Nihari with garnish in Pakistan
|Region or state||South Asia|
|Course||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner|
|Main ingredient(s)||Beef shank, lamb and mutton|
|Other information||Served with Kulcha|
The word Nihar originated from the Arabic word "Nahar" (Arabic: نهار) which means "morning" after sunrise Fajr prayers. This dish was usually eaten in the early morning (puritans would indulge in this delicacy before sunrise, right after the Fajr prayers).
Its roots lie in the Muslim Nawab kitchens, having achieved fame via the storied royal kitchens of Lucknow in present-day Uttar Pradesh, long the seat of the Nawab of Avadh though it is also relished by non-Muslim foodies.[not in citation given] Nihari developed with the overall cuisine of south Asian Muslims. It has been an old popular delicacy in parts of Bangladesh, particularly Dhaka and Chittagong. It is a popular dish and is regarded as the National dish of Pakistan. The dish is known for its spiciness and taste. It is originally more of a delicacy with myriad variations on spiciness and texture.[better source needed]
According to many sources: Nihari originated in Old Delhi (Jama Masjid and Daryaganj areas) in late eighteenth century during the last throes of Mughal Empire. The Muslim Nawab ate Nihari early in the morning and then took a long nap before going to 'Zhuhr' (afternoon Muslim prayers). Later on, it became popular among labor class as a regular breakfast item.
Nihari is also used as a home remedy for Common cold, Rhinorrhea and Fever. According to a legend, it was concocted at least a hundred years ago in Delhi by a Hakim[disambiguation needed], a medical doctor.
Nihari is a Muslim dish from Delhi and after the independence of Pakistan many cooks migrated to Karachi and other cities in the eastern wing (now in Bangladesh), and established restaurants. In Karachi, Nihari became a roaring success and soon all over Pakistan. Now Nihari is available in Pakistani restaurants around the world. Nihari is considered to be the National Dish of Pakistan along with Biryani.
||This article may contain original research. (February 2013)|
Nihari is cooked overnight in various vessels, sometimes even buried underground while it cooked, as Shab Deg (cooked overnight) is, which results in extremely tender morsels of meat, including the flavourful bone marrow. It is served with a number of side dishes. The Baghaar is lightly fried in ghee to reduce the heat of chilis and the tarka is an additional oily chilli to spice up the flavour. Cooked brains and bone marrow are served alongside the stew. The Nihari is garnished according to individual tastes with coriander leaves, fried onions, green chillies, strips of ginger, lemons and sliced white radishes. In addition, garam masala, a blend of powdered spices is sprinkled over the stew. Salt is added to taste. In restaurants many of the garnishings are already added to increase customer turnover.
Traditional Nihari recipes call for 6–8 hours of cooking time, in addition to the preparation of the ingredients. This is much less common today with the use of tenderer cuts of meat, sirloin or shank. Traditionally the dish is eaten in the early hours of the morning. Because the stew is so rich, one is supposed to have an extended nap till the afternoon Muslim Zhuhr prayers which occur after midday.
Nihari is now cooked in pressure cooking to save time. The Nihari ingredients are now also available in packaging.
Here is a version of Nihari popular in Hyderabad (India): prepare the broth by boiling water along with goat or beef shanks (sometimes chicken) or vegetables (if you want to make a vegetarian version of it) along with some salt. If you are using mutton paya, then the process takes longer.
Grind onions, Shahi Zeera (Black cumin), Cloves and Cardamom together. Once the broth is ready, heat oil in a large pan, add the spice paste and let it fry till the raw smell of Onion disappears, then add Ginger and Garlic paste. Fry for a few more minutes, add salt, chili powder and the broth and let it cook over medium heat till all the spices have blended well into the soup. The Nihari is ready. Best enjoyed during winter or when down with a cold and best eaten with Naan or Phulka.
The Hyderabadi version of the Nihari contains lamb bones and tongue. Another version of Nihari, popularised by the spread of quick-cooking spice recipes from brands like Shan and National Foods of Pakistan, uses chicken to make a sort of thick chicken broth.
See also 
- Nihari a la Mexican style, But if there is one dish that migrated from Delhi to Karachi and became a roaring success then it is none other than nihari, a curry with lots of red meat, a sprinkling of bheja (brain) and garnished with thin slices of ginger.
- What is Nihari?
- Nihari Recipe
- Haji Noora ki Nihari
- Nihari Recipe video
- Paya Nihari Recipe - HyderabadPlanet.com
- Nihari Recipe at khanapakana.com