Pakistani beef nihari dish is known to have won the hearts of culinary experts since its origin. It is one of the most delectable and intricate items on the menu. This hearty, meaty dish is a breakfast dish that is often served with some fresh naan (traditional bread). You can also have it even with rice. Either way, it tastes absolutely divine.Nihari is quite buttery, flavorful, and rich, which may not be your ideal option if you are currently in a struggle to avoid oily foods. In fact, you might want to look away in 3..2... OR you could consider this to be the perfect meal for your next cheat’s day! Follow our simple step-by-step recipe to recreate an authentic, traditional nihari recipe from the comfort of your home.
The Origination Of NihariThe word ‘Nihari’ stems from the Arabic word ‘Nahar,’ which translates to ‘morning,’ as the Nawabs usually ate this during the reign of the Mughal Empire as a breakfast item. Nihari was mainly eaten in the morning among the working class, as it was known for its energy-boosting traits. Nowadays, Nihari has further developed in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan.
What Kind Of Meat Should You Use to Make Nihari?Since the origin of Nihari, there have been several variations to it that developed as per taste preferences. As far as meat Is concerned, which is the star of the dish, Nihari is usually made with beef shank. However, you also have other alternatives such as spring lamb or mutton and occasionally chicken. Classic Nihari always contains beef shank portion, period. But there’s no stopping you if you do not have it on hand, you could try it with some of the above alternatives but remember the cooking time for each meat will vary accordingly.
Pakistani Beef Nihari
Indian / Main course
How to make Pakistani beef nihari
1 kg beef, preferably shank portion (cut into 8-10 large pieces)
1 tbsp garlic paste/freshly minced garlic
½ tsp fennel seed powder
1 tbsp ginger paste/freshly minced ginger
2 tbsp red chili powder/cayenne powder (you can add more or less as per desired)
1 ½ tbsp salt (or as per taste)
1 tbsp allspice powder
5 tbsp plain white flour/whole wheat flour
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ cup oil/clarified butter
½ tsp cumin powder
Water as required (around 1-1/2 liters)
3 tbsp nihari spices
Spices needed to make your own special beef nihari spices:
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
5-6 green cardamom
1 tsp dry ginger
2 black cardamoms
1 bay leaf
1-inch cinnamon stick
¼ tsp nutmeg (grated)
Ginger cut into strips/julienne
Few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp of (freshly squeezed) lemon juice
In a saucepan placed over medium heat, dry roast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, dry ginger, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg, until fragrant. Stir occasionally. Allow the spices to cool. Grind to a fine powder and set aside.
Now, in a deep pot, place over medium-low heat the oil/clarified butter and fry the freshly minced ginger and garlic/paste, along with the beef for 10-12 minutes.
Add the turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder and continue to fry for another 5 minutes.
Add the water (as required), bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot and allow cooking on a slow flame until beef is tender and juicy; this may take at least 2 hours. (Some individuals will enable the nihari meat to cook up to 12 hours as the more it cooks, the richer the gravy tastes and the meat is always juicer!)
While removing the meat from the pan, you can separate the bones from the meat, for a boneless nihari.
Remove the meat from the pan, place it in a bowl, and set aside.
Add the nihari spices, allspice powder cumin seed powder, and fennel seed powder to the gravy and mix well.
Mix the wheat/plain white flour in a 2-3 tbsp. of water until well dissolved and add the thickening agent to the gravy in a continuous stream while moving the nihari with a spoon constantly. Add this till you reach your desired consistency.
When the nihari gravy thickens, add the meat in the gravy again and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.
Lastly, garnish with chopped green chilies, fresh coriander leaves, and ginger; serve immediately with naan.