November 20, 2015

Fabulous Friday Flavours: Nihari Beef Stew

What happens when you let your husband run the kitchen for a day? In Grubbs ‘n Critters’ household, we got ourselves some home-made dishes of cashew nut rice, some stir fried vegetables and a dish of beef stew! 


Not too shabby at all, I’d say. Not too shabby! Silver Bullet spent a great deal of time in the kitchen prepping those, letting the beef shank stew for a long, long time over a small fire.I think he stewed the meat for over 6 hours. Enough to allow the meat to fall off the bones.  Don’t ask me what got into him. It was probably one of those days when he felt the pressing need to challenge himself to try something new. He even made his own masala spices! Beat that. I probably would not have bothered.

With Silver Bullet though, he doesn’t do the typical modification like I always do with my food, and instead, he follows the recipe to a T lest he screws up. But he did substituted a couple of ingredients and add another type of chilli: The Bhut Jolokiah! This dish is Indian-inspired and laden with spices, and like all curries, tasted better when left overnight.

Nihari Beef Stew
Serves 4
A cook-ahead, heart dish. Best eaten after being left overnight.
Write a review
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
6 hr 30 min
Total Time
7 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
6 hr 30 min
Total Time
7 min
  1. 1 kilo Beef shank
  2. 1 bay leaf
  3. 2 x 1" cinnamon sticks
  4. 1.5 tspn + 1.5 tspn ginger paste (fresh cloves of ginger were used)
  5. 4 cloves garlic (original recipe used garlic paste)
  6. 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  7. 1 tspn red chili powder
  8. 2.5 tspn Nihari Masala
  9. 1 tspn salt
  10. 2 tspn whole-wheat flour
  11. One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, julienned
  12. ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  13. 1 lemon, sliced
  14. A sprinkle of Bhut Jolokia powder (not in the original recipe)
Nihari Masala
  1. 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  2. 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  3. 4 green cardamom pods
  4. 1 black cardamom pods
  5. 8 cloves
  6. 15 whole black peppercorns
  7. 1 tspn ground ginger
  8. ¼ tspn nutmeg powder
  9. ¼ tspn cinnamon powder
  10. 1 bay leaf
Preparing Nihari Masala
  1. Grind all the spices to fine powder form in a grinder. Sift the powder through a fine sieve to remove any rough pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This can be kept for about a month.
Boiling the Shanks
  1. In a large pot add the beef shanks along with 1 ½ teaspoon of ginger paste, 1 ½ teaspoon of garlic paste, bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of salt and 5 cups of water. Boil the shanks on low-medium heat till the meat is tender and well done, about 2-3 hours. (Make sure to add little more water if the water starts to dry out too fast; there should be enough water in the pot to cover the meat).
  2. Once the meat is done, carefully remove the meat from the liquid and keep aside. Measure the stock (liquid) and add water if needed to make it 4 cups, reserve. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon. You can do this step up to 2 days in advance. Let the meat and stock stay together while you store them in refrigerator, remove the meat from the stock just before you start to put the stew together.
Stew (Nihari)
  1. In a non-stick saucepan or a pot, heat oil over medium heat. When the oil gets hot, add the sliced onions and stir-fry constantly until they turn golden-brown in color. Don’t over fry or the onions will burn.
  2. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoon of ginger paste and 2 teaspoons of garlic paste and do a quick stir. Add 1 cup of the reserved stock to the pan, cover the pan and let everything cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes until the liquid starts to dry out and the onions turn very soft.
  3. Add the beef shanks to the pan along with the chili powder and Nihari Masala. Sauté gently for 2-3 minutes, and try to avoid the meat from breaking down.
  4. Add 3 cups of remaining stock (if the stock is less than 3 cups add water). Give everything a gentle stir and cover the pan. Let it simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine the flour with ½ cup of water. Stir well.
  6. After the stew has simmered for 10 minutes, add the flour mixture to the pan, stirring gently. Cover the pan and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. Check it once or twice to make sure the gravy is not drying out.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes with its lid on before serving. Sprinkle soem But Jolokiah
  8. When ready to serve, add salt to taste and garnish the stew with the ginger, cilantro and lemon juice and serve hot with pita, naan or any bread of your choice.
  1. This recipe is pretty much taken off the original website of Rasa Malaysia and it has been a great find!
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Grubbs n Critters

Posted by:    |    2 Comment
  1. Enjoy the delicious meal and your weekend!


%d bloggers like this: