Sunday, 21 October 2012

Chicken Nihari

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Nihari is a popular meat/chicken dish in Pakistan. Traditionally it is served in breakfast but it can also be had as a meal. It is garnished according to individual tastes with coriander leaves, fried onions, green chillies, strips of ginger and lemon. It is best enjoyed in winter and is usually served with naan or kulchas. Nihari can be cooked in many different ways, I am going to share very simple way of cooking nihari, we don’t need to add a lot of spices but still the taste comes out perfect.



1 kg chicken cut in to 8 pieces
2 onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp ginger, garlic paste (add it in 1 cup of water)
2tbsp sonf (fennel seeds)
2tbsp sonth (dry ginger)
1 tbsp garam masala powder
2-3 tbsp red chili powder
salt (as per taste)
¾ cup ghee/oil
2-3 cups water


Take a heavy based pan and heat ghee/oil, add onoions and fry on low flame, once the onions get soft and pink add in the chicken, increase flame and cook till chicken changes its color. Keep stirring. Put sonf and sonth in mulmul cloth (cheese cloth) and tie it like a potli (spice bag). Place the potli in chicken and cook it a little more, add in ginger garlic paste mixed in with one cup of water. Add salt and red chili powder then let it cook on low flame for 15 minutes. Keep stirring every once a while. By doing this the onions will dissolve. Now add 2-3 cups of water. Check the salt and adjust as per your taste. Cover and let it cook on low flame till the chicken/beef/mutton is done. (if using chicken let it cook for 2-3 hours (beef and mutton will take longer time).
Meanwhile dry roast wheat flour in a pan. Let it cool down and then mix with 1 cup of water, once the chicken is done, take out the spice bag and pour the paste in to gravy to thicken it. Don’t add all paste at once. It’s up to you how much thick gravy you want. Mix on high flame. Mix garam masala in ¼ cup of water and pour it in the gravy, mix and cover on low flame for 2-3 minutes. 
You can serve it immediately but for excellent result. After turning the flame off, leave it to rest for 3-4 hours (uncovered). Take out chicken and ghee which is on top of gravy. Separately heat up gravy before serving. Place chicken in a serving dish, pour hot gravy and ghee on top, garnish with ginger, green chili and fresh coriander and serve with naans.

You can also make the mutton nihari in the same manner. 

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