Prep 15 m
Cook 8h
4 to 5


    Chef Faizan Ali's family recipe for Purani Dilli Nihari 

    Ingredients for Nihari Masala 

    7 gms green cardamom 

    4 gms mace 

    7 long peppers or pipli

    3 gms stone flower or pathar ke phool

    4 gms black cumin seeds or shahi jeera

    2-star anise or chakri phool 

    5 gms ginger powder or sonth

    2-inch cinnamon stick 

    20 gms black pepper or kali mirch  

    5 gms nutmeg or jaifal

    1 gms long tailed pepper or kebab chini 

    3 gms dry rose petals

    For Mutton or Lamb Stock

    Mutton bones

    5 gms fennel

    3 gms whole coriander

    2 bay leaves

    For Nihari 

    ½ cup desi ghee or clarified butter

    1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, equal measure 

    2 bay leaves 

    4 to 5 cloves 

    2 to 3 black cardamom 

    500 gms onion, sliced 

    1.5 kg lamb or mutton 

    Salt - to taste  

    25 gms red chilli powder 

    15 gms turmeric powder 

    12 to15 gms coriander powder 

    1 ½ cup yoghurt

    2 tbsp wheat flour 

    2 tbsp nihari masala

    1 tbsp kewra water or screw pine water

    For Garnish 

    Coriander leaves, chopped

    Green chilli, slit 

    Ginger, julienned

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Ingredient Substitution Guide


For the stock:

1. Boil the water, add mutton bones to it. Boil it to prepare the stock. In a muslin cloth bag add 5 gms fennel, 2 bay leaves and 3 gms whole coriander, tie it up and put it in the stock. Give it a stir and make a thick stock or yakhni.

2. In another pot, heat ghee or clarified butter. Add 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 2 bay leaves, 4 to 5 cloves, 2 to 3 cardamom, 500 gms sliced onions and sauté. Then add the meat and salt to taste and roast for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are mashed.

Note: The quantity of onion is significant. If you put in more or less than the required onions mentioned in the recipe, you won't get the authentic taste, and your gravy could turn a little sweet. It is advised to use onions, as mentioned in the recipe.

For the meat:

3. In a bowl, add the powdered spice – red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander and mix with yoghurt, add it to the roasted mutton, and cook until the spices are well cooked.

4. Add this mutton to the stock, give it a boil and leave it to cook for 3 to 4 hours or till the mutton is cooked well.

For the nihari masala:

You will need 2 to 3 green cardamom, mace, long pepper (pipli), stone flower (patther ke phool), black cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black pepper, nutmeg, sonth or dry ginger powde rand dry rose petals. Dry roast them for 2 minutes on low heat till fragrant. Transfer the spices to a grinder and blend it, strain it to get a fine powder and keep it aside.

5. In a bowl, add 2 tbsp wheat flour to 1 cup water, whisk until lumps dissolve. Then add 2 tbsp nihari masala, 1 tbsp kewra or screw pine water and mix well.

6. Next, add the wheat flour paste prepared in the previous stew to the mutton stew and stir well. Cook till the gravy thickens. The wheat flour paste gives the nihari a smooth texture. You will know it is cooked, when the oil will settle on top, to form a layer.

Serve hot with khamiri roti or leavened bread.

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