Pakistani Homemade Nihari Recipe

Nihari is a slow-cooked stew, consisting of meat shank of either beef, lamb, or chicken, with bone marrow. Originating from the Indian Subcontinent, it is mostly eaten during breakfast with tandoori naan or paratha.

I remember my brother Raja loved Nihari a lot. Whenever we had a long weekend, he would go to buy Nihari in a famous restaurant in Sukkur, Pakistan. The restaurant was really famous for serving Nihari with bones and boiled beef brains and tandoori naan. 

*Servings 6

Cooking time 95 minutes

Nihari Recipe

Ingredients for Meat:

  • 4 pound beef Nihari shank with bone (can use chicken or lamb)
  • 10 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 3 ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour mixed with 5 tbsp water

Ingredients for Nihari ground spices (Nihari masala)

  • 1 ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried ginger powder
  • ¼ tbsp nutmeg powder
  • ¼ tbsp mace powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 whole black peppers
  • 2 tbsp whole dried coriander seeds

Mix all Nihari masala (listed above) together and grind in blender to make powder and keep aside.

Ingredients for Garnish:

  • 2 green chillies cut into slices
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves (I did not have any this time)
  • 1 ½ inch fresh ginger cut in julienne
  • 1 lemon (to squeeze on top of Nihari)


  1. In a small pan, take 1 diced onion and fry with 2 tbsp oil, until golden brown, keep aside.
  1. In a bowl, take 3 tbsp all-purpose flour and 5 tbsp water and mix together to make a paste, keep aside.
  1. In large pan, add 8 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee, put the heat on medium.
  2. When the oil is hot add meat, stir for 5 minutes in high heat or until the meat changes colour to brownish.
  3. Now, add garlic and ginger paste and stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and bay leaves, stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the Nihari masala now, stir for 5 minutes.
  6. Add 3 ½ water, bring to boil for 5 minutes in high heat.
  7. Now, put on low heat and cover with lid and cook for 50 minutes or until meat is tender. (You can use a pressure cooker or instant pot as well)
  1. Spoon out the oil from the gravy surface and reserve it in a bowl.
  2. Put the heat on high, slowly add the dissolved flour in the gravy, while continuously stirring.
  3. Bring to boil and cook for 15 min, stir occasionally.
  4. During this time, you can fry one diced onion in the Nihari. Or you can fry before separately and keep aside, like we did in step 1.
  5. Following step 1, pour the fried onion into the Nihari, stir and cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  6. After 10 minutes turn off heat. Take out the Nihari in a large bowl, pour reserved oil, garnish with green chillies, coriander leaves, julienne ginger and squeeze some juice from the lemon for taste.
  7. Serve hot with naan or roti or paratha.

That’s all! Hope you enjoyed this recipe. Let me know in the comments and feel free to ask any questions. Remember to like and share and stay safe and healthy!

Till next time 😀


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