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Lamb Shank Nihari

FoodieChief (cross-posted HaloodieFoodie)
Slow cooked lamb shanks made with your own homemade spice mix. This is a delicious dish, the lamb melts in your mouth, the kick of the sliced chillies and fresh ginger elevates this dish to another level.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6


  • 3 lamb shanks
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1.5 ltr water
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour ideally roasted
  • 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 onions

Nihari Masala Whole Spices

  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 whole Kashmiri chillies
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 2 whole mace
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 cinnamon stick around 1 inch

Nihari Masala Ground Spices

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  • 2 tbsp whole ginger finely julienned
  • 2 tbsp green chillies finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 lemon sliced


Nihari Spice Mix

Cooking Stage

  • Heat oil and brown off the shanks. It may be better to do this one at a time.
  • Add the 4 tbsp of spice mix and allow to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add all the shanks back to the pot and allow them to infuse with the spices for a few moments.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Add hot water, bring this to boil then set on very low flame, cover and leave to simmer until the lamb shanks have cooked through. This will take approximately around 3 to 3.5 hours. This is the main cooking process and the duration will vary depending on the size of the shanks. Remember to occasionally give them a stir.
  • Whilst the lamb shanks are cooking, prepare the last couple of items required: fry two sliced onions until golden brown in ghee. Once done, leave 1/4 to the side for garnish and we will add remaining into the Nihari pot including the ghee.  
  • Check that the shanks are cooked.
  • Once the shanks are cooked, carefully remove them from the pot and leave aside, we need to make sure that the gravy/sauce mixture has the correct consistency.
  • Make sure no lumps remain. We need to slowly add this to the nihari, stirring continuously to avoid lumps being formed, being mindful gravy/sauce has a good consistency and not too watery, allow this to simmer on a very low heat for 10 minutes. 
  • Next prepare to make the chickpea slurry; dry roast 1/3 cup of chickpea flour and once cooled add enough water to make into a slurry.
  • Add a little water and mix to make sure no lumps remain.
  • You now need to add this to our Nihari gravy, we need the gravy/sauce to have a good consistency and not be too watery.
  • Allow this to simmer on a very low heat for 10 minutes.  Add some of the chopped coriander.
  • Add ¾ of the fried onions along with ghee that it was fried in and allow this to simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Carefully return the lamb shanks to the pot and allow this to simmer for a further few minutes.
  • Garnish your serving bowl with: fried onions, julienned ginger, finely sliced fresh green chillies, lemon wedges and chopped coriander 
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