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nihari the moring dish

Nihari The morning dish of Old Delhi

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About Traditional Nihari

Nihari dish of old delhi

According to many sources, Nihari either originated in Old Delhi in the late 18th century during the last throes of the Mughal Empire or in the royal kitchens of Awadh, in modern day Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Nihari is a traditional dish of Muslims of Delhi, Bhopal and Lucknow. After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, many Urdu speaking Muslims from northern India migrated to Karachi and Dhaka in the eastern wing (now in Bangladesh), and established restaurants. In Karachi, Nihari became a roaring success.


Nalli nihari is a variation made with marrow bones

Also Use In

Nihari is also used as a home remedy for Common cold, Rhinorrhea and Fever. According to a legend, it was concocted at least a hundred years ago in Delhi by a Hakeem.

 In Old Delhi

1. NIHARI & PAYA, AL JAWAHAR & KARIM’S  Near Jama Masjid.


best morning dish

Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 6-8

1 kg mutton (preferably shank portion) (cut into 8-10 pieces)
4 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp wheat flour
3 tbsp nihari masala


1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp soonth (dry ginger)
5-6 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
4-5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon stick
8-10 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

for garnish
1 inch ginger, cut into this strips
few fresh coriander leaves
Juice of 1 lime


  • Heat Ghee (you can use oil as well but ghee makes it tastier) in a deep bottom stock pot. Once the ghee is hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they start to turn brown.
  • Add mutton pieces, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well to coat the mutton in ghee and spices. Sauté for 5 mins.
  • Add the nihari masala and 8 cups of water. Mix well, cover and cook on very low heat for about 4 hours until the meat is tender. Keep checking in between. The way to know that the meat is cooked is when it breaks easily with a wooden spoon.
  • Dissolve wheat flour in half cup of water such that there are no lumps. Slowly add it to the gravy. Stir to mix it well in the gravy and let it simmer for another 10-15 mins till the gravy thickens.
  • Sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with ginger strips and fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.
  • To make your own Nihari masala from scratch, dry roast all the whole spices for the masala and grind them to a fine powder.


About Mohit Chhikara

I am a person who is positive about every aspect of life. There are many things I like to do, to see, and to experience. I like to read, I like to write; I like to think, I like to dream; I like to talk, I like to listen. I like to see the sunrise in the morning, I like to see the moonlight at night; I like to feel the music flowing on my face, I like to smell the wind coming from the ocean. I like to look at the clouds in the sky with a blank mind, I like to do thought experiment when I cannot sleep in the middle of the night. I like flowers in spring, rain in summer, leaves in autumn, and snow in winter. I like to sleep early, I like to get up late; I like to be alone, I like to be surrounded by people. I like country’s peace, I like metropolis’ noise; I like the beautiful west lake in Hangzhou, I like the flat cornfield in Champaign. I like delicious food and comfortable shoes; I like good books and romantic movies. I like the land and the nature, I like people. And, I like to laugh.

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