Chicken Nihari

#nihari #foodblog

Nihari is one of the most relished and delightful dish of Old Delhi.

The word “Nihari” comes from the Arabic work “Nahar” meaning morning. Historically, it is said that the dish was originally consumed by Nawabs in the Mughal Empire after their morning prayers. Its origin dates back to 17th  to 18th century.

Precisely, it is a stew-based dish prepared by slow cooking meat with bone marrow.

Well, to let you know, Am eating Nihari since my childhood but while writing this blog, I get to know of its origin. πŸ˜€

Most of you must be knowing the recipe well, here is my attempt to it. It’s mostly made with red meat but as we prefer to eat chicken more, I am making it with the same.

Let’s get started πŸ™‚

Nihari Masala:

You can always use readymade of any good brand but I like it homemade.


Peppercorns – 1 tsp

Black cardamom- 1 piece

Green cardamom- 4 to 5

Cinnamon- 2 inch piece

Cloves- 10 to 15 pieces

Bay leaves- 4 to 5 leaves

Mace- 2 pieces

Dry pomegranate seeds- 1 tsp

Nutmeg- 1/4th tsp

Fennel seeds- 1 tbsp

Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Ginger powder- 1 tbsp

Red chilly powder- 1 tbsp

Kashmiri red chilly powder or paprika powder – 1 tbsp

Coriander powder- 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

Salt- 1 tbsp or as per your taste


1. Leaving aside all the powdered spices, grind all the other ingredients into a fine powder.

2. Add all the powdered spices and mix well. This masala can be stored in an air-tight container for a long time.

** Above quantity of ingredients will yield you much more than required for the recipe. You an always store it for your next use.

Nihari Recipe

Ingredients required:

Chicken- 1 kg

Onion- 2 large-sized, finely sliced

Tomato- 2 large-sized, roughly sliced

Lemon juice- 1 to 2 tbsp or as required

Turmeric powder- 1/4th tsp

Red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp

Dry roasted Cumin seed powder- 1 tbsp

Salt- 1 tsp or you can always adjust as per your taste

Ginger garlic paste- 2 tbsp

Wheat flour- 2 tbsp

Ginger julienne cut- 1 tbsp

Green chillies –  3 to 4 finely cut

Coriander leaves- a small bunch

Cooking oil- 1 cup (Nihari requires a bit more oil)


1. Wash the chicken and keep it dipped in water and salt (1/2 tsp) for about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. In a pressure cooker, add the Sliced onions, ginger garlic paste, sliced tomatoes, salt, Turmeric powder, roasted Cumin seeds powder, red chilly powder, Nihari Masala powder (half of the masala you have prepared), lemon juice and oil.

2. Mix everything well and add about 100 ml of water. Pressure cook till 2 to 3 whistles or until the onion and tomato blend well together on a high flame.

3. Now add the chicken, mix well and again pressure cook for 2 whistles. If you find the need of adding little more water, if it has been dried up, do add about half a cup more and then pressure cook. Flame should be high.

4. Open the lid of the cooker and on a high flame continue to mix and stir well.

5. Add ginger juliennes, green chilly and Coriander leaves.

6. Add 1 to 2 tsp Nihari Masala and Mix well (taste your gravy, if it’s already spicy then avoid adding more). After 2 minutes, add wheat flour and stir everything well to avoid lumps.

7. The water released by the chicken should be completely dried up and oil should come to the surface. The chicken should be tender enough. Keep stirring otherwise the Masala/gravy will burn. The chicken in Nihari is very soft and tender.

8. Lastly, add water according to the consistency you prefer. It’s neither very thick nor runny. Around 250 to 300 ml water would be enough. The gravy thickens further when kept for a while. Keeping the flame slow now, cover and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.

** If you find the gravy runny, add more wheat flour and if thick, add water.

9. Your Nihari is ready, garnish with ginger, Coriander, lemon and green chillies.

***You can add a tempering of butter at the time of serving the dish as it enhances its flavor more.


73 replies on “Chicken Nihari”

Ohh my!!! I can imagine myself scooping this delicious thick gravy and some chicken with a piece of hot naanπŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜
What an amazing recipe πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

Liked by 3 people

mmmm… i don’t eat meat or eggs, but the gravy looks delicious!!! i’m sure cauliflower would make a delicious replacement. or potatoes too!
thank you for this- we’re trying it tomorrow evening, my family and i…
love always,

Liked by 1 person

Sure you can use this gravy with any of the veggies of your choice. Firstly prepare the gravy, when done then shallow fry the veggies and add them. You can even add paneer(cottage cheese). Cauliflower, potato and paneer would taste great, I guess. πŸ€—πŸ˜€ Let me know how it turns outπŸ™‚
Thanks so much for your comment dear 😊 stay safe, take care 🌺🌼

Liked by 2 people

I too should get a chance to eat yummy delicious nhari.🀀🀀
And thanks to share Delicious dish …..πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘


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