Nihari – A Flavorful Journey through Pakistan’s Iconic Slow-Cooked Stew

Nihari, a delectable slow-cooked stew, is a beloved dish that holds a special place in Pakistan’s culinary heritage. Bursting with aromatic spices and tender meat, this traditional delicacy is savored during special occasions and cherished family gatherings. Let’s embark on a flavorful journey through the preparation of this iconic Pakistani dish.


  • 500g beef or mutton, bone-in, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons Nihari masala (a spice mix available in stores)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 6 cups water
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, for garnish
  • Sliced ginger, for garnish
  • Green chilies, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Nihari naan or plain naan, for serving



  • Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a large pot or a slow cooker over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the Nihari masala, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Stir well to coat the onions and spices.
  • Add the meat chunks to the pot and sear them on all sides until they are lightly browned.
  • Pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the Nihari simmer for at least 4 to 5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls apart easily.
  • In a small bowl, mix the all-purpose flour with some water to make a smooth paste. Slowly stir the flour paste into the Nihari to thicken the gravy. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Serve the Nihari hot, garnished with chopped coriander leaves, sliced ginger, and green chilies. Accompany it with lemon wedges and naan.

Nihari, with its rich flavors and succulent meat, is a dish that exemplifies the culinary artistry of Pakistan. The slow-cooked stew has won the hearts of people from all walks of life, transcending regional boundaries. Whether enjoyed at a festive occasion or as a comforting meal, Nihari is a true celebration of Pakistani cuisine, inviting everyone to savor the warmth and richness of its flavors.

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