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%Nalli Nihari recipe Debjanir Rannaghar

Nalli Nihari | Mutton Nihari Recipe | Gosht Nihari

  • Author: Debjani Chatterjee
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 people


Nalli Nihari aka Mutton Nihari is a heritage Mughlai winter delicacy where shank meat is cooked with selected spices for hours to reach the level of perfection


  • Mutton Shank Meat: 1kg (cut into pieces with the marrowbone)
  • Fat from the portion near to liver of mutton: 100g (cut into chunks) (optional)
  • lamb brain: 100g (optional)
  • Garlic Paste: 2 Tbsp.
  • Ginger Paste: 2 Tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice: 3 Tbsp.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: 3 Tbsp.
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 Tbsp.
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt: to taste
  • Vegetable Oil: 1 Cup (150ml)
  • Ghee: 2 Tbsp.

Nihari Masala:

  • Star Anise: 2
  • Nutmeg: 1
  • Bay Leaf: 3
  • Cinnamon Stick: 2-3 pieces (1" each)
  • Black Pepper: 20
  • Green Cardamom: 15
  • Coriander Seed: 1 Tbsp.
  • Cumin Seed: 1/2 Tbsp.
  • Fennel Seed: 1 Tbsp.
  • Clove: 10
  • Dry Ginger: 1 Tbsp. (Powder)
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 Tbsp.
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 Tbsp.

For Garnishing:

  • Ginger: Jullien Cut: 3 Tbsp.
  • Cilantro: 1 bunch (chopped)
  • Lemon Slice: 4


  1. Wash and pat dry meat chunks.
  2. Marinate meat with ginger and garlic paste while making the Nihari Masala.
  3. Take all the whole spices mentioned under "Nihari Masala" in a blender and make a coarse powder of the spices.
  4. Now add 1 Tbsp each of dry ginger powder, red chili powder, and also turmeric powder to the spice mix.
  5. You can store this mixture in an airtight container.
  6. From the mixture, you will need 3.5 Tbsp. Powder to make nihari with 1 Kg meat.
  7. Boil around 2 liters of water. Heat oil and ghee in a deep bottom pan.
  8. This pan should have a tight lid.
  9. Once the ghee and oil mixture is properly heated add mutton chunks and fry for around 5 minutes on low flame.
  10. Now add 3 Tbsp. of the spice powder to the meat and mix well.
  11. Keep the flame low and cook for 5 more minutes.
  12. The meat by this time will release moisture.
  13. Now add the boiling water and keep the flame low.
  14. Add salt to taste and chili powder if needed.
  15. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low flame for 5 hours without stirring the meat.
  16. In between if needed add boiling water to keep the curry runny.
  17. You may need to add 500ml water.
  18. After 4 hours the meat will be properly cooked and oil will start floating on the top of the curry.
  19. Strain the oil from the top with the help of a spoon.
  20. Keep the oil reserved in a bowl.
  21. Now mix 3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour with 1 cup of hot water to make a semi-runny mixture.
  22. Strain this mixture through a strainer and mix with the curry lightly from the side.
  23. Nihari does not call for overmixing.
  24. Now cook for 1 more hour without stirring the curry.
  25. After around 6 hours of cooking the meat, switch the flame off.
  26. Add 1/2 Tbsp. spice mix followed by lemon juice and mix lightly.
  27. Top it with the reserved oil and ghee mixture.
  28. While serving garnish with ginger julienne, lemon slices, and chopped cilantro.


I don't believe in the shortcut method of cooking Nihari. This dish calls for hours of cooking.
The pieces of meat have to be chosen carefully. Shank is a must. Brain and fat are, however, optional but makes it way better.

  • Category: Mutton
  • Cuisine: Mughlai
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