This Pakistani dish was introduced to me by a friend when I first moved to Johannesburg who learnt it from her Pakistani mum. It is fiery hot even when you make it mildly but so deliciously warming to serve in the cold winter months.

It’s essentially a slow-cooked meat stew flavoured with traditional Indian spices. And as hot as it is my 8-year-old son is constantly nagging me to make it. It’s got that moreish taste that even through your tearing eyes and ears on fire you can’t stop eating.

I sometimes resort to using a premix and the Shan premix is perfect for this. Here is the method from my friend Amina using the Shan spice mix.

Nihari, Slow cooked meat stew

1kg Scotch fillet or Stew mutton on the bone
1/2 cup oil
2 Tbsp garlic & ginger paste
1/2 pkt Shan Nihari mix, you could use 1/4 pkt if you don’t like too hot
1 1/2 kettles hot water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain flour
1 Tbsp brown flour
Vagaar: 1/2 onion sliced fried till golden in ghee

Fry onions till soft and translucent in oil. Add meat and Shan spice and stir fry till oil separates from the masala. Cover and cook on low heat for about 3 to 5 hours or till meat is soft. Beef will take longer than mutton or lamb. You can speed up this process if you have a pressure cooker.

Mix the 2 flours and make a paste by adding water to it. Slowly add to the meat and mix. Bring to boil and then simmer on medium for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add vagaar and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.

Serve with naan or roti and garnish with fresh lemon, crispy onions, chopped green chillies and julienned ginger.


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