Monday, July 14, 2014

Nalli Nihari / Nihari

On my insistence my husband bought some bones of lamb separately last week. The store we buy meat from sells only boneless lamb but I love to eat the gooey part in between the bones. They were in the fridge when I thought of making Nihari.

Nihari is generally made from beef but I use lamb to prepare Nihari and it tastes yummy.

Dish Reminder:

  • You can prepare the dish without the bones too. In that case use plain water instead of the stocks.
  • Some used poppy seeds/cashew nuts paste in this dish. Its your choice. I did not use them.(update)

Nalli Nihari / Nihari
Serves 4


  • 1 kg boneless lamb 
  • lamb bones - the number depends on you. I used 5. The bones make a good stock for the dish
  • 1 onion - thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 7-8 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp unflavored oil
  • 2 tsp cumins seeds
  • 6-7 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 1 mace
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 medium start anise
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 4-5 dried red chili
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1 tsp dried garlic powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp red chili powder (I used the Kashmiri Red chilli powder. This gives a nice color to the dish )
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
  • salt
  • Prior to cooking put all the bones in a pressure cooker with salt and a little oil and cook until at least 10-12 whistles blow. After that when all the steams are out boil for at least 1 hour. Add water if it evaporates much. The more you boil the bones the richer the stock will be.
  • In a pan heat oil and ghee and fry the onions.
  • When they become translucent add the ginger-garlic paste. You can skip the ginger-garlic paste because you are already using ginger and garlic paste. But I like to use that a little. And since its lamb it has a very dominating flavor in itself which does not let this extra paste ruin the dish.
  • When the raw flavor is gone and the onion slices have become golden-brown add the meat pieces and fry until they are brown on both sides.
  • In the mean-time dry roast the whole spices and grind them to a fine powder.
  • Add 3/4 tsp of the grounded powder. 
  • Add the other powdered spices now.
  • Mix the meat pieces evenly with the spices.
  • Now add the whole meat mixture to the stock that is already being prepared.
  • Cook under pressure until it blows 15-20 whistles. Some says to have 10 whistles but I feel 20 whistles guaranty a nice, soft and tender lamb pieces.
  • When it is done let the steam get out of the cooker and open the cover. Put it on a medium flame without cover. You can now transfer the lamb and gravy to a larger pan. It will give you much better option of stirring.
  • Take the whole wheat flour / atta and mix with water to prepare a smooth mixture. It should not be thick and not also runny.
  • Add this liquid to the lambs and stir constantly to prevent creating any lumps.
  • This will thicken the gravy.
  • Simmer for another 5-7 minutes and put off the flame.
  • Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped coriander leaves.

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