Easy to prepare traditional Nihari - Meat shank slow cooked in a spicy gravy

I get bored of the same recipes and since I volunteered to bring Nihari to a pot luck I wanted to try making the Nihari a bit differently. The ingredients are the same but the process using a slow cooker makes this recipe very easy to prepare. Traditionally this would be cooked overnight over a low flame and the women in the households would take turns to watch the pot. In my version using a slow cooker you can achieve the same results and get your beauty sleep too!

5 - 6 pounds Nihari meat( Nihari meat is specially cut Beef shank, large pieces with bone)
2 medium red onions chopped
2 tbsps ghee
3 black cardamoms ( if you can't find this double the star anise)
3 star anise
5 cloves
2 tsps chilly powder
2 tsps turmeric
2 tsps fennel powder
2 tsps garam masala
2 tsps cumin powder
2 tbsps ginger and garlic paste
1/2 cup tomato purée
1 cup water
Juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper

Garnishes - as required


Wash the meat and marinate it with the juice of a lemon and ginger and garlic paste.

In a large saute pan heat the 2 tbsps of ghee and saute the whole spices - cardamons, star anise and the cloves

Fry the onions till golden brown

Remove the onions and whole spices and keep aside

Add the Nihari meat and sear till golden brown on both sides. Please note, don't overcrowd your pan, sear the Nihari in batches

Once all the Nihari is seared, add all the powdered spices, the tomato paste and the water

 Add the onions and mix, cover and cook for an hour

Either continue to cook on a slow flame for 6 - 8 hrs adding water as required or add to a slow cooker and cook on low, overnight

When ready to serve add a few tbsps of yogurt and mix

Nihari is typically served with garnishes julienne of garlic and ginger, green chillies, friend onions, lemon &/or lime wedges and coriander.

Note: I tried making my own fried onions - they were really quite fun and way more attractive than the packaged stuff. I sliced 1 large onions, sprinkled it with salt, pepper , chill powder and cornstarch and fried till dark brown in very hot oil. I added more coarse salt at the end of the cooking time.

And don't worry about leftovers .... this goes fast ... but save some for a spin off on a Nihari Beef and Barley soup!

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