One-Pot easy, Guilt-Free Nihari

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.


1. 3 lbs of goat leg (or 3 lbs of chicken leg quarter)

2. 3 tablespoons of Green Masala

3. 2 tablespoons of homemade Nihari Masala (see below for details)

4. 2 tablespoons of yogurt

5. 2 cups of chicken broth or water

6. 4 cups of water

7. 1 cup of previously fried onions

8. 2 tsp of mace (called javitri, it is the outer cover of nutmeg, sold at Indian stores)

9. 1/2 cup of ground fennel seeds

10. Salt to taste

11. 1/4 cup of non-GMO canola oil

12. 4 tbsp of whole wheat or multigrain flour

13. Spices: 2 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp paprika

14. 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)

15. 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 brown.

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.

Garnish with sliced ginger, chopped cilantro, and lemon (optional). Serve with whole wheat naan! Enjoy!

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