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How to make Mutton Nihari - 5

Mutton Nihari for winters

A rich stew made with mutton shanks and numerous spices and slow-cooked to give a depth of flavour. Whole wheat flour is added to give the gravy a body and this dish is definitely meant to be had in winters. The recipe is more or less the same as the one from Sadia Dehlvi in one of the HT articles on Nihari. Recipe Author: Madhushree
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 people


  • 1 Kg Mutton

Nihari Masala

  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 blade mace
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 4 nos green cardamom
  • 6 nos cloves
  • 1 no bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 8 nos peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

Other ingredients

  • 3 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup ghee or oil

For Garnish

  • Ginger julienne
  • chopped coriander leaves
  • lemon wedges
  • crispy fried onions


  • The first thing one needs to do is to dry roast all the spices for the Nihari masala and then grind them into a fine powder to be used later.
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or a degchi, heat ghee or oil if you wish to make a healthier version. However, I prefer ghee since it gives an incredible flavour and richness. This is not your everyday dish, so once in a while, a little bit of indulgence is quite acceptable.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add ginger and garlic paste and start to saute them. Sprinkle some salt too.
  • Add red chili powder to this and a little bit of water so that the masala doesn't stick to the pan.
  • Once the raw smell of the garlic goes away, throw in the mutton pieces and stir.
  • Then add the dry spice mix (Nihari masala) and make sure that all the mutton pieces are thoroughly coated in the spices. Sprinkle some water if required.
  • Once the mutton has got some colour to it, add about 4 cups of water. Add salt.
  • Then give it a boil and lower the heat. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours.
  • From time to time, you may check on the meat. Sometimes you may need to add more water if the liquid evaporates. In case you want to reduce your cooking time, you can pressure cook for 3 - 4 whistles and then cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. It is important to slow cook the meat to achieve the depth of flavour.
  • Once the meat is tender, make a slurry of the whole wheat flour with half a cup of water and add to the meat.
  • Give it a boil on high heat. Add water if required or boil for some time to reduce the amount of liquid. The basic idea is to have a thick gravy with ghee floating.
  • Once you have reached the desired consistency, turn off the heat.
  • Garnish the Nihari with ginger julienne, chopped coriander leaves, and deep-fried onions. Serve lemon wedges on the side. You can have the Nihari with some parathas or rotis.
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