Pakistani Slow Cooked Beef Stew – Nihari

Here we are yet again, on the 10th day of this month, which means it is reveal day for the Muslim Food Bloggers Challenges! This month’s challenge was to use meat as the star of our dish, as Eid al Adha is coming upon us. The challenge asked that we aim to use mutton as the meat of choice, however I used beef because mutton is not eaten in our home (although you can totally swap out beef for mutton in this recipe!).

I chose to make Nihari, a traditional Pakistani/North Indian delicacy that is a spicy slow cooked stew. Nihari is a dish that has eluded me ever since I started cooking seriously. I know I could just throw it together easily with a packet of ready-made Shan masala, but I’ve been wanting to learn how to make it at home from scratch.

I stumbled upon this recipe by Food Fusion, and decided to adapt it to personal tastes.

You guys, this is the real deal. The Nihari secret is out, and now you can wow even the toughest critics with this amazing from-scratch Nihari!

Quick note- I mention the use of a banana pepper towards the end of the recipe. Although it can easily be replaced with a regular green chili, I highly recommend using it as it imparts an amazing flavor into the Nihari. It is my mother in-laws secret, which isn’t so much of a secret anymore 😉

Thank you once again to the lovely group of ladies who organize these challenges month after month! I look forward to when the challenges are announces, and wait excitedly until reveal day 🙂 Be sure to check out all the yummies everyone shared for this month’s challenge by clicking on the link below-

 

 

Nihari

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Nihari Spice Mix:

  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppers
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ – ½ piece nutmeg
  • 1 small piece mace
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 1-inch pieces cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 black cardamoms
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

For Nihari:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds beef, cut into large cubes
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • ¾ cup Nihari spice blend
  • Salt, as needed.
  • 1 banana pepper or jalapeno (or desired amount of green chillies)

For Tempering/ Bhagaar:

  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (½ if onion is large)

For Garnish:

  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • Fried onions
  • Lemon or lime juice

Directions:

Make Nihari Spice Blend:

Combine fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppers, cloves, ginger powder, nutmeg, mace, star anise, cinnamon, bay leave, black cardamoms, and cardamoms in the jar of a spice grinder. Grind into a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and add coriander powder, red chili powder, paprika, and turmeric. Mix well and set aside.

Make Nihari:

In a small bowl, combine wheat flour and water. Whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium high heat. Add meat and cook, stirring along, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste, mix, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add Nihari spice blend and salt, and mix well. Add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches, about 6 to 8 cups. Add the flour and water mixture, stir, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 1 ½ to 3 hours, stirring intermittently, until the meat is cooked through and falling apart and desired consistency has been reached.

Add green chillies and reduce heat to low.

Make Tempering/ Bhagaar:

Heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Once onions have turned golden, carefully pour the mixture over the Nihari and cover. Cook over low heat for ten minutes. Remove from heat and serve with desired garnishes.

 

Note: Extra Nihari Spice Blend may be stored at room temperature for use at a later time.

Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread (Overnight)

Friendy McFriends! So sorry for being out of the loop for so long! Everything has been running smoothly, I’ve just been wrapped up in a few commitments. I know, that’s no excuse, and I’m sorry for totally disappearing. I’m feeling a surge of motivation, and I’ve got a slew of fun things to share with you 🙂

About today’s recipe- I saw Asiya post this fabulous Cheesy Jalapeno Bread recipe some time back and haven’t been able to get it out of my head! I’m a total carby, and can survive on just cheese and bread (although that probably wouldn’t help in my odds of “surviving” for very long LOL). The dough can be thrown together in no time, and is delicious on its own, but even better when it’s sliced, toasted, and slathered with cream cheese 🙂

JalapenoCheeseArtisanBreadPic

Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread

(Overnight)

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

For Bread:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cheese (Monterey jack, Cheddar, or Colby), diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
  • 1 ½ cups water, lukewarm

For Topping:

  • 1 ounce cheese, shredded (¼ cup)
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin

Directions:

The night prior to baking the bread, in a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt.   Add cheese and jalapeno and stir to coat. Add water and stir until evenly combined (dough will be very wet and sticky), cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise overnight, 12 to 18 hours. Do not refrigerate.

The following morning, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a dutch oven or oven-safe casserole dish, with the lid on, into the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, shape into a ball, and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Once the dish has been heated, pick up the dough using the parchment paper and place it directly into the baking dish (with the paper). Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the cheese and jalapeno (that were set aside for topping) over the top of the loaf. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 10 to 15 minutes.