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CourseBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Associated national cuisineIndia, Bangladesh, Pakistan
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsShank meat of beef, lamb and mutton, or goat meat, also chicken
Other informationServed with bread or rice

Nihari (Bengali: নিহারী, Hindi: निहारी, Urdu: نہاری‎) is a stew from the Indian subcontinent consisting of slow-cooked meat, mainly shank meat of beef or lamb and mutton, goat meat and chicken, along with bone marrow.



According to the Sushruta Samhita, lightly spiced meat including beef, broth using vida salt, zeera and asafoetida was highly rated in ancient India.[1]

Modern dish[edit]

According to many sources, Nihari either originated in Hyderabad or Old Delhi in the late 18th century during the last throes of the Mughal Empire or in the royal kitchens of Awadh, in modern-day Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.[2]

Nihari developed with the overall cuisine of Muslims of South Asia. It has been an old popular delicacy in parts of Bangladesh, particularly Dhaka and Chittagong. People cooked it for one whole night and they got it in the early morning at sunrise. The dish is known for its spiciness and taste. It was originally more of a delicacy with myriad variations on spiciness and texture.[3][4][better source needed]


Nihari is a traditional dish of Muslims of Delhi, Bhopal and Lucknow. After the creation of modern-day Pakistan, many Urdu speaking Muslims from northern India migrated to Karachi and Dhaka, and established restaurants. When the kingdom of Hyderabad was annexed into the Indian Union in 1948, many more Muslims from the annexed territory fled to Pakistan, particularly to Karachi.. In Karachi, Nihari became a roaring success[5] and soon all over Pakistan. Now Nihari is available in Pakistani and Indian restaurants around the world.

Beef Nihari Karachi style, Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia - garnished with julienne ginger, coriander leaves and green chillies

In some restaurants, a few kilos from each day's leftover Nihari is added to the next day's pot. This re-used portion of Nihari is called taar and is believed to provide the unique flavor. Some Nihari outlets in old Delhi boast of an unbroken taar going back more than a century.[6]


Nihari is also used as a home remedy for fever, rhinorrhea and the common cold.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Achaya K. T. "Indian Food Tradition A Historical Companion". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Nihari, a gift from Nawabs". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Nahari". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Nihari Recipe". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Nihari a la Mexican style". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Dilli Ka Dastarkhwan". Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  7. ^ "What is Nihari?". Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.