Nihari - Slow Cooked Meat Curry
Nihari is a delicious, slow-cooked meat curry made of mutton, beef, and sometimes even chicken. Nihari developed with the overall cuisine of Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. Nihari is often served for breakfast, especially on weekends. It is also a popular item during Ramadan. The dish is known for its spiciness and taste. Nihari is also used as a home remedy for fever, rhinorrhea, and the common cold.
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dry ginger
5 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1-inch cinnamon stick
8-10 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 kg mutton, preferably shank portion (large cubes)
4 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp wheat flour
3 tbsp nihari masala
Fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
Whole Spices to make Nihari Masala:
To make the Nihari masala, first dry roast all the whole spices for the masala. Cool and grind them to a fine powder.
Heat ghee (you can use oil as well but ghee makes it tastier) in a deep bottom stockpot. Once the ghee is hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they start to turn brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue to saute until the raw smell disappears.
Add mutton pieces, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well to coat the mutton in ghee and spices. Saute for 5 mins.
Now, add the nihari masala and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Mix well, cover, and cook on very low heat for about 4 hours. Check occasionally. The meat should be incredibly tender.
Mix the wheat flour in half a 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.
- Nihari masala is great for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries. You can use it in recipes like chickpea curry, or rajma masala.
- Traditionally, atta is used to thicken the curry.