Mutton Nihari Dilli Wali || Secrets of Authentic Nihari Recipe from Shahi Khansamas

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

― Julia Child 

The word “Nihar” originated from the Arabic word, “Nahar” which means “morning”. It was originally eaten by Nawabs in the Mughal Empire as a breakfast item after their morning prayers. The origin of Nihari dates back to the 17th-18th century. Historians claim that Nihari was developed in Old Delhi, while some say it was of product of the finest Awadhi khansamas and took its final shape in the kitchens of old Delhi. When classically prepared, Nihari used to take approximately 6-8 hours just to stew, not to mention preparation time. Thankfully, with the help of modern technology and methods, it is much easier achieve the same result in less time. 


  • Mustered Oil- 200ml

  • Garlic Juice/ Water- 1 cup

  • Onion- 4 to 5

  • Mutton- 500 gms

  • Garlic Paste- 2 tsp

  • Ginger Paste- 2tsp

  • Green Chili Paste- 2 tsp

  • Salt- to taste

  • Coriander Powder- 2 tsp

  • Red Chili powder- 1 & 1/2 tsp

  • Garam Masala- 1 tsp

  • Turmeric Powder- Just a pinch

  • Nihari Masala*- 2tsp

  • Curd- 4 tbsp

  • Water- Above the Meat level

  • Maida- 1 tbsp

  • Kewra Essence- 2 drops*

Nihari Masala- Fine ground Black Cardamom,Javitri/Mace,Bay Leaf,Clove,Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, Real Chili,Kali Mirch,Saunf,Corriander Seeds & Cumin


Step 1

Preheat the mustered oil (200 ml), well. Now add Garlic Juice (1 Cup) into boiling oil. Add medium chopped onion (4 - 5 ) and fry it until soft and golden brown.


Add Mutton (500 gms) into the pot and fry it for 5 minutes, then add Garlic Paste (2 tsp), Ginger Paste (2 tsp), Green Chili Paste (2 tsp) and stir occasionally for 10 Mintues then let it cook on low flame for 15 Minutes.


Add chopped onion (2 small) into the pot and stir occasionally for 5 minutes then put Salt (to taste), Coriander Powder (2 tsp), Red Chili powder (1 & 1/2 tsp), Garam Masala Powder (1 tsp), Turmeric Powder (Just a pinch), Nihari Masala* (2 tsp) and stir cook for 10 minutes.


Now add thick Curd (4 tbsp) and stir cook for 5 minutes then add Water a  little above the level of Meat, for cooking the Meat. Now let the Meat further cook for  2 hours (appx) on low flame and keep checking if it has been cooked well. It should be a little overcooked. Now mix  Maida/Refined flour (1 tbsp) into 1 cup of water and mix the thin paste into the gravy. Let it cook for 5 more minutes and then touch it up with Garam Masala Powder (1/2 tsp). Give it an aromatic touch with kewra essence (2 drops) and serve this Shahi Mutton Nihari hot, with choice of Garnishing and accompaniments.

Garnishing & Accompaniments

Garnish it with chopped fresh Coriander leaves, grated Ginger and chopped fresh green chilly. Best served with Tandoori Roti /Rumali Roti/ Tawa Naan/Sheermal/ Plain rice.

Top Tips

  • Don't get confused Nihari is cooked in Mustered OIl undoubtedly and also in some quantity of fat released from the meat.

  • Ensure that Mustered oil is boiled well before adding other ingredients.

  • Use fresh Meat preferably from Raan portion.

  • Meat should be so well cooked that it should  be extremely delicate.

  • You may use packed Nihari Masala but freshly ground home made Nihari Masala is best.

  • To make Nihari Masala at home lightly roast Black Cardamom, Javitri/Mace, Bay Leaf, Clove,Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, whole Red Chili, black pepper, Saunf/fannel seeds,Coriander Seeds & Cumin/Zeera and finely ground.

Video Recipe-

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