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Nihari in a white bowl garnished with condiments

Easy Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

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Here's an Easy Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew) recipe that requires 1 pot and less than 30 minutes of initial prep time. This recipe gives stovetop & slow cooker instructions and promises tender beef shank (or stew) meat. Recipe includes step-by-step and video!
Cuisine Pakistani
Diet Halal
Keyword Easy Nihari, Instant Pot Nihari, slow cooker nihari
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 437

Equipment

  • Dutch oven OR Slow Cooker

Ingredients

Whole Spices

  • 1/2 piece of a small star anise
  • 1-2 small bay leaves
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick

Ground Spices

  • 2-3 whole cloves ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods seeds ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Homemade Nihari Masala (recipe in post) or sub 1/2 tbsp store-bought

Nihari

  • 1/3 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 5-6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3/4 inch piece ginger crushed
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt (sea salt or table salt) start with 1 1/2 tsp if using homemade masala
  • 1/4 cup durum atta flour (Or sub dry roasted brown rice flour or sorghum flour for GF)
  • 9 cups water for stovetop 3 1/2 cups for slow cooker
  • 1 lb boneless beef shank meat, 2-inch cubed or sub beef stew meat, 1 1/2 inch cubed

Garnishings

  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • crispy fried onions
  • 1 inch piece ginger julienned
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1-2 green chili peppers chopped

Instructions

Stovetop

  • Heat oil and ghee in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the whole spices and onion, and sauté until the onion turns golden, about 10 minutes.
    Browned onions with whole spices in a Dutch oven
  • If needed, deglaze with 2 tbsp of water. Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for 30 seconds. Add beef and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until it changes color.
    Beef Shanks seared with browned onions in a Dutch Oven
  • Lower the heat and add the powdered spices and salt and sauté for about 20 seconds. Immediately pour in the water and stir to mix.
    Ground spices added to beef shanks
  • Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil (cover with lid to make it boil quicker). Then lower the heat to low/low-medium so that the nihari is gently simmering. Cover and allow to cook for 6 hours for beef shank meat (or ~4 hours for stew meat). Turn off the heat. The meat should be tender enough that it breaks easily when pressed with a wooden spoon. Remove the whole spices, if desired.
    Water added in preparation to cook Nihari
  • Take out a cup of the liquid of the Nihari onto a bowl or measuring cup. Let it cool a little by adding an ice cube to it. Place the atta in another small bowl. Bit by bit, whisk the Nihari liquid into the atta to form a smooth slurry (small clumps are okay). Slowly stir this slurry back in to the Nihari pot to prevent clumps. If the mixture is too thick, add (preferably boiling) water to reach desired consistency.
    Atta flour slurry to be added to Nihari
  • Raise the heat to high to bring to a simmer. Then lower the heat to low/low medium. Cover and allow the nihari to simmer for another 30-45 minutes. The consistency should be like a thick soup. Serve hot with the garnishing and naan or sheermal.
    Finished Nihari in a Dutch Oven

Slow Cooker

  • Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Heat oil and ghee and add the whole spices. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes.
  • If needed, deglaze with 2 tbsp of water. Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for 30 seconds. Add beef and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until it changes color.
  • Lower the heat and add the powdered spices and salt and sauté for about 20 seconds.
  • Carefully pour this beef mixture into your Crockpot or slow cooker.
  • Add the water and stir to mix. Cook on low for 8 (for stew) to 10 hours (for shanks) or high for 6-7 hours, or until the beef is fall-apart tender. Cooking times will vary depending on your meat and slow cooker.
  • Toward the end of your cooking time, remove your whole spices and take out a cup of the liquid of the Nihari into a bowl. Let it cool a little by adding an ice cube to it. Place the atta in another bowl. Bit by bit, add the Nihari liquid to the atta to form a smooth slurry. Slowly add this slurry back into the crockpot while stirring to prevent clumps. Let it cook for another 30-45 minutes. Serve hot with the garnishing and naan or sheermal.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 542mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 231IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 4mg