Dish Description

Nihari is a very popular dish originally from India, but mainly now in Pakistan. It is a spicy, savory dish with a dash of lemon. Traditionally it was simmered overnight, but now with the fast-paced life, we choose to shorten the cooking time or use an oven to achieve the same rich taste. To make it quick, people make this dish with store-bought masalas with a lot of salt.

With my healthy twists, I have modified this recipe into a healthy recipe by changing the following:
1) I made my own quick homemade Nihari masala with controlling the amount of added salt.
2) Instead of all-purpose flour, I used whole wheat/multigrain flour. For a gluten-free recipe, make it with chickpeas flour, still taste the same.
3) Eat the Nihari with whole wheat naan instead of enriched flour naan.

Serving Size
Serving Time
35 min
  •   3 lbs of goat leg (or 3 lbs of chicken leg quarter)
  •   3 tablespoons of Green Masala
  •   2 tablespoons of homemade Nihari Masala (see below for details)
  •   2 tablespoons of yogurt
  •   2 cups of chicken broth or water
  •   4 cups of water
  •   1 cup of previously fried onions
  •   2 tsp of mace (called javitri, it is the outer cover of nutmeg, sold at Indian stores)
  •   1/2 cup of ground fennel seeds
  •   Salt to taste
  •   4 tbsp of whole wheat or multigrain flour
  •   Spices: 2 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp paprika
  •   Spices for Homemade Nihari Masala: 1 tsp of each of the following: cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, garlic
    powder, ginger powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper
    powder and 2 tsp of black salt (or as needed)
  •   For Garnish: Sliced fresh ginger, 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro and 1 whole lemon (optional)
  • 1.  Prepare the homemade Nihari masala by adding 1 tsp of all the spices mentioned on the list and add black
    salt as needed
  • 2.  Put oil in a pan and heat on medium-high, add the meat and let cook for 2 minutes until meat is light
  • 3.  Add the 2 tablespoons of homemade Nihari masala with yogurt and mix well. Set aside. Stir the pot. Add some
    salt and mix well and cook a couple of minutes.
  • 4.  Add the yogurt paste and the green masala. Green Masala is made with jalapenos, garlic, ginger, and
    cilantro. Mix and cook for about 2 minutes
  • 5.  Add the fennel seeds powder and the spices, cumin, cayenne pepper, and paprika, mix well. Cover the pot and
    cook for about 2 minutes
  • 6.  Add the fried onions and mace, also called javitri. Mix, Add 1 cup of chicken broth or water, stir well,
    cover the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • 7.  Add 1 more cup of chicken broth. Mix and cook for 5 minutes. Taste the gravy, if you need
  • 8.  Taste a little, if spices or salt needed, add them here. Add 1 more cup of chicken broth or water, mix well
    and cook 2 more minutes
  • 9.  Let’s prepare a flour base to thicken the gravy. I am using multi-grain flour. In a small bowl add 4 tbsps.
    of the multi-grain flour and 1 cup of water and Mix. Use a hand blender to blend. Ensure no lumps. Set
    aside. Also, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • 10.  Add 4 cups of water to the meat pan, mix well, cover the pot and cook on high heat until it boils
  • 11.  As it boils, add the flour base slowly to the boiling gravy, stir well, so there are no lumps. Add the flour
    base as needed, gravy not too thick or not too thin
  • 12.  Cover the pan with foil, close the lid, and cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. For Beef, cook for 2
    hours and for chicken, cook for 1 hour.
  • 13.  Garnish with sliced ginger, chopped cilantro, and lemon (optional). Serve with whole wheat naan! Enjoy!