Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

by Nisha Jeelani

Easy Slow Cooker Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

Prep Time :30 minutes

Cook time : 8 hours

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Moderate

Taste : Spicy

Author: Izzah ,TeaforTumeric

Whole Spices

o 1 small star anise

o 1-2 small bay leaves

o 1 inch piece cinnamon stick

Ground Spices

o 2-3 whole cloves ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle

o 2-3 green cardamom pods seeds removed and ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle

o 1/2 tsp fennel seeds ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle

o 1/2 tsp paprika powder

o 1/2 tsp coriander powder

o 1/2 tsp cumin powder

o 1/4 tsp turmeric

o 1/4-1/2 tsp Asian red chilli powder or cayenne

o 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli pepper

o 1/4 tsp black pepper powder

o 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

o pinch nutmeg

o 1/2 tbsp. Shaan Nihari masala powder


o 1/3 cup canola or other neutral oil

o 1 tbsp. ghee or butter

o 1 large onion thinly sliced

o 5-6 garlic cloves crushed

o 3/4- inch piece ginger crushed

o 1 1/4 tsp salt or to taste

o 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

o 3 1/2 - 4 cups water

o 1 pound beef shank


o Crispy fried onions

o 1 inch piece ginger julienned

o 1 lemon sliced

o 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro chopped

o 1-2 green chilies chopped


Step 1

Heat oil and ghee over medium-high heat and add the whole spices.

Step 2

Add onion and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté until the raw smell disappears, about 15-20 seconds.

Step 3

Add beef shanks and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until it changes color. Lower the heat and add the powdered spices and salt and sauté for about 20 seconds.

Step 4

Carefully pour this beef mixture into your Crockpot or slow cooker. Add the water and cook on low for 8-10 hours (preferable) or high for 6-7 hours, or until the beef is fall-apart tender. Cooking times will vary depending on your meat and slow cooker.

Step 5

Toward the end of your cooking time, remove your whole spices and take out a cup of the liquid of the Nihari into a bowl. Let it cool a little by adding an ice cube to it. Place the whole wheat flour in another bowl. Bit by bit, add the Nihari liquid to the flour to form a smooth slurry. Slowly add this slurry back into the crockpot while stirring to prevent clumps. Let it cook for another 30-45 minutes. Serve hot with the garnishing and naan.

Recipe Notes

*If you do not add the pre-made Nihari masala, adjust the quantity of the other spices per taste.

**Traditionally, whole wheat flour is used to thicken the curry. I highly recommend you use it for an authentic taste. For a gluten-free option, I have tried it with brown rice flour and it works well.


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