Nihari or Meat Stew

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Nov. 06, 2013

Nihari is a very traditional and delicious meat stew with its origins from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It's made by cooking special Nihari meat which is mostly beef shank with spices, onions and tomatoes on a low flame for a long time. The results are a rich and delicious gravy or curry with fall of the bone meat. Nihari is often garnished with julienne of fresh ginger and garlic, chilies, lemon wedges, coriander and fried onions.


For marinating beef
Beef shanks with bones 5 Pound
Ginger garlic paste 2 Tablespoon
Lemon juice 1 Tablespoon
Salt To Taste
For the stew
Ghee 2 Tablespoon
Black cardamom 3 Medium
Star anise 3 Medium
Cloves 5 Medium
Red onions 2 Medium , thinly sliced
Turmeric powder 2 Teaspoon
Red chilli powder 2 Teaspoon
Garam masala powder 2 Teaspoon
Cumin powder 2 Teaspoon
Fennel powder 2 Teaspoon
Tomato paste 1/2 Cup (8 tbs)
Water 2 Cup (32 tbs) ((as required))
Salt 1 Pinch ((to taste))
For garnish
Ginger 1/2 Tablespoon , julienned (Optional)
Garlic 1/2 Clove (2.5 gm) , julienned (Optional)
Coriander leaves 2 Tablespoon , chopped (Optional)
Green chillies 1 Medium , chopped (Optional)
Lemon wedges 4 Medium (Optional)
Fried onions 1/3 Cup (5.33 tbs) (Optional)



1. In a bowl marinate the beef shanks in ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and salt. Mix well and let it sit for at least 1 hour (the more the marinating time, the better).

2. In a pan heat ghee. Add the black cardamom, cloves and star anise. Let them splutter. Add the onion and sauté till they turn golden brown. Transfer them to another bowl. Set aside.


3. In the same pan add the marinated meat and sear them on both sides till golden brown. Season with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, fennel powder and garam masala powder. Stir well to coat all. Add the tomato paste and continue to stir till mixed.

4. Return the onions and whole spice mixture, season with salt to taste and cover with a lid. Cook on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Check in between and add water to avoid burning.

5. Continue cooking in the same pan till done or transfer into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours to overnight.


6. In a serving bowl, serve the nihari hot with rice or rotis and garnished with coriander, ginger and garlic, green chillies and lemon wedges.


If fennel powder is not available, then use fennel seeds instead.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Medium
Cook Time: 60 Minutes
Ready In: 60 Minutes
Servings: 20

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 245Calories from Fat 122

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 14 g21.5%

Saturated Fat 5 g25%

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 186 mg7.75%

Total Carbohydrates 5 g1.7%

Dietary Fiber 1 g4%

Sugars 2 g

Protein 24 g48%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet