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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mutton Nihari

Nihari is a traditional dish and quite popular in India and Pakistan originated in the late 18th century during the last throes of the Mughal empire. Nihari comes from the word 'Nahr' which mean early morning. The authentic way of preparation involves slow cooking of the meat with bone marrow for hours, mostly overnight and then served early morning as a breakfast dish. 

Even though Nihari looks like a curry, it is mostly served with breads like naan or kulcha and not with rice. The reason must be the consistency of the curry, which goes well with breads.

You may also like to try my other mutton recipes:
                       Kadhai Mutton Chops

                  Lamb Shanks Bhuna Masala

                   Peshawari Mutton kadhai

Serving Size: 6 
Cooking time: 1 hour (in pressure cooker)

  • 500 gm of Lamb Shanks
  • 500 gm of mutton bones
  • 1 cup of sliced onion ( 2 onion)
  • 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp Nihari Masala
  • 4 tbsp wheat flour 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 to 6 tbsp of cooking oil
Nihari Masala: (dry roast and grind)
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds (badi saunf)
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom (badi ilaichi)
  • 8 cloves
  • 15 peppercorns
For garnish;
  • 1/2 cup fried onion
  • a small piece of ginger sliced into strips
  • 2 green chilies sliced
  1. Dry roast and grind the ingredients under Nihari Masala.
  2. Slightly roast the wheat flour for 1 minute on a pan.
  3. Keep fried onion ready for garnishing

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and fry the sliced onion till soft.
  2. Add 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste, 1 tbsp red chili powder and 1 tbsp coriander powder.
  3. Fry well on low heat for 1 minute. Then add the lamb shanks and fry well with the spices till well coated for about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  4. Now add 5 to 6 cups of water and remaining pieces of bones. Add salt and 2 tbsp prepared nihari masala. Stir well and cook on medium heat till meat is well cooked. (in pressure cooker)
  5. Once the meat is cooked, release the pressure in the cooker and open the lid.
  6. Continue cooking the gravy on low heat.
  7. Make a mixture by adding 4 tbsp of wheat flour with 1 cup of water. Whisk well so that there are no lumps formed.
  8. Start pouring this mixture into the gravy little by little, and keep stirring the gravy to avoid any lumps.
  9. Finally add sugar and lemon juice and also taste and check the salt.
  10. Let the nihari start to boil, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Garnish with fried onion, sliced ginger and green chilies.
  12. Serve hot with naan or roti. 


  1. I am drooling at that nihari... love that you have shared the masala powder as well so that we don't need to unnecessarily get a pack... would the quantity be enough for the curry, or do we get some extra?

    1. Thanks Rafeeda. 2Tbsp of nihari masala is more than enough because nihari does not need too many spices.

  2. I've tried many nihari's before, but all of them were beef. Mutton nihari seems like a relatively new idea, but I must say, it looks way too incredible. Must try it out!

  3. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work recipe for gazpacho soup jamie oliver