Nihari (Pakistan)

Cooked on June 14, 2023.

My third recipe! Nihari is a Pakistani beef stew made with a lot of spices and seasoning, as well as beef shank. I decided to use an Instant Pot version of this recipe to make it cook faster, cut down on the portioning, and made some substitutions along the way.

Rating 8/10. It was really spicy (maybe it a bit too spicy?) but the flavor was really great and is one of my favorite national dishes so far.

Special equipment: Instant Pot

Since beef shank isn’t usually sold in traditional supermarkets, i had to get it from my grandmother (since it’s usually used in Asian dishes)! I also used the Shan Nihari seasoning packet rather than a custom mix since I’m pretty bad at seasoning.

Dice the white onion into very thin pieces. A food processor should be fine.

Finely mince the ginger and garlic.

Defrost the beef shank overnight in the fridge, then rinse and cut into 1 or 2 inch cubes. If you have bones, cut the meat off the bones and set aside the bones for later.

Heat the ghee in an Instant Pot on saute mode. Add the onion and saute until caramelized and brown for about 10 minutes. Remove half the onions using a wooden spoon and set them aside. Stir the garlic and ginger into the pot to remove the “freshness” smell. You may need to splash a little water to deglaze the pot.

Add the Nihari seasoning to the pot, splash water to prevent the seasoning from sticking/burning. Then, add the beef shank pieces and stir to coat the meat in the seasoning. Wait until the meat changes color from red to slgihtly brown (2-3 min). Splash water whenever the seasoning sticks to the bottom of the pot.

Add the removed onions and the water (less if you splashed a lot) and stir to combine. If you have bones, add them now. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Serve with Naan or rice. I served it with Naan (from the supermarket) abut I mixed microwave-melted ghee and garlic powder to make this finger-licking garlic butter. Then, I spread it on toasted Naan. Mmmmm so delicious! It was really spicy, so use 1/5 of the Shan packet if you do not want it to be that spicy.

Watch me roll Pakistan on the country picker!

Credits to @toomanybites (my sister) for the main photo. Here are some more pictures throughout the process of cooking the stew. It was a relatively straightforward and easy process, but deglazing the pot was a hassle at times. It looks really delicious!