Recipe for Lamb Nihari


  • Garam masala mix for Nihari:
  • Grind together in a spice or coffee grinder:
  • 1 tbsp aniseed or fennel
  • 2 large black cardamom
  • 1 large cinnamon quill
  • 10-12 green cardamom
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 pieces of mace
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp poppy seed paste (grind in a mortar and pestle with a bit of hot water)
  • 15 cloves
  • 3/4 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Kashimri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 kg leg of lamb chopped into 5-6 pieces with marrow exposed, or 3 large lamb shanks, cut into 2, marrow exposed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp wholemeal flour, sifted (Atta flour, used to make chappati’s)
  • water – about 8-10 cups, enough to cover the meat
  • Condiments:
  • 2 cups chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
  • 4 thin green chilli’s, chopped finely
  • 2 cups of deep fried onions, (fry about 10 medium onions until medium brown and drain)
  • 4 large lemons, made into wedges
  • Utensils:
  • A large deep saucepan with a tight lid

Cooking Directions

Heat oil and ghee together (on medium heat/flame) and fry the ginger and garlic until the raw smell leaves the pan.

Then add in the lamb and fry until the meat is sealed. Add red chilli powder, salt and the garam masala (save 3 tsp as condiment) as prepared above.

Fry until the masala is fragrant and if it sticks to the pan add a splash of water as you go. Now add the Kashimiri chilli powder and the meat is coated evenly with all the masalas.

Top the meat with about 8-10 cups of water or until the meat is submerged.

Turn the heat to medium low and cook covered, for about 45 minutes to an hour, keep checking to see that the meat is not over boiling.

After about an hour, take about a cup of the liquid out of the meat and add the sifted and added the plain and Atta flour to this. Now pour it into the main saucepan and stir in evenly.

Add about 1 cup of water, cover and cook on a very low fire for 2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bones.

Serve hot topped with coriander, remaining garam masala and finely julienned ginger – also serve with additional chopped coriander leaves, julienned ginger, chopped green chillies, lemon wedges and deep fried onions in small bowls! – and enjoy with naans!

Lamb Nihari Photos

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