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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nalli Nihari

Foods like nalli nihari made our stay in Hyderabad oh so enjoyable. One of the delights was to drudge through the insane evening traffic on Fridays to head to old Hyderabad, to pick up some nalli. I have forgotten the name of the restaurant but the taste still lingers on in my memory.
You can make this with lamb or goat. Ask the butcher for shanks (leg meat on bone). Made with a lot of spices this needs some planning, but the results easily make up for your hard work.


  • 2 lbs. lamb leg on bone
  • 2 medium onions sliced
  • 1/2 “ ginger cut into thin sticks
  • 2 cups mutton stock
  • 2 tbsp. clarified butter ( Ghee)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp. ghee ( Clarified Butter )
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. Nihari masala powder
    • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
    • 8 green cardamom
    • 3 black cardamom
    • 2” cinnamon stick
    • 10 cloves
    • 3 blades of mace
    • 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
    • 14 black pepper corn
    • 1 star anise
    • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
    • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
    • 1 tsp. dry ginger powder
    • 8 dry red chili
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tbsp. roasted chana dal powder


Take all the ingredients listed under Nihari Masala Powder and dry roast them on medium heat till you start getting a nice aroma.  Turn off the heat and bring them down to room temperature. Dry grind them in a blender to make a fine powder of them.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan till it melts. Now add onion slices to it and fry them on medium heat for about five minutes. Add meat pieces to it and sear them on high heat to lock the moisture inside.
Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of freshly ground nihari masala powder and mix well. Saute everything together for about ten minutes on low heat.
Season the meat with salt, sugar and pour six cups of water to it. Give a nice stir and cook it covered on low heat till the meat is tender. it takes about 45 minutes.
Now pour the mutton stock over it along with the rest of nihari masala powder.
Mix the flour with half cup of water the add this mixture to the cooked mutton. Mix well and allow the gravy to simmer till it thickens.
Turn off the heat. Finish it off with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Dish it out and garnish with cilantro and serve.

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