shan Nihari Masala when I make Nihari , but have never read the instructions at the back (always follow my mum’s method and tips and tricks).
Serves about 6-8 people. Download Recipe Card
- 1 kg Boneless Beef Shanks (You can also use Chicken with bones)
- 500 gm of Bones (Bones makes a HUGE difference)
- 1 tbsp Ginger Paste ( or Powder)
- 1 tbsp Garlic Paste (or Powder)
- 4 tbsp. of Plain Yogurt
- 3-4 tbsp. Atta Flour
- 1 Small Onion (sliced)
- 6-7 tbsp Oil
- Green chilles
- Fry the beef shanks & bones with ginger and garlic paste in a little bit of oil. Then add the yogurt to it and fry a little more.
- Then add Shan Nihari Masala ( I use a little less than a packet and save some for later).
- Fry a bit more and then add enough water so everything submerges in the water (well.. almost).
- Let it cook covered till the meat becomes really tender ( if it’s chicken, it won’t take long).
- Once the meat is tender, I fish the meat (leave the bones in) out of the gravy and keep it aside.
- Whisk the Atta in a bowl with some water to make a smooth paste and then slowly add to the cooking gravy (till the right consistency of the gravy) and leave it to cook on slow heat.
- I let it cook for 12 hours or even more.. (the more it cooks the better it is).
- I then fish out the bones (and throw them away), add the meat, cool it and put it in the fridge, for at least a day or two (aged Nihari is always better).
- The day you want to serve it, heat up the Nihari and give the bhaghar (or tadka).
- For the Bhaghar: Fry the sliced onions in oil/ghee (I use a bit of both) and when it is brown, add the remaining Nihari masala to it and just after a minute (so that you don’t burn the masala), pour it over on the Nihari.
- Serve with Naan and garnishing.
My MUM’s TIPS:
- Use yogurt to fry the meat initially.
- Use bones along with the boneless meat.
- Cook the gravy for as long as you can.
- Cook Nihari at least a day before you have to serve it. Aged Nihari is always yummier.
No Rocket Science here, but these tips makes a lot of difference.. give it a try next time you cook Nihari!
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