A Simple nihari curry

A Simple nihari curry

Transport yourself to the vibrant streets of Lahore with this aromatic and hearty lamb nihari curry. With tender chunks of meat bathed in a rich and spicy gravy, this dish is sure to warm your soul and tantalise your taste buds.

Nihari Curry is a traditional dish that originated in the Mughal kitchens of India during the 18th century. The word “Nihari” is derived from the Arabic word “Nahar”, which means “day”, and refers to the dish’s origins as a breakfast dish for Muslim nobles who would eat it after their morning prayers.

Originally, Nihari Curry was made with beef or lamb shanks, slow-cooked overnight in a rich broth made from bone marrow, spices, and herbs. The dish was traditionally served with naan bread and garnished with sliced ginger, chopped cilantro, and lemon wedges. I have created a similar versions by using a leg of lamb Nihari Curry, instructions further down the page

Nihari lamb Curry

Transport yourself to the vibrant streets of Lahore with this aromatic and hearty lamb nihari curry. With tender chunks of meat bathed in a rich and spicy gravy, this dish is sure to warm your soul and tantalise your taste buds
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6



  • 1 packet Kohinoor Nihari Sauce 
  • 2 small onions roughly chopped
  • 400 g diced lamb shoulder
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • oil for cooking


  • In the cast iron pot add the oil for cooking and cook the onions until translucent 2 small onions . Around 5 mins and then remove from the pan.
  • Next add to the pan 400 g diced lamb shoulder and brown on all sides, around 5 minutes. Once done add back the onions and add 1 packet Kohinoor Nihari Sauce 
  • Then rinse the 1 tin chickpeas and add to the pot. Stir all the ingredients, place the lid on the pot on a low heat and cook for 3 hours. Occasionally check and stir throughout the cooking time.
  • If the Narhini sauce is to thin then cook for 30 minutes without the lid. Reduce to your desired consistency


Serve with roti or naan bread, rice can also be served with it. If you are making meals for one, wait until cooled before portioning it up and freezing. For garnish you can add chopped coriander and to lighten the spice you can squeeze some lime juice on 
Keyword lamb curry, niharhi lamb curry, Nihari curry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Over time, Nihari Curry has evolved and become popular in other parts of the world, including Pakistan and Bangladesh. Today, it is still considered a special and indulgent dish that is typically reserved for special occasions and celebrations.

Despite its long history, the recipe for Nihari Curry remains unchanged, with many families passing down their recipe variations from generation to generation. Whether made with beef, lamb, or chicken, Nihari Curry is a beloved and iconic dish that people worldwide enjoy.

I have used Kohinoor sauces before in my lazy beef curry recipe which is also easy to prepare.

Extra Ingredients

To stretch out this Nihari lamb I added 2 small onions and a tin of chickpeas. They are both flavour neutral and absorb all the flavours from the sauce. If you wanted to stretch the Nihari curry further you could add carrots, potatoes or both.

a packet of Kohinoor nihari cooking sauce for lamb curry

Ingredient Costs

400g of diced lamb shoulder = £6

1 Pack of Kohinoor Nihari Sauce = £1.95

2 Small onions = £0.16

1 Can of chickpeas = £0.50

Total cost of ingredients = £8.61

Servings = 6

Cost per serving = £1.43 per portion

Keeping Costs Down

To keep the costs even lower on this lamb Nehari recipe I buy the Kohinoor sauces when they are on offer. They typically go down to £1.50 per packet when on offer so I typically buy 3 or 4 packets and always have one in the cupboard. I only usually cook this Nihari dish when I see a pack of lamb shoulder reduced in price. I typically pay around £4.00 a pack, sometimes lower. That brings down the lamb Nihari to £1.02 PP which makes it a great cheap dinner idea. You can also keep the cost down by buying a leg of lamb when they are on offer.

Portion Size & Freezing

This lamb Nihari is great for freezing into single portions meals and super quick cooking from frozen. To reheat from frozen a remove a portion from the freezer in the morning. After work it is usually defrosted so I place it in a low to medium cast iron saucepan, place the lid on. Occasionally stir and it should be cooked in 5 to 10 minutes which makes it a perfect recipe for poor time people. When I freeze the lamb Nihari curry I use Sainsbury’s home basics 220 storage tubs. The weight of the frozen lamb Nihari is 250g which is plenty and I use them for all my freezer recipes.

a stack of 5 clear small plastic containers I freezer my nihari curry in

Roast Leg Of Lamb Nihari Curry

Time needed: 5 hours

Roast Leg of Lamb Nihari Curry

  1. Remove lamb From The Fridge and Pre Heat the Oven

    Ideally remove the lamb from the oven to bring to room temperature, around 1 to hours for a 2 kilo leg of lamb. The leg of lamb was from Sainsbury’s and was at the Nectar price of £6.50 a kilo (Normal price £13.00 kilo). Heat the oven to 185c (365F)

  2. Baking Tray

    Get a large enough baking tray so the lamb fits comfortable in it, add some oil to the bottom of the tray and add 3 to 4 roughly chopped onions. Ensure they are coated in the oil and then place the leg of lamb on top of the onions. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until the onions have some char on them and the leg of lamb is nicely browned as well

  3. Adding The Sauce

    If you have a large leg of lamb you will probably need 2 packets of the curry sauce to keep it moist and flavourful my Nihari Curry (leg of lamb) in a roasting tin I have just taken out of the oven

  4. Turn the Oven Down

    Turn the oven down to 120c (250F) and place the lamb back in the oven for around 4 hours. Check on regular interval and baste the leg with the sauce. If it looks like it is drying out the sauce to quickly then cover in tin foil

  5. Shred The Lamb

    When the lamb is cooked correctly you should be able to shred it with a couple of forks. Now place the shredded lamb back into the Nihari Curry sauce and put it back into the oven for 30 minutes. This should char some of the edges and give extra texture and flavour

  6. Serve

    Now serve with your favourite sides

  7. Allow to cool and freeze the leftovers

    Yes it was a bit of a treat. Cost of the lamb and the 2 curry sauces was just under £16
    I have 4, 300g portions leftover for the freeze. So it cost me around £3.20 a portion. I am on a high protein diet
    But if you eat rice and naan bread and did the portion size around 150g that would then give you 10 portions at a much better cost of £1.60 per portion

What To Serve With Lamb Nirhani

If I have some leftover dough in the fridge I would make yoghurt naan bread. If you are short on time then use one of the quick recipes below

Frequently Asked Questions

What is nihari curry?

Nihari is a slow-cooked curry originating from the Indian subcontinent, made with meat (usually beef, lamb, or mutton), bone marrow, and a rich blend of aromatic spices.

Where did nihari curry come from?

Nihari is believed to have originated in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire in India, and is now a popular dish in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

What are the key ingredients in nihari curry?

The key ingredients in nihari curry are meat, bone marrow, ginger, garlic, onion, spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala, and flour or cornstarch to thicken the gravy.

What type of meat is used in nihari curry?

Traditionally, nihari is made with beef or mutton, but lamb or chicken can also be used.

What is bone marrow and why is it used in nihari curry?

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside bones. It is used in nihari curry for its rich flavor and to thicken the gravy.

Is nihari curry spicy?

Yes, nihari curry is typically spicy, but the level of heat can be adjusted to suit individual tastes.

What is the best way to serve nihari curry?

Nihari is typically served with naan or roti, garnished with fresh coriander and sliced ginger, and accompanied by lemon wedges and sliced green chilies.

Can nihari curry be made ahead of time?

Yes, nihari curry can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. In fact, many people believe that nihari tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have had time to meld together.

Packet Sauce Ingredients

Water, Onion (26.64%), Tomato (11.56%),Tomato Puree (9.25%),Tomato Paste (6.94%),Refined Sunflower Oil, Ginger (1.39%) Kadhai dry Masala, [Coriander seeds,Kashmiri Chilli (0.10%), Cumin seeds, Black Peppercorn, Ajwain seeds, Fennel seeds, Nutmeg, Shahi Jeera, Black Cardamom, Cloves, Green Cardamom, Mace, Cinnamon, Bay leaf], Salt,Coriander, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Red chilli powder (0.37%), Cumin Seed, Turmeric Powder (0.28%), Green Chilli (0.23%), Mango Powder, Kasoori Methi Powder

I am always looking to make cheap easy meals for one and this Nihari lamb recipe fits that category. As lamb is quite expensive I wanted to stretch out this recipe Nihari recipe to go a lot further.