Main Dishes, Ramadan

Easy Pakistani Beef Nihari Recipe (Pakistani Stew)

easy beef nihari with homemade nihari masala

A Delicious Pakistani Stew

delicious and easy pakistani beef nihari stew
Delicious and easy Pakistani Beef Nihari

Pakistani Beef Nihari Recipe

beef nihari with homemade nihari masala
Tender beef and perfectly spiced gravy.

Enjoy This Delicious Pakistani Nihari Recipe

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delicious and easy pakistani stew

Easy Pakistani Beef Nihari Recipe (Pakistani Stew)

This easy Pakistani Beef Nihari recipe is a perfect rich & comforting one pot meal. Its so good, the entire family will love it! It uses cheap cuts of meat that can be simmered for hours until tender.
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Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, International, Pakistani
Servings 4


  • pounds boneless beef chunks chuck roast, stew meat, eye of round, etc.
  • cup neutral oil
  • 3 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped or more or less to taste
  • 8-9 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup Atta whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons Nihari Masala See below
  • Salt to taste

Nihari Masala (Spice Mix)

  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 3 black cardamom pods
  • 1 dried bayleaf
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • ¾ tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri Chili powder Or more or less to taste
  • teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder


  • To start, make the Nihari Masala. Add the whole spices to a spice grinder (in batches if needed) and grind until powdery and fine. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the ground spices like turmeric, garam masala, coriander, kashmiri pepper, ginger and onion powders. Mix well.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped yellow onions and sauté until golden brown. Do not skip the onions and take your time while cooking them. Caramelized onions add depth and flavor to the dish
  • Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few minutes until it's toasted and fragrant. Your home should smell delicious by now
  • I know not everyone tolerates heat, but I wholeheartedly believe that heat is ESSENTIAL to Nihari. It gives it the best flavor. So use as little or as much as you like.
  • Add the beef (or lamb) chunks to the pot, cooking until they are browned on all sides. This helps to seal in the juices and enhances the flavor of the meat. This also takes a few minutes. You want the protein to brown, not be a grey-ish color.
  • Sprinkle in 2 tbsps of the prepared Nihari masala and mix well to coat the meat thoroughly. Cook for a few minutes to let the spices bloom and release their aromas. You can always adjust for more seasonings later.
  • Pour in the water, and add salt to taste.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil for 3-4 minutes before covering and letting it simmer on low for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender (depending on the cut of meat you use, It could be less than 2-3 hours).
  • Once simmered for a few hours, In a small bowl, mix the wheat flour(Atta) with 1/4 cup of water to form a smooth paste. Then add another 1 cup of the Nihari broth from the pot to the flour mixture and whisk well. Return this mixture to the pot through a sieve, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. This will help thicken the stew.
  • Let it cook for a few more minutes until the Nihari is thickened and you're ready to serve! Garnish with chilis, fresh ginger, and cilantro.
  • Serve with fresh naan or plain white basmati rice.


  •  You NEED to check on the stew after the first hour, then every half hour after that. You have to make sure the beef or lamb doesn’t shred into the gravy. If the beef is cooked and is well tender before the 2-3 hour mark, move onto the next step.
  • Keep mixing occasionally every half hour so the sauce doesn’t burn and the meat doesn’t stick. 
  • Atta is South Asian style wholewheat flour. I’ve tried this recipe with all purpose flour, but it doesn’t give off the same exact flavor. 
Keyword beef curry, Beef stew, Nihari, pakistani
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