Nihari is a deliciously smooth flour based stew with slow cooked mutton and a myriad of spices. This recipe takes a long time to cook but is easy to put together. To get the best flavour, the mutton is cooked on very low heat for upto 4 hours. Traditionally Nihari was cooked all night and then served to the Kings of Delhi in breakfast after the morning prayers. From the royal kitchens of the Mughals, the dish has now crossed all borders of region, religion and course.
The first time I had Nihari was after my marriage, when I was exploring the world of non-vegetarian cuisine. I was told it was one of the dishes that has converted many vegetarians. I loved the Nihari stew! I could see how between Sikander and daddy the whole 1/2 kg mutton nihari was finished in just one meal.
In this Mutton Nihari recipe I used Shaan nihari spice mix. In the recipe I have also described how to make your own Nihari masala from scratch. That is how ammi makes it. You can make it large quantities and store in an airtight container.
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 6-8
1 kg mutton (preferably shank portion) (cut into 8-10 pieces)
4 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp wheat flour
3 tbsp nihari masala
Whole Spices to make Nihari Masala from scratch
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp soonth (dry ginger)
5-6 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon stick
8-10 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 inch ginger, cut into this strips
few fresh coriander leaves
Juice of 1 lime
- Heat Ghee (you can use oil as well but ghee makes it tastier) in a deep bottom stock pot. Once the ghee is hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they start to turn brown.
- Add mutton pieces, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well to coat the mutton in ghee and spices. Sauté for 5 mins.
- Add the nihari masala and 8 cups of water. Mix well, cover and cook on very low heat for about 4 hours until the meat is tender. Keep checking in between. The way to know that the meat is cooked is when it breaks easily with a wooden spoon.
- Dissolve wheat flour in half cup of water such that there are no lumps. Slowly add it to the gravy. Stir to mix it well in the gravy and let it simmer for another 10-15 mins till the gravy thickens.
- Sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with ginger strips and fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.
- To make your own Nihari masala from scratch, dry roast all the whole spices for the masala and grind them to a fine powder.