Lamb Nihari - Mutton Nihari - Lamb Shank Curry Recipe | Lamb on the shank

Nalli Nihari Recipe In Instant Pot- Mutton Nihari

Nalli Nihari Recipe – Slow cooked lamb shank in the silky smooth gravy is something to die for. A true meat lover will swear by Nihari. Lamb nihari or Lamb shank curry takes time to cook, however the steps are not complicated, and tastes nothing short of awesome! Best part is that you can make this in Instant pot too, as well as on a normal pot. Mutton or lamb nihari is a true show stopper in any party menu.

Nihari

It is slow cooked meat, primarily it is goat, lamb or beef or even chicken sometimes, along with bone marrow. The process of slow cooking along with bone marrow gives it a distinct and delicious taste. The presence of bone marrow makes this lamb shank curry, really rich.

Origin and History

The word originates from arabic word “nahaar”, which implies morning. There is a belief that it was originally consumed by Nawabs in Mughal Empire as breakfast, following their morning prayers and hence the name “Nihari”.


The place of origin for this is either hyderabad (India) or Old Delhi. Following the success in Mughal cuisine, this became extremely popular with Muslims. At the time of separation of India, many muslims migrated to Pakistan and nihari became household name in Pakistan. As of now, if you wish to eat a good nihari outside in any restaurant, I will recommend trying in authentic Pakistani restaurant. In case you are in India, you can try this in authentic restaurants in Old Delhi, Hyderabad or Lucknow.

Lamb Nihari Recipe - Lamb Shank Curry
Lamb Nihari Recipe – Lamb Shank Curry

Nalli Nihari

Nalli is bone marrow. A nihari with “shank” or bone marrow is, nalli nihari. You may have heard, Nalli gosht, this is same as meat cooked with bone marrow.


If I be honest, I had not heard much of Nihari while I was in India, however thanks to my meat loving husband, I heard its name first time in 2012 or so. We have two close muslim family friends, and my husband will normally eat this lamb nihari at their place or in pakistani restaurants in London.

There are hundreds and thousands of nihari recipes on internet. Each one has some subtle variation to it. This nihari recipe is amalgamation of learnings I gathered by speaking to few chefs in Pakistani restaurants and my understanding of usage of Instant pot. This recipe has gone through rigorous test of taste by my critic husband, who is good in finding fault in any food! Now that he is happy with the recipe, he has tried it few times himself and his friends loved it too. (What a sigh of relief!).

Medication Value

Some people use Nihari as home remedy for fever and common cold. The sauce or curry has got medication value. It contains bone marrow along with cloves, cardamom, black pepper, fennel seeds, and all these provide immunity against common cold.


“Mutton Bone marrow” or mutton nalli, is a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acid which has essential for efficient brain functioning.

Ingredients

There are two sets of ingredients which are required for this lamb shank curry, one is Nihari Masala and then other is rest of ingredients.

Nihari Masala

You can either buy readymade nihari masala or make fresh at home. I will recommend using fresh masala at home. Making this masala does not take much time either and nothing beats fresh homemade masala.

To make this masala you need

  • Fennel seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Black peppercorns
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Black and Green Cardamoms
  • Bay leaves
  • Star Anise
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg and Mace powder
Ingredients for Nihari Masala
Ingredients for Nihari Masala

Other ingredients

You will need, lamb shanks, ghee, oil, ginger, garlic, all purpose flour or wheat flour, kashmiri red chilli powder, salt, cumin seeds, onion, and coriander.

Mutton Nihari Recipe - Lamb Shank Curry
Mutton Nihari Recipe – Lamb Shank Curry

How to make Nihari Masala

In a small pan, dry roast the following for few minutes

  • 1.5 tablespoon Fennel seeds
  • 1.5 tablespoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
  • 2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 5 Green Cardamom
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • 1-2 Star Anise
  • 6-7 Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mace
Nihari Masala Ingredients to be blended
Nihari Masala Ingredients to be blended

Let this cool and transfer them to a grinding jar. Blend it to a fine powder and keep aside. Your Nihari masala is ready.

Ground Fresh Nihari Masala
Fresh Nihari Masala

Instant Pot Recipe to make Lamb or Mutton Nihari

  • Switch on the instant pot and set it on for “sauté” mode. 
  • Add ghee to it and once ghee is warm, add grated ginger and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until raw smell fades away. Add lamb shank pieces and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
Adding lamb shanks to cook
Making Nihari in Instant Pot
  • Add Kashmiri chilli powder, salt and the ground Nihari masala to it and sauté for 2 minutes till spice mixture is roasted well and lamb shanks are coated nicely and switch off the instant pot.
Adding spices for making Lamb curry
Adding spices for making Nihari
  • Add 8 cups of water (if using instant pot) and mix well. Close the instant pot with lid and adjust the setting to “slow cook” mode for 2.5 hours.
  • After that, open the lid and check if the shanks are cooked nicely. It should be really tender once you touch it with the spoon and comes off the bone easily. Now adjust the instant pot to “sauté” mode again.
  • Sieve together all purpose flour and wheat flour. Take it in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of water.
All purpose flour paste
All purpose flour paste for Nihari
  • Mix well and add this to the cooking Nihari pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes so that there are no lumps formed and let Nihari cook for 10-12 minutes more.
  • Heat another pan over medium flame and add oil to it. Once oil gets warm, add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Add sliced onions and sauté till they are golden and now add chopped green chillies and ginger julienne and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Switch off the heat and subsequently transfer this tempering to cooking Nihari. Mix well and switch off the heat.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander and lemon wedges.
Pakistani Nihari Recipe - Nalli Nihari Recipe
Pakistani Nihari Recipe – Nalli Nihari Recipe

How to make Nihari in normal pan or handi

To make nihari in normal pot or pan or handi the process is largely same. There are minor tweaks to the recipe (you can find that in recipe card inline).

  • Keep the heat to lowest when adding lamb shanks.
  • Use 10 cups of water to add to for handi and let it cook with lid covered for 2.5 hour on sim / lowest heat setting.

Point to note here is that Instant Pot needs on “slow cook” mode where as normal cooking requires heat on lowest setting. Instant post requires less water as compared to normal pot.

Pro Tips

  • Slow cooking is the key in this recipe, hence don’t rush up. Yes, everyone wants quick recipes, but the true taste comes from slow cooking in this case. Plan ahead and ensure to put the nihari to cook on slow heat, whilst you do other things.
  • Using all purpose flour/wheat flour in the recipe gives silky texture with thickening, hence you can use any of them or both combined.
  • I used both ghee and oil in my recipe, however you can use any whatever available. This tastes best when cooked in ghee.
  • Look for fresh tender spring lamb shank for tastiest nalli nihari.
  • Make this a day in advance and it will taste even better. There are restaurants which re-use left over nihari (also called taar) is next day’s cooking, as it offers distinctly delicious flavour.
  • You can use this recipe for beef, goat and chicken too. Note that with chicken the cooking time will reduce to 1.5hrs maximum, as chicken cooks really fast.
  • You can make nihari masala in advance and keep it ready whenever you need it. This way, all you need to do is, just slow cook nihari, which is really simple.
  • If using normal pan to make this, look for deep pan, such as handi.
Mutton Nalli Nihari - Lamb Shank Curry Recipe
Mutton Nalli Nihari – Lamb Shank Curry Recipe

This Nihari Is

  • True show stopper on any dinning table. The silky smooth gravy with the rich taste from bone marrow and tender meat is something any meat lover will crave for!
  • Takes times to make, however is worth all the wait.
  • Though this recipe takes time, it is fairly straight forward recipe and you make make nihari in instant pot or normal pan.
  • Tastes great as soon as its ready, however it tastes heavenly next day.

Storage suggestion

You can keep this stored under refrigeration for 2-3 days, however if you wish to freeze it, you can keep it frozen for 3 months easily.

When de-frosting, let this come to room temperature and then re-heat on low heat, ideally in a pan, but can use micro-wave too. Once its defrosted, do not re-freeze again.

Serving suggestion

Garnish this lamb shank curry with lemon slices and ginger juliennes and serve this nihari piping hot along with any Indian bread, ideally roti or naan, or can serve with plain steamed rice too.

Other Lamb Recipes

If you have taste buds for lamb or mutton, you would likely love some of these lamb curries

Achari Gosht

Handi Gosht

Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb Chettinad

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank Curry - Nalli Nihari Recipe
Slow Cooked Lamb Shank Curry – Nalli Nihari Recipe

Recipe Card

Nihari Lamb Recipe - Delicious Nihari

Lamb Nihari – Lamb Shank Curry

Meenu Gupta
Slow cooked lamb or goat shank along with bone marrow, producing an absolute ambrosial meat on the dinning table.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Lunch & Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 257 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot, Handi,

Ingredients
  

For Spice blend(Nihari Masala)

  • 1.5 tablespoon Fennel seeds
  • 1.5 tablespoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
  • 2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 5 Green Cardamom
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • 1-2 Star Anise
  • 6-7 Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mace

Other Ingredients

  • 2 large lamb shanks
  • 3 tablespoon Ghee / Clarified Butter
  • 3 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Grated
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Grated
  • 1 tablespoon All purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Juliennes
  • 2 tablespoon Fresh Coriander Leaves Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seed
  • 2 Onion medium size,thinly sliced
  • 2 Green chilli slitted and cut into halves
  • 2-3 Lemon wedges for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • In a small pan, dry roast all the ingredients(listed under spice blend)for Nihari masala, for few minutes. Let them cool and transfer them to a grinding jar. Blend it to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Switch on the instant pot and set it on for "saute" mode. If not using Instant pot, then heat a heavy bottomed Kadhai or handi over medium flame.
  • Add ghee to it and once ghee is warm, add grated ginger and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes until raw smell fades away. Add lamb shank pieces and saute for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add Kashmiri chilli powder, salt and the grinded Nihari masala to it and saute for 2 minutes till spice mixture is roasted well and lamb shanks are coated nicely and switch off the instant pot. If cooking in handi, then reduce the heat to lowest.
  • Add 8 cups of water(if using instant pot, otherwise 10 cups if cooking in handi/kadhai) and mix well. Close the instant pot with lid and adjust the setting to "slow cook" mode for 2.5 hours. If cooking in handi, then cover the handi with lid and let it cook on lowest heat for 2.5 hours.
  • After that, open the lid and check if the shanks are cooked nicely. It should be really tender once you touch it with the spoon and comes off the bone easily. Now adjust the instant pot to "saute" mode again.
  • Sieve together all purpose flour and wheat flour. Take it in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and add this to the cooking Nihari. Saute for 2-3 minutes so that there are no lumps formed and let Nihari cook for 10-12 minutes more.
  • Heat another pan over medium flame and add oil to it. Once warm, add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Add sliced onions and saute till they are golden. Add chopped green chillies and ginger julienne and saute for 1 minute.
  • Switch off the heat and transfer this tempering to cooking Nihari. Mix well and switch off the heat.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander and lemon wedges. Serve hot and enjoy with Naan or rice.
    Pakistani Nalli Nihari Recipe - Your Food Fantasy

Notes

  • I used both ghee and oil in my recipe, however you can use any whatever available. This tastes best when cooked in ghee.
  • Slow cooking is the key in this recipe, so don’t rush up.
  • Using all purpose flour/wheat flour in the recipe gives silky texture with thickening, so you can use any of them or both combined.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Lamb Nihari – Lamb Shank Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 257 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 887mg39%
Potassium 346mg10%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 48IU1%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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