Nihari has long been a favourite in my household. I didn’t grow up eating it, but my husband did and I decided to learn how to make it. Of course like many popular recipes, each family has their own way of preparing Nihari. Traditionally this is slow cooked overnight and in the olden days the women of the household would take turns to stir the pot overnight.

Beef Nihari is a slow cooked meat stew. It’s typically made with a fatty and bony part of the cow such as the shank. The meat is cooked in a special blend of spices and the gravy is thickened with flour.

I’ve made Nihari a few different ways, and this is a new version of my older recipe – please give it a try!

Beef Nihari

4.90 from 28 votes


Nihari Spice Blend

  • 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 6 green Cardamoms
  • 2 black Cardamoms
  • 2 inch stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 Mace flower
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 10 Cloves
  • 6 Red Kashmiri Chillies
  • 1 tbsp Ginger powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Turmeric

Meat & Marinade

  • 2 kgs – 4 lb 4 oz of Nihari meat Beef shank, Lamb Mutton or Chicken
  • Nihari Spice Blend
  • 1 tbsp red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • Juice of a Lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsps Ginger & Garlic paste


  • Oil
  • 2 tbsps Ghee
  • 1 tsp Tomato paste
  • 3 – 4 cups hot Water
  • 1 – 2 tbsps Flour slurry
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Coriander


  • Lime wedges Onion, julienne of Ginger & Garlic, sliced Chillies and Coriander


  • Slightly toast the whole spices and add to a food processor when cool
  • Add the ginger and turmeric powder
  • Add lemon juice and salt to the meat, followed by all the Nihari masala
  • Add the chilli powder, ginger & garlic paste and coat the meat
  • Heat some oil and ghee and sear the meat
  • Add the tomato paste and half the water to any of the leftover masala
  • Mix it and add it over the seared meat
  • Add the rest of the water to cover the meat
  • Cook this low and slow for 4 hours, turning the meat over at intervals
  • Add salt if required
  • Thicken the gravy with a flour slurry