Nihari, the Afghan national dish, is a rich, spicy stew made with strips of lamb meat, chunks of potatoes, onions, spices and herbs, and served in a bowl. The dish has been popular among the Afghan people and has been adopted as a part of the Afghan culture.

It’s time for the famous “Lamb (Gosht) nihari” – the most famous dish from the Indian Subcontinent. It is a famous dish in South Asia, and can be found in almost all of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. If you are not a fan of lamb meat, you should try a chicken (or chicken tikka) version.

Nihari is a form of rice cooked with meat and spices, originating from the Indian subcontinent, and is a popular dish in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. It is prepared using lamb and is often cooked with basmati rice.

Nihari is a Muslim dish popular among Indians and Pakistanis. It is extremely popular among Muslims in Delhi and other areas of northern India. It is even called Pakistan’s national dish. The name Nihar comes from the Arabic word Nahar, which means morning, and the meal was traditionally served in the morning.

Today I’m going to show you how to make Nihari, a wonderful and traditional slow-cooked Lamb Shank Stew. This beef stew is traditionally prepared slowly over night and served as breakfast in the mornings, although it may also be served for lunch or supper. I requested my butcher to provide me Nihari parts for this dish, and he brought me two large pieces of lamb shanks that I asked him to chop into two pieces (you may also cut into tiny pieces) and marrow bones for the stew. To save time, I cooked yakhni (stock) in a pressure cooker, but the flavor was not compromised. This spicy stew has a crimson color and a thick oil coating on top, which is really the liquid from marrow bones that has melted in the curry, making it even more tasty and mouthwatering. Since of the oil left over from the meat, the curry must be thin, but not too thin, and not too thick, because as it cools, it turns tight or hard, similar to clarified ghee. The addition of a squeeze of lemon juice on top will improve the flavor and taste. Make this delectable Nihari at least once at home; unlike other curries, you will enjoy it with your family.

Ingredients

Stock

    • 2 lamb shanks (650 gms)
    • 350 gms marrow bones
    • 1 medium onion (sliced)
    • 3 tsp ginger and garlic paste
    • Cloves (about 5 cloves)
    • 4 green cardamoms
    • 3 cinnamon sticks (2 inch)
    • – 3 bay leaves (small)
    • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 1 mace flower
    • 2 tsp aniseed (saunf)
    • 2 tsp coriander seeds
    • 1 star anise
    • 1 tsp. black cardamom
    • a pinch of salt (to taste)
    • 4 1/2 cups water

For curry

    • 1/4 cup of oil
    • 3 tsp ginger and garlic paste
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
    • 1 tsp garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon saunf powder
    • a pinch of mace and nutmeg powder

Paste

    • 2 to 3 tablespoons toasted wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 frying onions (deep fried)

Garnishing

  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 1/3 coriander leaves (chopped)
  • a few julienned ginger slices (optional)

Method

    • Deep fried all of the onions until they are crispy golden brown and set aside. 3/4 cup for the curry, 1/4 cup for the garnish.
    • Coriander leaves should be chopped, raw onions should be sliced, green chillies should be sliced, and lime or lemon should be cut into four pieces.

Paste made from wheat

    • In a non-stick or regular pan, toast wheat flour for 2 to 3 minutes, until its color changes but does not burn and its fragrance emerges.
    • Create a paste with 1/2 cup water, no lumps, and set away or make the paste when you need to add it.

Yakhni Yakhni Yakhni Y (stock)

    • In a pressure cooker, combine all of the ingredients, including the shank meat and marrow bones, as well as enough water.
    • On medium heat, give the pressure cooker 1 whistle, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes. When the pressure is removed, turn off the machine and lift the lid.
    • Strain the cooked liquid and set aside the stock as well as the lamb meat with marrow bones.

Curry

  • Heat the oil in the pot, then add the ginger and garlic paste and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Add all of the lamb pieces, including the marrow bones, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Except for dry ginger powder, aniseed powder, mace, and nutmeg powder, toast all of the spices in the oil with the lamb chunks for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add the stock, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the wheat flour paste, stir well, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Cook for 5 minutes before adding the ginger powder, aniseed powder, and crushed fried onions to the curry and simmering for 30 minutes with the lid closed.
  • Finally, add the mace and nutmeg powder and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes with the lid closed, then turn off the heat. Allow for a 5-minute rest period.
  • The Nihari will be crimson in color, with a lot of oil glaze on top, which is melted marrow and shank bone liquid and flavor, making this stew even more delicious and mouth-watering.
  • Garnish with sliced onion, chopped chilies, coriander leaves, ginger julienne, and lemon wedges in a serving dish with naan.

Notes

  • You may cook with regular lamb chunks, but the glaze and flavor will be missing.
  • Paya (lamb trotters) may be used in place of marrow bones in the stock to give it a similar flavor.
  • While adding the wheat paste, add the other spices, including mace and nutmeg, along with the fried onions, and simmer until you get the desired consistency.
  • Prepare chicken or beef nihari using the same spices and method.

 

Today, I will be sharing a recipe for lamb (gosht) nihari, which has grown and matured my taste buds for years. It is my favorite recipe, and I cook it almost every week. I even have my own ‘recipe’ for making this dish: I always take lamb meat and marinate it for at least six hours.. Read more about lamb nihari recipe and let us know what you think.