Recipe #11

Nihari, Lahore Kebab House (Madhur Jeffrey’s Curry Nation)

Apparently the national dish of Pakistan, Nihari is a slow cooked braised lamb (or other meat) stew. Rich with a ginger based sauce and copious quantities of spices, after 3 hours in the oven the lamb was tender and falling from the bone. Rather than the suggested shanks, I used a half-leg, which yielded plenty for the two of us and some leftovers. Wikipedia tells me that traditionally the leftovers, called taar, are used in the next day’s version, and that some Nihari houses in Old Delhi boast an unbroken tradition of this taar stretching back over 100 years!

I was only making half the quantity but forgot to half the amount of salt in the sauce, so it required a bit of rescuing with some cream and soft brown sugar, but I think I got away with it. I’ll also admit to having been clean out of nigella seeds, and don’t know what they taste like so don’t know if they would have changed the dish. Even with these two issues, it was still very tasty, and I’ll certainly do it again.

I served it with the Gurbax Kaur Aloo Gobi (also excellent but not new to me so can’t be recipe #12) from the same book and some green beans tossed in butter and garam masala for a rather different Sunday joint.

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