Old Delhi special Nihari  Recipe

Old Delhi special Nihari Recipe

20 mins
2-3 people
15 mins



Growing up in the bustling streets of Old Delhi, the aroma of Nihari wafting through the air was a familiar and comforting presence in my life. It wasn't just a dish; it was a testament to the rich culinary heritage of my hometown. The memories of savoring this delectable delicacy with family on special occasions still bring a smile to my face. Today, I am excited to share with you the secrets of preparing the perfect Old Delhi special Nihari, a dish that holds a special place in my heart.




Recipe of My Old Delhi Special Nihari




For Masala

  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 6-7 Cloves
  • 5-6 Black peppercorns
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 Green cardamom
  • 3-4 Black cardamom
  • 1 tsp Saunf (Fennel seeds)
  • 7-8 Rose Petals
  • 1/2 inch Pan ki jad (Mace)
  • 1/2 pinch Nutmeg
  • 1-2 Peepli
  • 1/2 inch Khas ki jad
  • 1/2 inch Patharphool (Stone Flower)
  • 1 Javitri (Mace)
  • 1-2 Star anise
  • 1-2 Bay leaves

For Nihari

  • 4 tbsp Mustard oil
  • 300 gms Mutton
  • 1 tsp Kewra water
  • 300 gm Sliced onion
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2-3 tsp Nihari masala
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Atta (Wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp Besan (Gram flour)





For Nihari Masala

  1. In a pan, dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, black cardamom, saunf, rose petals, pan ki jad, nutmeg, peepli, khas ki jad, patharphool, javitri, star anise, and bay leaves. Let them cool.

  2. Grind the cooled spices into a fine powder to make nihari masala.

For Nihari

  1. Heat mustard oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Pour kewra water, cover with a lid, and turn off the flame.

  2. Add mutton to the pan, switch on the gas flame, and sauté it along with sliced onions. Add salt and sauté.

  3. Incorporate ginger-garlic paste and a little water. Cook the meat until it's well-browned.

  4. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and nihari masala. Mix well.

  5. Pour in the stock and simmer on a low flame for at least 45 to 90 minutes.

  6. In another pan, heat ghee and roast wheat flour and gram flour until nutty brown. Add this mixture to the nihari and bring it to a boil.

  7. Garnish the nihari with fried onions, lemon wedges, and green chili juliennes.


Enjoy the rich flavors of Old Delhi Special Nihari served hot!




About the Recipe


Crafting the perfect Old Delhi special Nihari is an art that requires patience, precision, and a deep understanding of traditional flavors. This iconic dish traces its origins back to the narrow lanes and aromatic spice markets of Old Delhi, where it has been savored for generations. Slow-cooked to perfection, Nihari is a rich and flavorful stew that combines tender pieces of meat with a harmonious blend of aromatic spices. It is often enjoyed with piping hot naan or steamed rice, making it a beloved comfort food for many.



Cooking Tips


  1. Slow Cooking: The key to achieving the perfect texture and flavor in Nihari is to cook it slowly over low heat, allowing the spices to meld together and the meat to become tender.
  2. Spice Blend: Invest time in preparing a homemade spice blend using high-quality whole spices for the best flavor.
  3. Skimming Fat: Remove excess fat from the surface of the stew during cooking to achieve a rich yet not greasy consistency.
  4. Resting Time: Allow the Nihari to rest for some time after cooking to allow the flavors to develop fully before serving.



Pairing Guide


  • Naan: Freshly baked naan pairs perfectly with Nihari, allowing you to soak up every last bit of the flavorful gravy.
  • Steamed Rice: For a lighter option, serve Nihari with fragrant steamed rice to complement the rich flavors of the stew.
  • Pickled Onions: Tangy pickled onions add a refreshing contrast to the hearty flavors of Nihari, making them the ideal accompaniment.




10 Frequently Asked Questions about Old Delhi Special Nihari


  1. What is Nihari? Nihari is a traditional slow-cooked stew originating from the Indian subcontinent, known for its rich and aromatic flavors.

  2. What cuts of meat are best for Nihari? Beef shank or lamb shank are commonly used cuts for Nihari, as they become tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.

  3. Can I make Nihari without a slow cooker? While a slow cooker is ideal for achieving the perfect texture and flavor, Nihari can also be cooked on the stovetop over low heat for several hours.

  4. What spices are used in Nihari? Nihari is seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg, along with ginger, garlic, and chili for heat.

  5. Is Nihari spicy? The level of spiciness in Nihari can be adjusted according to personal preference by varying the amount of chili used in the spice blend.

  6. Can I make Nihari in advance? Yes, Nihari can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, allowing the flavors to develop further.

  7. What is the best way to reheat Nihari? Reheat Nihari gently on the stovetop over low heat to prevent it from drying out or becoming overly thick.

  8. Can I freeze leftover Nihari? Yes, Nihari can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

  9. What are some traditional garnishes for Nihari? Traditional garnishes for Nihari include freshly chopped cilantro, ginger julienne, green chilies, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

  10. Is Nihari gluten-free? Yes, Nihari is typically gluten-free as long as it is prepared using gluten-free ingredients and served with gluten-free accompaniments like rice or gluten-free bread.