Chicken Nihari

chicken Nihari, usually Nihari is a stew originated during Mughal empire. Its a spicy mutton slow cooked stew along with bone marrow to enhance the taste, in some places they also add brain to the dish.

Nihari masala Ingredients

Carrom Seeds/Ajwain – 2 tbsp
Corrinder seeds/dhania whole – 8 tbsp
Green Cardamom/Elaichi – 2 tbsp
Cloves/Laung – 4 tbsp
Black Cardamom/ badi elaichi – 8 pcs
Bay leaves – 3
Star Anise – 8 pcs
red chilli powder – 4 tbsp ( u can reduce this to 1/2 or as per taste)
Black salt – 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger powder – 2 tbsp
Turmeric – 1 tbsp
Nutmeg pwder – 1/2 tbsp
Mace – 1/2 tbsp
Salt – 2 tbsp
Degi Mirch powder – 2 tbsp
Shahi jeera – 4 tbsp
Fennel Seeds – 6 tbsp

Method: Grind all the whole spices to make fine powder then mix the powder masala in it and keep in air tight container.                                                          

Method to make Nihari gravy

4 tbsp Nihari Spice Mix
1 chicken, skin removed and cut into 8-10 pieces (1kg)
1/2 cup ghee or oil (you can mix ghee with oil if you like)
2 large onions, finely chopped
salt as per taste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
8-10 cups of water
1/2 cup whole wheat
3 big sized onions golden fried
julienned ginger (for garnishing i skipped as did not have ginger cause made paste)
lemon slices (for garnishing)
fresh chopped coriander (for garnishing)
chopped green chillies (for garnishing optional)


Heat ghee in a deep pan (preferably non-stick), then add the onions and fry until lightly golden. Addd the ginger and garlic pastes and stir until aromatic. Next, add the chicken and stir-fry on medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the Nihari powder and stir well. Next, add the water and salt, give everything a stir and lower the heat. Cover the pot and allow to cook on very low gentle heat for half hour.

While the chicken is cooking add some water gradually in the aata and keep on mixing to form a light paste with no lumps.

After half hour turn up the heat add in the fried onions and slowly add the whole wheat flour paste into the pan whilst stirring continuously. This will thicken the gravy. Once all the paste is mixed in, give everything a final stir, taste for salt and adjust if needed. Then lower the heat again to very low, cover with a tight lid to seal the pan completely. Keep the heat low, remember, the trick is to cook Nihari on low heat to get the meat perfectly tenderized and for the oil to rise to the top of the dish. Give the chicken another 30 minutes to cook on very low flame then turn off the heat and let the pan stand with the lid still closed for another 10 minutes.

Serve hot garnish it with ginger, lime and corriander leaves along with warm naans.


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