Nihari is a National Pakistani dish consists of lamb or beef that takes longer time in the cooking and served with tasty cooked brains and bone marrow.

History of Nihari

The nihari has Old Delhi originations of the late 18th century during the Mughal Empire. It is a favorite food of Muslim Nawabs who ate it early morning after offering Fajr prayers. The Nihari is famous among south Asian Muslims, and it is particularly popular in the Dhaka and Chittagong. It takes whole night to cook and gets ready to eat in the early morning. It is a National dish of Pakistan and is famous for its spiciness and yummy taste.

Initially, it was popular in Delhi among Muslims, but after the independence of Pakistan many cooks migrate to Karachi and the other cities of the Pakistan. They establish restaurants in Pakistan and the Nihari got thriving success in all over Pakistan.

Recipe of Nihari

  • Cooking Time: 1 to 6 hours (According to Meat)
  • Serving: 5 to 6


  • ½ Kg of Beef, Lamb or Goat or Chicken Breast
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 4 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 5 cups of water
  • Salt according to your taste

Spice Mix

  • 2 small cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 whole black cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 10 to 12 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 to 5 cups of water

Ingredients for Garnishing

  • ½ peeled and finely chopped medium onion
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1 to 2 fresh, peeled and sliced ginger
  • 6 to 7 finely sliced green chilies

Instructions for the Preparation

  • Take a heavy pot and put it on the medium heat and pour oil into it. Put your selected meat in the pot and let it lightly brown for the few minutes without covering the pot.
  • Flip the pieces of meat after few minutes to cook the other side. Keep it in mind that the ready meat will easily leave the base of the pot, so if the meat does not move and stuck to the pot, do not force it and let it release automatically after a few minutes. Continue this process until all the sides of meat become brown.
  • Take a small bowl and combine all spices, including salt, chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, pepper, gram masala and ginger paste. Pour all these spices on the meat and add 1/3 of a cup of water in the pot to stir the ingredients properly together.
  • Take a small bowl and mix the flour separately in the ½ cup of the water with the help of a fork or any other spoon. Pour this mixture on the meat and let it come to a boiling point.
  • Take all the spice mix and grind them to get a fine powder. You can use a food processor, mortar and pestle or any other tool as per your convenience. Add half of these spices to the meat and mix the ingredients together. Add 3 to 4 cups of water in the pot.
  • Cover the pot with its lid and let the mixture simmer on a low heat for approximately 5 to 6 hours for goat, lamb and beef. If you are using chicken, then it will take less time to cook.
  • Take a small pan, pour oil and fry finely chopped onion to let it golden brown and add the remaining spice mix in the oil and let the spices blend well before pouring it on the Nihari. The Nihari is ready, garnish it and serve with Naan or Phulka.

Variations in the Nihari

The Hyderabadi Nihari is cooked with the bones of lamb and tongue. The ready-to-use spices are also available to cook Nihari with chicken. Nali Nihari is prepared with the marrow bones.

Uses of Nihari

Nihari is used as the medication to cure cold, Rhinorrhea and Fever. This remedy was told by a Hakeem in the Delhi a hundred years ago.

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