I first had Nihari for breakfast at the Avari in Lahore and was instantly in love with the idea of curry for breakfast. Nihari can be made with beef, lamb or chicken. Tender meat, thick gravy, earthy spices. Best eaten with roti or a grease-ridden puri!
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 325 16%
Calories from Fat 173
Total Fat 19.3g 29%
Saturated Fat 3.2g 16%
Unsaturated Fat 15.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrate 11.0g 3%
Dietary Fibre 3.5g 14%
Protein 28.6g 57%
Cholesterol 87.5mgs 29%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- 500 g (1 lb) chicken or beef, cubed
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp Nihari spice mix (see below)
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garlic & ginger paste
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- Ghee or vegetable oil
For the Tarka
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped mint (optional)
Nihari Spice Mix
- 10 cloves
- 2 black cardamoms
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Prepare the Nihari Spice Mix: Dry-roast the spices in a hot pan for about 1 minute. Allow to cool and grind the spices to a fine powder. This is your Nihari spice mix – get a nose-full of the aroma…
- Add all the spices to about 50 ml (3 tbsp) of water and whisk to a paste.
- Heat 4 tbsp of ghee in a pan to a medium heat and add the garlic & ginger paste and the spices and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes to brown the meat.
- Add the flour to 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) of water and whisk, then add this into the pan.
- Bring the pan to the boil then turn the heat right down. Cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes (or 2-3 hours if you are using beef!)
- Prepare the tarka: Fry the sliced onion in 4-5 tbsp of oil until golden brown.
- Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and mix with the remaining Nihari spice (and the mint).
- Serve when the meat is nice and tender.
The flat-edged spatula is your friend in this dish. If the curry starts to stick to the bottom of the pan then just scrape it free with your spatula.
If you are using lamb or beef in this recipe you may need to add half a cup of water from time to time if the curry starts to become too thick.