Chicken Nihari

Recipe for Chicken Nihari

What is unique about Chicken Nihari?

A rich traditional soup descending from the kitchens of the Mughal Emperors, Nihari is unique in its rich authentic flavor and preparation.

Interestingly in ancient times, Nihari was cooked all night and then served to the Mughlai kings early morning as a breakfast feast !!

Nihari derives its rich flavor from its traditional slow cooking style and the use of a myriad of spices that go in its preparation.

The richness of this traditional dish comes from the slow coming of the chicken and from the use of a myriad of spices that work magic on the overall flavor of the soup !!

Ingredients to cook Chicken Nihari 

Chicken – 1 kg with bone, medium-sized pieces
Onions – 2 large, finely sliced
Oil – 1/2 a cup
Turmeric- 1 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste- 2 teaspoons
Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Thick Yogurt – 1 kg, whisked
Cloves – 1-2
Bay leaf – 1-2
Shahi jeera – 1 tablespoon
Nehari Potli masala / Shaan Nehari masala- 1 pack
Mint leaves – 1/2 a cup, finely chopped
Coriander- 1/2 a cup, finely chopped
Lemon – 1 freshly squeezed

Preparing the Potli Masala

Empty the contents of the pack in a small square piece of muslin cloth and make a small tight Potli or pouch by tying the opposite ends together

Method to cook Chicken Nihari

In a large Bhagona or big deep bottom-vessel, heat and temper the oil with the cloves, cardamom and bay leaf, and shahi jeera

Add the sliced onions and fry them to the point where they turn soft and translucent

Add the turmeric powder, salt, and chili powder and stir them in well along with the fried onions

Add the chicken pieces in at this point and leave them to cook well on both sides on a low flame

Add the whisked yogurt and stir it in continuously for 5-10 minutes to prevent it from splitting

Add half the quantities of mint and coriander and 4 glasses of water to attain a gravy of liquid consistency

Leave the gravy to cook on low flame for
around 10-12 minutes till the time it begins to bubble

At this point add the Potli masala and leave the contents in the vessel to boil for another 20-25 minutes

This time allows all the flavors from the Potli masalas to infuse into the nihari 
Lastly, make a smooth slurry by mixing together 2 tablespoons of wheat in half a cup of water

Add this slurry into your Nihari and stir it in well

Leave the Nihari on low flame for about 5 minutes till the oil starts to separate on the top

Garnish the Nihari with coriander, mint, and a drizzle of lime juice and serve it piping hot in soup bowls teamed with kulchas or Indian naan bread !!

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