When I first came to Delhi, I had no idea about Nihari because this traditional Mughlai dish was not very popular in Kolkata. But after coming to Delhi, I was introduced to this delicious food and trust me its addictive.
Nihari is a stew based dish, originated from the Awadhi cuisine. It is traditionally a dish for the breakfast, however now Nihari is available throughout the day at various food joints in Delhi. The slow cooking of the meat with the bone marrow is a key feature of preparing the dish and it is made overnight. The origin of Nihari is considered as in the 17th-18th century and it is a result of Indo-Persian cuisine style.
In an article at the Ndtv Food, Noted author and activist Sadiya Dehlvi said, “While Delhi has enjoyed a hearty mélange of food since the Delhi Sultanate, the refinement came with the Mughals. The rich Mughlai spread with its Persian nuances tempered with Indian tastes and flavours spelt magic. It was during this time that Delhi Cuisine really began to emerge as one of the richest culinary fares across the world.”
Here I have listed three best places in Delhi to have Nihari.
HAJI SHABRATI NIHARI WALE
Nihari and this shop are synonymous to each other. Take the road opposite to Jama Masjid gate no 1 and walk straight. Then after crossing the Aslam chicken keep asking or you can use google map too. It’s near Chitli Quabar chowk of the Matia Mahal area. You will get Mutton and Buff Nahari with Khameeri Roti. Try to reach there by 7 AM or else you have to try the next time.
Cost: Quarter Plate: 50
Time: 5 AM-8AM
Kallu Ustad is the King of Delhi Nihari. The road behind the Delite cinema near Delhi gate is Chatta Lal Miyan lane where this shop is located. They have two categories of Nihari: Nalli and Normal Bade (Buff) ki Nihari. You must try the Nalli Nihari. Do not expect anything much after 6 AM.
Cost: Nalli: 50
Bade ki Nihari: 50
Time-5 AM – 6 AM
HAJI NOORA NIHARI WALE
3576, Thelewali Gali, Bara Hindu Rao Road, Near Shanti Sales Corporation, Azad Market, is the full address. It’s near Sadar Bazar. This place serves only Nihari and not less the earlier shops in any sense. Its also a morning place but you might get here Nihari till 8AM.
Cost: Half: 100
Time: 5 AM-8 AM
The recipe to make Nihari at home:
1 kg mutton into medium pieces (preferably shank portion)
4 tbsp Ghee
2 medium sliced onion
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp nihari masala
Nihari Masala recipe
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
5-6 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1 bay leaf
8-10 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
* Heat Ghee in a deep bottom stock pot. Once the ghee is hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they start to turn brown.
* Add mutton pieces, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well to coat the mutton in ghee and spices. Sauté for 5 mins.
* Add the masala and 8 cups of water. Mix well, cover and cook on very low heat for at least 4 hours until the meat is tender. If you want the best taste then cook it for 6 hours. Keep checking the cooking and add water if necessary.
* Sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with ginger strips and fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.
(Images sources: Google)