Nihari Lamb


  • 1/2        cup vegetable oil
  • 4           whole cloves
  • 3-4        cardamon pods
  • 1           fresh bay leaf
  • 3           large white onions, finely chopped
  • 2           lbs lamb leg steaks, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1           tbsp ginger paste
  • 1           tsp garlic paste
  • 1           tbsp mild chilli powder
  • 1           tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4       plain yoghurt
  • 3/4       cup lamb or chicken stock
  • 2          oz butter
  • 1 1/2    tbsp gram(chickpea) flour
  • 1/2       tsp garam masala
  •             sliced green chillies, slivers of fresh ginger, and chopped fresh coriander and mint to serve.


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the cloves, cardamon, and bay leaf and let them crackle for a few seconds.  Add 1/4 of the onions and fry until golden, then add the lamb and a pinch of salt and fry for a few minutes.
  2. Turn the heat down to a simmer, add ginger, garlic, and a splash of water, then mix.  Stir in the remaining onions, chilli powder and turmeric.  Cover and leave for 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.  When the onions have completely softened, add the yoghurt and cook for 5 minutes, then add the stock and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Put a sieve over a large bowl and pour the pan content into it to strain out the liquid.  Add the butter to the now empty pan and, when melted, whisk in the gram flour for a minute or so until the mixture thickens and forms a roux.  Pour the strained liquid back into the pan and stir for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.  Return the lamb and other solids to the sauce and stir in the garam masala.
  4. Serve with a scattering of green chillies, ginger, chopped coriander and mint.

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